A sharp intake of breath

 September this year has brought something of a slowdown after the hectic staycation boom of August. Fate has intervened again with a broken ankle so how best to make use of the time?

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  42 Hits

Ending the Summer Victorious

This year I decided I wanted it all, my desire was to max out the holiday lets AND attend the glorious Victorious with my friends. Was this too much to ask?

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  81 Hits

Do you follow the stars?

Holiday accommodation ratings systems have been around for a long time, but are they still fit for purpose in the digital age?

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  109 Hits

Finding my special niche

Shiny pennies in the property world…I am by nature discontent and fidgety. Having a property business fits this very well as all manner of things get thrown at you, but the latest idea to take my attention is a keeper for me.

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  161 Hits

CCTV A Mixed Blessing, But Then, So Are Guests

 I took the plunge and bought ring video doorbells for my holiday lets, I really was better off not knowing!

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  176 Hits

Spring clean 2021

Sweeping the pavement outside my short lets in Orchard Rd, I wondered how this old-fashioned habit had died. (Editor note: This is NOT a picture of Charlotte cleaning her door step!)

Cleaning the front step used to be a matter of pride for many households. This small threshold literally welcomed people to your home and displayed to the street that you were a person that did things properly and took pride in yourself, your work and home.

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  144 Hits

When is a holiday let not a holiday let? When it is a holiday home….

 There have been stirrings and accusations in the world of holiday lets this month as HMRC announce a clampdown on holiday homes. Where does this fit in to the jigsaw of short term lets?

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  180 Hits

Holiday Lets in The News, good and bad

This month short term lets have been splashed across the local paper for good and bad. Nothing can quell my enthusiasm for opening up properly on 12th April but have I slowed down too much to get back into business?

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  184 Hits

'It's no holiday' - literally

I don't do stocks and shares, I don't do bitcoin, I am not even sure what FOREX trading is. Received wisdom is that wealth is best retained by diversifying your portfolio to weather the storms of financial life.

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  239 Hits

2020 - Ouch!

A slap in the face is more effective than ten lectures. It makes you understand very quickly. Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

Some financial knowledge comes easily, some is learned through sweat and some lessons must be a slap-in-the-face before they finally come home.

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  292 Hits

What is the difference between a rogue and a craftsman?

As landlords, we have all struggled with building trades over the years – big jobs are easy, you have a surveyor or similar to manage it, a contract with a builder chosen by tender and whilst much of the work is done 'as fast as possible' as opposed to as 'well as possible' generally, as long as the snags get properly recorded and resolved all is well.  But... 

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  298 Hits

Guest Blog - Jonathan McDermot, TPX - How To Make Money With Property

So it's a rainy Sunday morning in Gosport and I have been reflecting upon the current state of the property education sector here in the UK. Like everyone else my Facebook and other social feed's are flooded with offers of free seminars, no money down deals, promises of a 7 figure salary or business, health, wealth and happiness!  

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  255 Hits

Rock 'n' Roll bank holiday weekends return

How do you get your kicks in lockdown? My rebellious younger self wouldn't recognise me.

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  288 Hits

Bouncing back (like an old tennis ball...)

Optimism deserts me as we dig in for the long Covid haul 

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  411 Hits

The Thing About Smart Appliances

Charlotte is having a month off, so I thought I'd use her spot to share a thought this month as I just bought a new washing machine for one of the houses.  At £229 from ao.com with free delivery it was a no brainer, why even try and repair the old one. Not only  was the new one  A+++, it had a 10 year parts guarantee AND it was SMART - but that's where my worries began

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  429 Hits

It's no holiday for anyone...

 What has the PDPLA ever done for us? 

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  430 Hits

The C-word

What an err…interesting month it has been. For the first time in many years I have attended to numerous projects outside of the business…

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  524 Hits

Reflections on the current times

I like my small business, it feels good to break free from work, shift for yourself and hear the ker-ching of money you have made yourself. This last 2 weeks has been eerily quiet so a great opportunity to reflect (as well as clean my much-neglected house).

