Propery management

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Colinm
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Propery management

Postby Colinm » Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:52 pm

Although I hate the thoughts of someone sleeping in my bed (except Goldilocks of course!), our house in Torre del Mar is unoccupied for a lot of the year.
My good lady says we should rent it out, however we would need someone to clean up after a letting and get it ready for the next arrival, do repairs etc.
Do any of you good people know of services of this type that you could recommend?
What are your views on renting out property especially if you cannot be there to supervise and oversee? (am I turning into a control freak?!)
Thanks for your thoughts!
Colin

Solysombra

Postby Solysombra » Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:58 pm

Colin, there are too many reasons to go into to, but I for one will not be letting out my apartment, I just don't trust people enough!

anyroads
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Postby anyroads » Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:05 am

Colinm,

I have rented out a place in Lincoln in the UK for 6 years, and I have only been in the county twice in my life.

I guess us Clare people are a bit more relaxed about these things.

Anyroads

Solysombra

Postby Solysombra » Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:51 pm

Colinm, briefly, say you get 600€ pm for your apartment, if you do things legally you will have to pay tax, you still have to pay your utility bills etc plus, I'm not sure but I reckon you will get charged about 100€ per clean, which at the end of the day doesn't leave much for you.

The biggest problems of course are the nice people who are "only here on business for a few months" who then do a runner owing you several months rent, don't take my word for it, it happens on a regular basis.

I would never advise anyone what to do with their own property but as I said I would rather leave it empty than take a risk!

Moving Soon
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Postby Moving Soon » Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:41 pm

I was assuming Colin meant holiday rentals rather than long term, as he will still want to use it for his own holidays, and by renting just to family, friends, work colleagues etc you could get a certain amount of rental income if you don't need the rent to finance the cost of the property, whilst minimising the risks - without eliminating them altogether, of course.

100E for a clean - how much do cleaners get paid in Spain, then? If it's that much I will seriously consider it as a new career for pin money once I move out. I can clean my 3-bed 2-bath house in Spain from top to bottom (and I mean clean) in 3 hours including ironing the sheets in 3 hours. Even taking into account business costs if you contract a firm to do it, 100E would be way over the top. I have got a local friend to do mine occasionally if I am bringing guests over to stay and don't want to clean the place immediately I arrive, and she charges me 20E.

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Colinm
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Postby Colinm » Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:29 pm

Yes, I was thinking of holiday/short term rentals. Though even letting family/friends/work colleagues etc. rent, I would still need to have a clean-up before and after.
This place is to be my for my retirement, and I am putting pretty good stuff into it, so I really don't want to be replacing furniture etc too often!
I understand about the tax, utilities etc, its just that the income would help with the mortgage. That's why I am trying to do a 'cost/benefit' excercise and see if the total estimated costs would justify the risk.
I had thought of a local woman ok, but I would need a key holder etc, to meet and hand over keys etc.
I suppose I'll just keep doing the lotto everyweek!

Colin
p.s. To 'Anyroads' - its a long, long way from here to there!

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Chalky
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Postby Chalky » Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:43 pm

Colin,

I've sent you a pm :)

Solysombra

Postby Solysombra » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:20 pm

Moving soon, as I pointed out I really don't know what the cleaning charges are, I am just guessing, but if you say 20€ for a thorough clean then that's good news for me.
In my experience family and freinds usually want it for nothing (because you already own it, they think they should get it for nothing) so you have to be tough with this one, however if you can thoroughly trust the holiday tenants then of course even if you only get a few hundred a time it all helps.
One point to remember, In Many ways Spain is still behind the rest of Europe but when it comes to stinging the public they are catching up fast,
There will soon be legislation (it's not around the corner but it's coming) that will allow the authorities to check your: Telephone accounts, electricity and water usage in order to determine when and how often your property is being used, this is another wayof increasing the tax that you pay, so again one must be careful when renting, thanks for the cleaning tip though, if your estimate is correct then I will be very happy about that 8)

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Postby Valencia_Paul » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:25 pm

Colin,

I'm in the same boat sort-of. I have a Spanish flat that I keep empty when I'm not on holiday there and it has been nagging me that I should make some attempt to get some offset to the mortgage via rentals.

We are in the process of renovating the bathroom and kitchen and then will need to re-furnish. I'm fairly optimistic I could get maybe 10 weeks per year short-term rental. I think long-term rental is possibly more dangerous and I think there is some rule in Spain whereby the tenants get a lot more rights if you go over 11 months.

I think you should easily be able to find a local Brit to do your property management - it is a very popular way for expat Brits to get some cash.
There is always the danger of your pad getting trashed but life carries a few risks!

TC
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Postby TC » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:34 pm

The average going rate for flat cleaning is around €35 in the Benalmadena area.
grass is always greener

Moving Soon
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Postby Moving Soon » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:39 pm

I don't know if 20E is the norm, only what I pay my friend (its what she asked for, I didn't haggle as it seemed more than fair). Probably depends on the area, there are not many rental properties in my area so she only does it occasionally for friends. I've only rented my own house twice but as I said I occasionally ask her to clean for me if I'm bringing family or friends out with me so I don't think the taxman will be after me for that. Public liability insurance is another must if you are renting, obviously, and you need to check if your house insurance cover includes this, as not all policies do.

