It all began in 2005 when Sue purchased an investment property and arranged for it to be fully managed by a high street letting agent in Kent. She wasn’t happy with the service to say the least, when after just three months the tenant disappeared and she was left with unpaid rent and utility bills and a court date for unpaid council tax as the managing agent had not transferred anything into the tenant’s name. To add to this, the tenant had trashed the brand new apartment. It shocked her just how badly mismanaged her property could be but what was more shocking was that the managing agent still invoiced for the monthly management fee!!
After sorting everything out Sue decided that she couldn’t do a worse job of managing the property herself so she used a letting agent to find some interested tenants, attended the viewings, selected her first tenant and began managing it herself.
She enjoyed it so much that one property then became two, which then became three and more; a mixture of new properties and those that needed complete refurbishment. In 2007 Sue closed her beauty therapy business to concentrate on being a full-time landlord.
Her hard work and dedication paid off, when in 2009, she won the National Landlords Association Property Woman for the South East! She was thrilled and touched to be recognised for her high standards and personal care she gave to her tenants. But that awards ceremony was a game changer in more ways than one. There she met other landlords who had expanded into managing properties for others, and she got chatting to them about it. She liked the idea, and so Kent property management company Carlean was born.
She now owns 25 properties in addition to managing the portfolio on Carlean’s books.
What gets her up in the mornings? She loves viewings. No really, it’s her favourite part! Seeing how people react to the property, discussing how it would/wouldn’t (she will be honest!) work for them. Then she makes sure she’s there on the day that the tenants move in. She loves making a house into a home. She’s the most glamourous letting agent you’ll find bar none, and her properties are a reflection of this too.
She was described by one young girl as a ‘rent mum’! Who do you call when you have a problem that you need sorting out? That’s right, your mum! This description sums her up perfectly, and completely turns on its head the usual stereotype associated with disinterested, unengaged letting agents.
This is what sets Sue apart from the rest, and she’s proud of that. She offers an excellent service for a fair price. She actually doesn’t mind getting the ‘flood calls’, and isn’t fazed by anything – her experience in dealing with builders, solicitors and estate agents over the years means there’s little she can’t handle.
She understands what tenants want from a property to rent in Kent, and she knows first-hand what service a landlord should receive, and that’s what she provides. Because she loves doing it.
In terms of credentials, Sue is a member of the National Landlords Association (NLA) and is registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). She is also a member of the Property Redress Scheme and ‘mydeposits’ Deposit Protection Scheme.