We took some time out with Sridhar Somaraju, an East London landlord, to chat all things property, including first-hand tips on how to build a property portfolio. Aspiring landlords, take note!
1. How many properties do you let, and where are they?
Currently, I let one property, which is based in Silvertown, London, E16.
2. What attracted you to the area?
The main reason I chose Silvertown was due to its close proximity to Canary Wharf’s business district, and also because of the good DLR and bus connections with the rest of London.
3. What do you look for in an investment property?
When looking for my investment property I had the potential rental Income and property equity appreciation in mind first and foremost.
4. How do you maintain a good relationship with your tenants?
The key to a good relationship with tenants is to ensure they are living happily in the property, and that all their concerns are taken care of.
5. What is the toughest part of being a landlord?
Worrying about how tenants will look after the property and ensure all the woodwork and appliances are maintained well, and that they proactively look after and escalate any issues.
6. What are your tips for anyone thinking of building a property portfolio?
Just treat every property as you would your own home and ensure you invest in the right location and property.
7. Has being a landlord changed in the years since you’ve been active?
I am new to being a landlord, but I see there are a lot of landlords around now and would advise they are equipped with all the necessary insurance covers, otherwise the cost of maintaining a property nowadays can be exorbitantly high.
8. How have you reacted to the ban on letting fees?
I don’t have any opinion on the ban on letting fees, but in general, any ban on fee I assume is in the interest of the tenant and landowner.
9. What do you feel are the benefits of using a letting agency?
For me, the key benefits are:
- Searching for a new tenant is hassle free
- The letting agency ensures all policies are adhered to when letting a property
- And finally, if the letting agency takes care of the landlord and tenant’s interests then it is a good tri-party relationship working for the benefit of each other.
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