As for people wanting free holidays, if they come at the same time as me they are welcome as long as they pay their way as regards food etc, but if they want to stay otherwise I have no qualms in saying that I didn't buy it to provide free holidays for other people, and as I am paying 2 mortgages and 2 lots of utility bills, plus Spanish taxes, they need to contribute towards the cost. I do charge them less than a commercial rent because I am not doing it as a business, however.

Solysombra

Postby Solysombra » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:42 pm

That's fair comment 8)

TC
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Postby TC » Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:43 pm

If you are going to rent your Apartment out then by the time you have deducted your upkeep of the apartment, Maintanance, cleaning etc etc then your tax bill will be pretty nominal, I should think.
grass is always greener

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fincalospinos
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Postby fincalospinos » Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:47 pm

I own and rent out a number of properties, and the cleaning charge for a 3 bedroom villa can be anything between €60 - €100. This is because our changeover day, like most other rental property, is a Saturday. This means that most cleaners need to earn their money in one day, and cannot physicaly clean more than 2 or 3 villas in one day.
You can sometimes get cheaper rates for a midweek changeover.
Laundry is also a consideration, we normaly work on €10 per person / week.
Another thing to bear in mind, particularly if it is your own property, things get broken and worn out, so be careful
how you furnish the property and lock away personal items.
Hardworking resident !!

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Raquel
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Postby Raquel » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:57 am

I was contemplating renting out our house but decided against for many of the reasons that solysombre pointed out. For us the negatives outweighed the positives and I’m glad now that I didn’t but I also don’t like the idea of having a house over there idle and am thinking of selling it but its such a big decision and until now never even considered it but I am planning on making a life for us in England so is it worth keeping a house in Spain to use 3-4 weeks of the year?

Moving Soon
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Postby Moving Soon » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:23 am

It's certainly an expensive option Raquel, especially if you have to borrow to buy it as I did. I use my house for at least six weeks a year, preferring to take my holidays in one week blocks so I can get over there regularly and the house isn't left empty for too long especially in the winter. We squeeze in a few extra days here and there by using flexitime or Bank Holidays. A friend who bought near us prefers to go out for 3 weeks at a time but his house is then empty for 6 months at a time, I couldn't cope with that.

However, I took the decision to buy knowing that I wanted to retire there eventually, not just to buy a holiday home. I figured if I waited until I got to retirement age I wouldn't be able to afford to buy then as prices have been going up so fast, and it seems I was right, as the asking prices for similar houses in the same town have almost doubled in 3 years and I could not afford the same thing now.

I wouldn't say I am struggling to pay for it but I certainly have a lot less disposable income than I did before!

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Raquel
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Postby Raquel » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:39 am

Hi Moving soon I haven’t got a mortgage (in spain)luckily and the way I feel right now I cant see myself ever wanting to live in Spain again (I’ve lived there for 6 years) but then I'm thinking what does the future hold? I could sell up and then regret it or I could keep it never use it and struggle here to buy a house and start over from scratch, its a really difficult decision as when we decided to leave we all agreed to keep the house as we had put so much into it and it would be a shame to sell after our hard work but now I'm thinking its a shame not to reap the benefits...whatever I'll do it wont be a quick decision
I know what you mean about the rising house prices they've gone crazy and this is what I'm now worried about here as in the town that we've moved to they've risen on average 20K in the last year. We would be looking at a hefty mortgage while we have an empty house in Spain.

mark
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Postby mark » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:10 pm

I have to agree with fincalospinos with regards charges for cleaning. It also depends on the quality of the cleaning, anyone can 'flick over' a house and charge a small fee. However if you are cleaning for people who have rented the house and paid good money for a holiday then the house should be spotless and this takes time and therefore money. Likewise the people who pay your wages deserve the best. Therefore when pricing up what you are going to charge for a rent take the cleaning/maintenence costs into consideration before coming to a price, not the otherway round and fitting the cleaning etc into the rental (make sense?).

We must be lucky with the people who have rented houses through ourselves, we have not had any problems. Both long and short term. To get round the people who do 'runners' all the long terms are paid for by direct debit on a monthly basis.

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Colinm
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Postby Colinm » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:03 pm

Thanks for your opinions and pm's everyone.
I've kinda made up my mind not to rent and to review the situation again in 12 months.
I'm in the same boat as 'moving soon'. Its a long term view and although there is a mortgage, I don't need to rent out to cover the cost (at present!). Prices have really increased substantially on the east coast, and some of the new builds for the western extention of Torre del Mar are looking at funny money.
As there is no aircon in the house yet, what I have decided to do is start an 'aircon savings club' and anyone (friends and especially family) who use the house can make a voluntary donation to the club. Then in future visits, when the aircon is fitted, they will benefit from their savings and the club will start saving for something else for the house.
Again, thanks to all for sharing your thoughts. I am really pleased that we didn't read of any real horror stories!
Colin


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