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  536 Hits

Global Pandemic, weather mayhem and cancellations….

What happens to your short term let business when guests, or weather events of Biblical proportions, let you down?

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  642 Hits

What is your business character?

Diversify or specialise, think big or be content with small, be out there or safe in here..

There are many sorts of people, a few ways to put them in categories could be specialists vs generalists, big-picture vs attention-to-detail, risk taker vs risk-averse. Personally, I am each and every one depending on the day of the week!

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  573 Hits

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Swept up in ‘this time next year we will all be millionaires Rodney’?, never fail to create a joint venture agreement. Pulling together gives great value but what happens when you are pulling against each other?. My transition from Teacher and landlord to Serviced Accommodation provider has been enlightening of the value of the unseen benefits, and some of the disadvantages, of working for yourself and together.

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  558 Hits

Life's a beach (or within 500m of one)

Roses round the door and a lovely view? Fireplace? hot-tub?..we all desire must-have items for a holiday cottage but as an investor do the expensive options make for a good return?

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  489 Hits

Take back Control

Going along the path from landlord to business owner brings many twists and turns and endless err…learning opportunities but there are common themes to each strand of business.Whether single let, HMO or Serviced accommodation these things are true.

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  566 Hits

Load of Rubbish!

Don"t you just love saving the environment? If I know landlords, the only thing they like to save is money so I thought I would have a crack at combining the two and give a few ideas that do both.

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  557 Hits

While I was paddling up the Zambezi River...

On a boat today, at the confluence of the muscular Chobe river and the mighty Zambezi. Where trucks wait patiently for 3 weeks to board the Kazangula ferry from Botswana to Zambia. Four great countries share a border midstream. Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Divided by culture, language, allegiance and ambition.

I am enjoying the fruits of my labour with a big family trip to Botswana. But what are the lessons for my business?

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  487 Hits

The domino effect of student tower blocks

Market trends. You may wonder why, oh why it is a good idea to spend up to £800/month on a room in a cluster-flat in a student block. It would appear that students may not be the dim-witted sheep that the developers presumed.

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  658 Hits

Our Strong Island

To welcome visitors? Or to huddle in our insular security? Portsmouth is very much an Island City both in geography and mentality. It is both what makes us special and hinders our progress. Whatever you view our place, it is a one-off location. This month I share some views from fans of our City, Pride in Pompey is strong and after 25 years here I am almost a local.

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  619 Hits

Is there a hotel on your street?

The net is closing on short term lets, are you in or out?

The RLA published an article this week regarding short term lets "There has been a massive growth in short term lettings and landlords are moving properties from long-term to short-term lets due to Government tax changes... Disincentivising residential stock... and promoting short term holiday lets does not increase the supply of homes." (Dr Tom Simcock).

Hardly rocket science but what does that mean for we landlords here in Portsmouth?

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  645 Hits

Rent to Rent Strategy

If you want a future in property, chances are you have little money. Those of us with 5, 10 or 20 years' experience have often accumulated some so it appears from the outside a good way forward.

If you have little money there is a good chance that you have come across the training companies, all of whom offer "no money/little money down" strategy courses if, naturally, you will part with £5000 to find out how.

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  656 Hits

Tidy office, Tidy mind

Spring must be (almost) in the air. I awoke this morning, walked into my tiny office, pushed a pile of papers aside to try to find my laptop and decided that SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE ABOUT THE MESS. I take great care to present immaculate apartments, houses and rooms but somehow my personal organisation falls short.

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  686 Hits

New Year, same old me!

A year ago my resolutions were the usual motley collection of be braver, faster, more successful, thinner and healthier. As is the way with resolutions they mostly "went west" this year I turn 50 and I can, supposedly, no longer pretend to be 40-ish. I have taken a less progressive stance this year.

