Case Study Melinda
Melinda owns an investment property which acts as her pension, but she lives abroad and so can’t be here in person to act for herself. She has opted for BTLH to manage her property as a Serviced Apartment.
What were you hoping to achieve?
Melinda has a fabulous central Richmond flat in which she lives from time to time. She keeps one bedroom in the flat locked (filled with her personal belongings), but otherwise, the flat is set up as a luxurious home-from-home experience for guests. With a great location overlooking rugby fields with the golf club a short walk away, she has some fabulous art and decorative flourishes which make the flat a truly spectacular venue, with a fully equipped kitchen.
Melinda explains that asking Buy To Let Hunter to manage her flat in Richmond as a short term serviced accommodation makes sense whilst she is spending time abroad. “I wanted to keep my flat, to maintain a toe-hold in London, but it is a purely commercial decision to sweat my assets whilst I choose to live somewhere else.” The rental income allows Melinda to keep up her active lifestyle as she skis or sails (depending on the season) in Europe, but equally offers her a pied a terre for visiting her family or local chums back in Blighty.
She explains that she is of a vintage for whom the traditional working pension didn’t suit; instead, she believes she and many of her contemporaries mostly invested in properties in the 80s and 90s when they could afford to snap them up, and, by default, they now rely on that rental income as they enjoy their retirement.
Why did you choose BTLH?
Melinda explained “The onset of Covid caused a serious dearth of options in the lettings market. The world has changed in rental terms.” Melinda spoke to the agents who used to handle her property and found their model no longer really be fit for purpose: for her, anyway. “I needed shorter lets to enable me to come and go from time to time.“
The BTLH model is flexible, inclusive and more cost effective for her needs: “The old agents were proposing a 25% charge on any rental income and then a range of obligatory expenses that add up to £500-£600 for every letting! That just wasn’t sustainable.” Those agents were billing her for inventory and administrative costs with every new guest which seemed to be in addition to the fees she was already paying. “It’s one thing if you are having lets of a year or more, but it really didn’t make sense for the shorter term serviced accommodation model that I needed.” She explained.
Melinda was also unsure about the due diligence when the agents took references for her potential tenants as they always seemed to be outsourced – “BTLH have a much more personal and less algorithmic approach!” she laughed – ah yes, I smiled, acknowledging one of the many advantages of having a very small office! We do get to know most of our guests…
So, Melinda, how has your experience been working with BTLH?
“It’s been very good!” she explained from her lovely spot in Switzerland where she was spending lock-down up a mountain far away from the banks of the river Thames. She explained she has a lot of girlfriends who got in to “buy to let” who are local to their own properties so don’t need to rely as heavily on management as Melinda does. “I can trust BTLH to make the right decisions on my behalf and it helps finance my lifestyle whilst still retaining the ultimate flexibility. I feel the security of knowing I have a bolt hole I can visit even though I can’t afford to just leave that asset standing.” Fancy a bit of a nomad retirement with a little added security like Melinda?