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/ by Duncan Blakelock

What's the ideal number of rental properties?

Research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows that 60% of landlords have a portfolio of just one property, while 7% own five or more properties.

But how big can a portfolio get before it starts to take over a landlord’s life?

In our experience, the amount of spare time a landlord has dictates the number of properties they operate.

Speak to our Property Management team to discuss how we can help manage your portfolio

Research from the National Landlords Association reveals that 27% of its member landlords say they make a full time living from their lettings business, and that 55% say it supplements their day job.

According to developer and landlord Richard Blanco, up to four properties is ‘manageable’ if you’ve also got a full-time career, although not if they are Houses of Multiple Occupancy, which can be much more time consuming.

Richard says the tipping point when a lettings business starts to become more labour intensive is six properties. “My rule of thumb is that I would expect four issues per property to arise every year, so 6 properties would generate 24 issues plus at least one tenant changeover a year,” he says.

“The main challenge with having a larger portfolio if you self-manage is trying to carve out time away from work. It’s not uncommon to land on some far away shore relieved to be away from it all, only to receive a flurry of repairs emails from tenants.”

Richard says his business model is to buy wrecks at auction, refurbish them to a high standard and then let them to professionals or working families. 

“I find this reduces the likelihood of issues and churn between tenants that I could get if I let properties by the room,” he says.

“I have mostly Victorian houses and they do tend to throw up repairs a little more often, though I know newbuild flats can throw up just as many problems.”

At KFH we believe this is where a professional letting agent can add value, particularly for those who work full-time but need a helping hand to manage their growing portfolio.

Speak to our Property Management team to discuss how we can help manage your portfolio

About our expert View all posts by this expert

Duncan Blakelock Regional Lettings Director at Central London

Duncan joined KFH in 2005 and, following years of successful management and revenue growth at branch level, progressed to Regional Lettings Director of our Central London branches in 2016. Duncan is a sport and car fanatic and when not at work can either be found on the football pitch, tennis court, wakeboarding lake or racetrack. 

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