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  758 Hits

I resolve to finally make the most of my properties!

Another year nearly done, roof still leaking? Woodchip still up? Tenants still creating mess? Have you followed the golden rules of Property Investing?

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  790 Hits

Embracing change

I am amazed that the Government had any energy left for the budget after recent European events and I guess it may all come to nothing next March when we leave the EU but where there is change there is always opportunity.

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  788 Hits

Cimex lectularius

They turn up, mess up your bedlinen with blood stains, help themselves to food and then refuse to pay their bill. Read on to discover how to deal with these persistent unwanted guests.

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  941 Hits

Be like Bev!

Running this gig has taught me a lot about being a good guest, previously I was always first at the breakfast buffet stuffing plastic bags for a packed lunch, but no more! I have learned what goes into creating a great place and that has taught me appreciation in return.

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  959 Hits

Buy cheap, buy twice!

Every week brings a new mistake, If I re-brand mistakes as learning opportunities guess what? I never stop creating learning opportunities!

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  967 Hits

Open for Business

Ever at the cutting edge of the news, Serviced accommodation featured in The Times this week (usually restricted to the industry press). The article below sheds a more positive light than the usual 'Airbnb nightmare' headlines that we have got used to. The Industry is very unrestricted compared to being a landlord and new ways of managing are springing up all the time. The freedom to manage as you like in a relatively unregulated field is refreshing and challenging. Portsmouth has been bypassed by the 'big guys' in airbnb management, luckily you know where to go! (other short let managers are available).

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  966 Hits

Meet the team!

Keeping body, soul and business together!

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  1147 Hits

Birds of a feather..

Going it alone simply isnt an option when you opt for short lets.

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  1135 Hits

Stop section 24 eating your profits!

I am sure that most of you, like myself, have spent some time recently completing your self-assessment. While we are happy to pay our dues, few people would want the taxman to benefit by more than necessary. This is where shorts lets get interesting.

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  1253 Hits

January Blues

This time of year can be tricky, I look back over the changes of the last year and see that progress has been made but there is a nagging doubt, is progress a good thing? Is progress even progress? Am I barking up the wrong tree perhaps and should my focus be more personal, less business-y? Is my life ebbing away as I chase shiny pennies? Self doubt creeps in and I need a fresh start!

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  1358 Hits

Joint venture for success!

So how hard is it to turn a regular flat into a Serviced Let? The switch in mindset from money-saver landlord to generous host is the hardest part to overcome, the rest is just a matter of shopping!

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  1219 Hits

Losing, and finding, my 'why?'

Running a property portfolio comes to us for many reasons, sometimes, it is inherited, some have fought for it and some have built it slowly and steadily. There came a point for me where I lost my reason 'why?"

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  1239 Hits

Crazy Summer

Crazy summer days are upon us. Cleaners go on holiday, victorious festival prompts a tough pre-stay email (you WILL be charged £100 for smoking in the rooms, you MAY NOT continue the party here etc.), and the changes of September are nearly upon us.


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  1249 Hits

If it's such a great strategy...

If it's such a great strategy, why isn't everyone doing it?

Holiday lets come and go. Fact: It really isn't everyone's cup of tea. 

How frequently do you visit your property? Every month? Every 6 months? I have properties with steady tenants that I haven't been into for 5 years! (Yes, the checks and repairs still get done). Most landlords aim to be hands-off as much as possible.

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  1198 Hits

It's no holiday...

I pass a neat row of large BMW motorcycles lined up outside and enter the communal Kitchen of Blue Star House where 6 handsome young German men are tucking into a hearty lunch and chatting about their weekend ahead at Goodwood. They tell me about their drive form Germany and ask about local parking. In rooms upstairs are a student, a chef, a cocktail barman, and some weekenders visiting family. This weekend it"s a full house at the Serviced Accommodation.....

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  1749 Hits

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