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LANDLORD EDUCATION PT 2

How can landlords get a proper property investment and management education?

Last week Property Hawk started it’s exploration into the world of landlord education.

This included looking at the ways landlords can access educational opportunities and some of the courses available. We continue in the second part to evaluate landlords sources of education including what landlords should look out for and give our unbiased view on which courses are worth considering and what are best avoided.

Everything a landlord needs to beat the credit crunch.


Property gurus – BEWARE

There are numerous property gurus out there who claim to have made a million out of buy-to-let and now over whelmed with a sense of generosity they wish to share all their hard found secrets with inexperienced landlords – for a small fee! These property gurus generally act in two ways. Firstly, they try to sell potential property investors a mass of so called educational material for a bargain price. Alternatively they try & hook landlords up with investment properties, which obviously they receive some commission for selling. The question is, if these properties are so good as investments and they are such hard pushing entrepreneurs, why aren’t the property gurus buying them themselves?

Either way, one has to be suspicious about their motives and the quality of any educational content. One so called guru who does stand out as being a good guy is David Lawrenson. A property investor, author and self proclaimed expert on buy-to-let we often publish his articles in the Property Hawk magazine. He writes an entertaining and informative blog on his website www.lettingfocus.com. which keeps landlords updated on the latest developments in the market. His book probably tells most potential property investors/landlords the things that they need to know without costing them hundreds of pounds. For those landlords living in the London area he runs a regular property networking event which is always a useful way for landlords to exchange ideas on property investment.

Generally though, gurus are best to be avoided unless your prime intention is to learn how to be ripped off.

Where do professional landlords go to get their buy-to-let insurance

The Internet
There are a number of landlord websites providing a substantial amount of free information with which landlords can use to educate themselves. Property Hawk has its own Landlords Bible. This is effectively an online encyclopaedia of buy-to-let knowledge which is added to and continuously updated and which provides landlords with all the information they need to manage their properties.

Despite all this information for landlords there are no structured accredited educational courses for landlords. We have however found several courses available through distance learning aimed at potential property developers and property investors. These courses both come with a course text and structured learning programme with tutorial support. The first is provided by the Distance Learning Centre and takes approximately 160 hours to complete and costs £275

The course consists of 19 lessons with set assignments to complete. The qualification is gained from your coursework and there is no exam to complete. On completion of this course students will be awarded with the ASET Level 3 Diploma in Property Development. This award is at an equivalent to A Level or NVQ Level 3.

Alternatively landlords may want to consider Stonebridge Associated Colleges ASET Level 3 course in Property Investment. This course costs £160 & should take approximately 100 hours of study and comes with full tutor support. Students are required to submit a written question paper to the tutor at the end of each of the lessons.

The topics covered by the course are: introduction to property investing, skills required to be a property investor, understanding property, options for investment, devising a strategy & getting started.

For landlords that are serious about property and want to make it their career, they can always consider one of the distance learning courses run by the College of Estate Management . Its’ courses are aimed at students looking at obtaining the skill necessary for a property career via the distance learning route. Most of their qualifications are degree level or above and require a significant time and financial commitment.

Property Hawk Verdict
There is a range of educational resources out there for landlords, but unfortunately the quality is patchy and sometimes the courses are difficult to access. Some of the landlord organisations provide very useful single topic courses to help landlords on specific issues such as letting property or issuing a section 21 notice for possession

The downside of these courses is that they are infrequent and because they are seminar based, their accessibility varies depending on the part of the country that you live in. They are also not cheap, particularly by the time a landlord has factored in transport costs.

Landlords who may be tempted by the offer of FREE course should be wary because the likelihood is that the course provider will want to make money out of you in some other way. There are plenty of sharks out there. The one exception to this that I came across was Russ Whitney, although landlords should be aware that a couple hour introductory course will not tell them much and its real purpose is to draw them in for the advance session.

Universities such as the College of Estate Management offer some very good courses. I have done several there myself including the diploma in property investment. However, these courses are very much aimed at the commercial sector and at degree level or above. This is at a level higher than a landlord needs for being able to run and expand their residential letting business.

There are several distance learning courses which offer structured learning; one for property developing whilst the other is aimed at those interested in property investment.

What is really needed though is a recognised course and qualification that can enable individuals to study all the aspects of property investment including the legal back ground as well as some of the ‘trick of the trade’ in starting and developing a residential investment business. If there is one out there we have missed we would love to know about it. Property Hawk also welcome feedback from landlords on their experiences of courses they have been on. We can then paste those in our new comments section.

In the mean time landlords are FREE to use the Landlords Bible to help them navigate their way through the day to day issues that confronts us all as 21st century property investors.

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