Who are you?
Sunil Sharma, Director at Regal Estates.
Who are Regal Estates?
We are an established independent lettings and management company based in North West London. We currently have over £400 million worth of residential property assets under management.
How do you help landlords and property investors?
Initially, Regal Estates assisted landlords in offering a reliable solution to property management as many of them were either based abroad or did not have time to manage their property. Over the years, we have moved into assisting investors in procuring buy-to-let deals and now assist landlords based both in and outside of the UK with letting and managing their London properties. Our aim is to help landlords maximise on their investments in a proficient and stress-free way.
What services do you provide?
Our core services are lettings and property management – this includes anything from a basic tenant find service, but most clients utilise our full management solution. We have an in-house property maintenance and development team which is handy for our clients. Over the last six years we have been assisting landlords with the lettings and management of their Houses-in-Multiple Occupation (HMOs). We have built up a good rapport with local authorities and have a strong team of HMO Property Managers.
I and my company co-directors are landlords ourselves, which allows us to see things from both the professional point of view, as well as the landlord’s perspective.
Do you see a growing demand for HMOs in London?
Over the past three years we have seen a rapid increase in demand for room lets in London, often being inundated with enquires from professional tenants looking for good quality rooms to rent. With the current shifts in tenancy patterns, we see this area of property rentals growing further - providing potential opportunities for landlords to maximise from this type of investment.
What is the biggest challenge facing landlords?
Currently there are many challenges – some of which stem from the uncertainty of Brexit and others from the constant change in legislation that landlords need to keep up with. We often receive calls from landlords who are struggling to understand certain legal changes and are worried about their tenancy paperwork as they have let their property themselves.
In addition, tenants are able to now sue landlords and take them to court if they do not carry out necessary repairs or maintenance. This paired with other factors such as landlord licencing and increased local borough guidance makes it even more important to have a professionally managed tenancy and property.
Referencing of tenants and tenant arrears will always be something that landlords will worry about. Comprehensive referencing procedures and insurance policies that can cover loss of rent and evictions, can alleviate many of these worries.
What is your advice to landlords in 2019?
With increased tenant demands from landlords and tenants having more choices, landlords need to use the right strategy to be able to maximise on rents. This involves acting professionally or making the decision to delegate the management of their property to a professional agent - ideally an agent that is established and a member of an organisation e.g. ARLA Propertymark.
With the right approach and key partners landlords still have the ability to enjoy the benefits of being a professional landlord as long as they act like a chameleon would and adapt to the current environment.
For further information on Regal Estates, please visit www.regalestate.co.uk