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PF Meets… Leef Property Management

November 29, 2017Article by Kirsty Rose

In the latest instalment in our PF Meets series, we chat with Joe Knowles, Director of Leef Property Management, the Yorkshire-based experts who will be managing the apartments in our brand new, buy-to-let investment – Martins Mill, Halifax.

Leef has been appointed as the managing agent for Martins Mill, can you tell us a little about your experience as a management company?

Leef has been trading for almost 3 years now. In this time we have been appointed on over 1,000 properties to let and manage on behalf of developers and the clients of investment companies across the U.K. We are very familiar with developments of a similar size to Martins Mill and having worked with Mandale on 7 previous projects, we know exactly what to expect. Our team are very excited to be taking this project on board.

What services do you offer landlords looking to rent out their properties?

99% of our clients are what we call ‘arm chair investors’, people who are busy in their own careers and need a management company to take care of every aspect of their investment, making sure their returns are maximised. Our fully managed service covers everything from marketing and finding a suitable tenant to completion of all the admin, including full tenant referencing, deposit registration, tenancy agreements and full professional inventories. We take care of any maintenance issues for you, inspect your property quarterly, keep full rental accounts and also have a rental insurance policy ensuring that once your property is occupied, revenue is never missed out on.

What makes Leef different from other management companies?

In our eyes, our business model is simple and while most agents may offer similar services, the drive and passion in how we deliver our service differentiates us. This has set us apart from others and enabled us to win instructions on a number of large developments. We have a high volume of repeat business from our existing clients; these are our favourite instructions (along with referrals) giving us proof that our team is delivering on every level. For us, customer service and communication is the key, if you get this right it is likely you will succeed in lettings and management.



Have you managed rental properties in the Halifax area before?

We have another full development of a similar size in Halifax not far from Martins Mill. We also manage a number of terraced properties in and around this area for clients with property portfolios. 

What makes Halifax such a great town for renters?

Halifax has had significant investment in recent years really reinventing the town centre, most notably the new cultural quarter being created in the Piece Hall. These regeneration works are making Halifax a very attractive place to live.

Is the current rental market in Halifax buoyant at present?

We have always found Halifax to be an excellent buy-to-let market and this is vital. From a yield perspective, the numbers here work extremely well on paper, we see a number of deals that work well on paper but in reality the demand is not there, whereas on our sites in Halifax we have had a lot of success and minimal voids.

Why do you feel Martins Mill will be so attractive to those looking to rent in Halifax?

When a development is delivered to a town there is always interest. We believe particularly with Martins Mill there will be such high demand due to its close proximity to local amenities and the size of the apartments is noticeably generous. 

What would you say would be the typical tenant at Martins Mill?

This style of development in a town like Halifax will always attract young working professionals. Fully furnished one bedroom apartments are the ideal first home for someone looking to move away from their parents and find their feet. In addition to this client base, the developments will also appeal to contractors working in the area who need a base to stay through the week.

How much do you expect apartments at Martins Mill to rent for?

We have priced the apartments at Martins Mill starting at £450 PCM, going up to £600 PCM depending on square footage. There is a range of 1 and 2 beds in different styles giving renters a great selection

Can you tell us a little more about your rental guarantee product? How does it work?

Our rental insurance product is extremely popular and one that we strongly recommend clients to take. The cost of the policy is minimal and it protects all of your rent through the tenancy, meaning if a tenant doesn’t pay their rent you are fully protected and it can all be claimed back. The policy also covers any legal expenditure which gives our clients peace of mind. As part of our fully managed service, we facilitate and manage the whole process on your behalf.

What are the typical costs for rental management that landlords should budget for?

Fees usually range from 7-10% of the rental collection which Landlords should budget into their monthly costs and build into their P&L. If fees are over 10% I would question this; likewise if they are under 7% there is the possibility of corners being cut somewhere. I also think it is a good idea for landlords to build in a sink fund for ongoing repairs that might crop up later down the line. However, on new build purchases this isn’t as important.

What would be your top tip for any landlord looking to rent their unit out?

Ensure you leave your asset in good hands, with a company that care as much about your property as you do.

Leef are the property managers for our latest buy-to-let development in Halifax – Martins Mill.

  • 1-bed apartments from £64,950
  • Invest from £16,238
  • 8% return insured for 12 months
  • Award-winning developer with a strong track record
  • Fully managed by local rental management company
  • Exclusively available to Property Frontiers clients


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