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Is the ‘Landlord Excelius’ an endangered species?

Is the ‘Landlord Excelius’ an endangered species?

Please jump in a time machine with me and travel back 10 years! In the day’s before buy-to-let became fashionable, tenant deposit schemes existed or HMO legislation came in to force, things were very different. If you rented out your property in the UK, without agency help, you could, at a push, manage the entire venture with a good standalone PC and a spreadsheet package like Microsoft Excel. However, fast-forward to the present day – can you really rent out your property with these meagre tools? Is ‘Landlord Excelius’ a quickly disappearing animal?

I suppose the answer to the first question (tools) is NO. There is simply too much information to manage with just one rental property. There’s everything from CORGI certificates to credit reference checks to store. You might say – “Why not get a property management company to do the dirty work?” Well, that’s OK, but if you care about maximising your income and minimising your outgoings, you will always be tempted to be a ‘Landlord Excelius’. Naturally, if you have more than one property, the problem is multiplied!

The raft of legislation over just the last five years has meant a landlord is duty bound to comply with all the legal requirements that mean a property must be safe to live in and also offer a tenancy that is fair to all parties. There is also more emphasis on self-assessment tax than there used to be – hence more work for the landlord!

The other massive obvious fact that has revolutionised this area is…..guess….the Internet. The modern landlord simply cannot operate without it. From checking on credit histories to advertising their property – the Internet has changed life for a landlord completely. It has meant a massive change in the way landlords can get hold of legal documents at the fraction of the cost a solicitor would charge and has enabled them to access a far wider potential tenant market.

So does this mean ‘Landlord Excelius’ is on the verge of extinction? Err….. no, ‘Landlord Excelius’ has simply evolved. Spreadsheets have been superseded by dedicated property management software packages. These new breed of packages emulate the workflow of the modern landlord. They often come bundled with ready to use legal document templates and other goodies.

There are online services that offer the same functionality, but the new breed of ‘Landlord Excelius’ has shunned these services in favour of a landlord software package resident on their PC. Security headaches, privacy of information and the fact that important documents are stored remotely all add to the online service being a second choice.

‘Landlord Excelius’ remains alive and well, but has evolved to be ‘Landlord Dedicana Packagius.

About The Author:

Simon Harris, is Chief Operations Director at Properite Landlord Software http://www.properite.co.uk . He has spent many years in the I.T. profession developing and architecting large systems for major blue chip companies as well

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