November notes for a small business
Remember, remember, November means admin on this team…
Use the quiet time to put away those must-do tasks
The quiet rainy days, as the light grows watery and dims at 4pm is the time to address everything that you have been putting off all year. My annual checks fall due around now so the gas guy is booked, the PAT test equipment reserved (thanks PDPLA!). Not what anyone could call fun but it sure beats constant interruptions through the year, to tick off these irritating jobs on a schedule is a far better plan.
December will bring the culmination of the years' social calendar with the PDPLA Christmas Party. Please book now so that we can make sure that everyone who wants to come gets a ticket to this festive celebration of another year in the tough waters of property. Whether you have 1 or 500 properties please come together to enjoy the support given by this great organisation. The committee are volunteers so show them some festive appreciation for their tireless campaigning by making a good night of it.
I was impressed this month by the mention of Daryn Brewer in the House of Commons. His work has taken the issue of disaggregation of HMO rooms (so each room pays band A Council tax) right to the top. It goes to show that determination and tenacity can win through and opinions can be changed with the right representation. Martin has likewise created a deputation to the Council regarding licensing of smaller 3 and 4 bedroomed HMOs, if we don't speak out we have no voice and we hope that the impact in both these cases is better for tenants as well as landlords. The costs of both these changes will end up on the shoulders of HMO tenants, often among the lower paid in the City.
As Winter bites we all feelsympathy for the homeless in our communities, IMHO please don't fall for heartstring-pulling approach of the charity Shelter, Shelter are a political lobby group that houses no-one and seems to wish to disassemble the private rented sector in the process, donating against your own interest, it is landlords that house the homeless, not anti-landlord lobby groups!Seek out some local charities instead. A greater proportion of your donation will hit the ground that way. Speaking of Charity, lead the way in encouraging fellow landlords to sign up to PDPLA, we rely on your support both directly via membership and by using our excellent Insurance partners Alan Boswell. Remember, sign up to PDPLA and get free membership and all the excellent NRLA resources available to you as well as local support and socials.
Serviced accommodation is always in the doldrums in November, historically the quietest month in a seasonal business. Time is spent chasing a decreasing pool of bookers but I am pleased to report that the grey economy is flourishing and our less salubrious guests and scammers are once again visible. If a potential booking sounds too good to be true it usually is so, if you aren't already a member please hop over to Southsea SA facebook group or, for Portsmouth hosts, I run a Whatsapp group where hosts can speak freely about good and bad experiences and those to avoid, as well as sharing extra bookings and good recommendations for trades that will fix 'on the day' for arriving guests.