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Meet the Landlord: Gavin Wise 

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Hartlepool-based landlord Gavin Wise has built a portfolio of 32 properties in the past eight years, focusing on three-bed family homes. He gives us his top five tips.

Paragon Bank customer Gavin Wise has built a lettings portfolio of 32 properties in Hartlepool, North East England, over the past eight years. Gavin, who also owns an independent financial advisory business, plans to add a further six properties in the next two months and has an ambitious goal to nearly double the size of his portfolio over the next two years.

He gives us his top five tips to developing a portfolio successfully.

Invest locally

All of my properties are within the Hartlepool area. I know this market inside out, I know what’s happening in the local economy, I know what my tenants want and I know what works well for them. Some landlords will invest miles away chasing better returns but that is not for me. I like to be near to my properties to be on hand if any issues arise.

Know your target tenant

All of my properties are three bed family homes. My tenants tend to be under the age of 35 with young children, or young professionals. I buy properties with this tenant group in mind because I know they are generally good tenants who maintain the property and keep up with rental payments. I typically look for homes with gardens, parking spaces and maybe something additional, such as a conservatory.

Build reliable contacts

I have been fortunate to develop good relationships with reliable tradespeople who do the maintenance work on my properties. If my tenant has a faulty boiler, I want somebody I can trust who can do the job quickly, effectively and at a reasonable price. The same goes with my professional services contacts, such as solicitors.

Always consider the yield

I always invest to consider the yield, with the capital appreciation coming second. I know I can acquire cheaper property and benefit from greater capital gain potential, but I find there are generally greater issues with non-payment and void periods at that end of the market. I seek a solid, sustainable return, borrowing sensibly to achieve stronger yields.

Invest in your tenants and they will invest in you

I aim to develop good relationships with my tenants and I have only had one bad tenant experience in eight years of letting property. I am always available at the end of the phone for my tenants, they communicate directly with me or my team and not via a management agent and I react quickly to any issues. I always try to keep rents fair and consistent, and it’s an approach that has paid off.

I enjoy strong renewal rates and also find my tenants invest in the property, such as decorating or making improvements here and there.

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