How long have you been working with Assetgrove?
How many properties do they manage for you?
Just the one, although I am thinking about bringing another on-board in the near future.
Have you been a landlord for a long time?
It’s been over 20 years. I’m not a large investor though; it’s more about having a supplementary income and a good retirement plan.
Have you always used Guaranteed Rent Schemes during this time?
No this is actually the first time. Up until recently I had always managed the property on my own.
So what made you decide to give it a go?
I have been getting a lot busier recently with other things, but I was also having a bit of a hard time with my investment property too. So when I saw Assetgrove’s advert in a local Enfield property magazine I thought, why not give it a try?
Did you shop around for other Guaranteed Rent specialists or did you just opt straight for Assetgrove?
Well there aren’t that many companies out there doing what Assetgrove do, and a lot of those that are tend to be one man bands. And to be honest I already knew of Assetgrove anyway.
How did you know about them?
I had heard about them as a good local company and have always seen their maintenance vans around the area, so I felt very comfortable with them from the start.
Did you sign up with them straight away?
I wanted to meet them before joining so I went along to their offices. I have to say I was very impressed. They have a large team and they obviously know their business. You can tell that they’re an organisation of substance and this made a very good impression on me.
You mentioned before that you were motivated to speak to Assetgrove after having a hard time with your property, can you elaborate on that?
Well I’ve always striven to be a good landlord and you get used to the changes. Sometimes you have good tenants, sometimes you don’t. The bad times are when the rents aren’t coming in, things break or the property becomes suddenly empty.
I imagine that can take up a lot of time?
Yes. You have to take a lot of calls and deal with the new tenants and there’s always lots of liaising with the council, agreeing rent etc.
How has being a landlord changed in recent years?
Things have become harder recently with all the changes made to the Housing Benefit by the Government.Benefits have been cut and there have been a few important rule changes, such as paying Housing Benefit directly to the tenants and placing the onus on them to manage their own rent.With people in financial difficulty this can lead to problems, and I found that more and more I was the one being left out of pocket at the end of the month.In the last few years it certainly felt as though I was losing money rather than making it.
How has Assetgrove helped you overcome all of this?
When I began working with Assetgrove the property needed some works being done to bring it up to standard. They knew exactly what to do and carried out all the necessary work for me. They also helped with the costs by spreading the repayments over an agreed period of time, which was deducted from the rental income, so it was almost like getting a free loan to improve the property.They now manage all the day to day stuff, such as keeping the property occupied and carrying out general repairs, so it’s all pretty much off my mind. If anything substantial goes wrong, such as a broken fridge for example, they will get in touch and give me the option of letting them fix or replace it, or I can choose to do it myself.
So would you say that you are happy with Assetgrove?
Yes, definitely. They are a very experienced team and I’ve found that, generally, there is always someone on hand to answer your call. They’ve taken over many of the onerous tasks that used to clog my week up and relieved me of a lot of pressure.I find that it is a lot easier these days to just get on with my work, and best of all I have more time for myself.Overall I am very happy with Assetgrove and it has been a very positive experience for me.