/ Calling All Landlords in Poland (Warsaw)! - To share knowledge and experience.
I'm a British expat living in Warsaw. I've been investing in the Warsaw property market since 2009/10 focussing on buy-to-let. I've learnt a great deal about the market here but more importantly I'm really interested (could say passionate!) in looking for ways to drive forward what I see as an industry without any uniformity or standards.
Currently there are countless cowboys out there running their properties in questionable to utterly unethical manners. Landlords that can't be bothered to fix a toilet or that systematically look for ways to eat into tenant's deposits to cover their own renovation costs (or they've spent the deposit and can't afford to repay it).
If more experienced landlords were willing to share their knowledge with those of less experience, we can elevate ourselves as a profession/business and leave those that treat tenants as second class citizens to their own demise.
I foresee the following possibilities:
1) Sharing experiences regarding tenant/landlord conflicts and coaching other landlords to resolving issues fairly and perhaps avoiding these issues all together (see point 4)
2) Sharing legal expertise and contract language (I have spent a considerable sum of money on solicitor's fees over the years, drafting what I think are excellent agreements and I would have no qualms sharing them with a group of like-minded people)
3) A tenant black-list as a means of warning each other of genuinely terrible tenants. A list that would be carefully monitored and each addition would have to be justified on an individual basis in order to maintain a fair approach.
4) Deciding on how to choose tenants. What questions to ask, documents to request and when to seek parental guarantees on a joint and severally liable agreement. I ask allot from potential tenants (more than most landlords) and 90% don't have a problem showing me employment contracts or their last PIT (if they're self employed) and having their HR write to me stating the nature of their employment and that they can afford the rent. This in particular is where I think allot of landlords are missing out. You shouldn't be afraid to ask for this sort of information when you are entrusting your property to someone. The procedure is far more invasive in the UK and USA and I think we need to drive this approach forward ourselves, because it seems at this point in time, nobody is going to do it for us.
5) Speculating on the market.... Because that's what I think a lot of us landlords spend our days doing anyway.
These are just a few of the benefits I can see from getting together over a beer or a coffee and discussing the business of lettings and the property market. I want to help people who need it and I also know that I have a lot to learn.
Please let me know if there's anyone in Warsaw that's interested in sharing their knowledge and experience with, or learning from a group of like-minded landlords.