Opal Lettings’ fourth birthday celebrations are in full swing!
Looking back at its beginnings, founder Carole Cooney bought her first property in 1987 at the tender age of 25 in partnership with her husband Paul, just as they were entering the hospitality industry. For the next 20 years they managed hotels pubs and one nightclub around London and East Anglia, and bought and sold the occasional house in the interim. In 1990 they were transferred back to Huntingdonshire. Having fallen in love with the area three years previously, they decided to settle there.
They left hospitality in 2007, and went into employment for a few years. Then in 2012 Carole learned all about property investing from Peterborough’s Progressive Property. She completed most of their courses, including their mastermind course. Paul and Carole had by now bought a few houses and contracted a local High Street agent to manage them.
In 2012 they had a major leak in one of their houses, which cost a lot of money. At the time Carole was busy with her other property interests, but eventually she went into full-time property management knowing that she could do a better job herself to avoid any more expensive repairs in the future.
Carole was on a Property Mastermind course in Marbella in 2016 with her good friend and mentor Fiona Talbot, when Fiona suggested Carole should manage the properties herself and open her own agency. Carole’s only regret was that she didn’t think of it first!
Opal Lettings is now four years old and growing mainly by word of mouth. They pride themselves on giving good old-fashioned customer service to both landlord and tenant customers. They ensure the property is looked after from every angle and have good systems in place to ensure this happens. At time of writing (May 2021) they are celebrating their fourth birthday and have a very special birthday offer meaning if a new landlord takes them up on this offer between now and 31st August, even if the house is not available until the Autumn or later, they will charge them £4 for the first month’s management fee. Also included in the £4 is the set up – tenant find, inventory, viewings, referencing, advertising, deposit, tenancy agreement, adding new tenant to systems, right to rent checks and all relevant paperwork pertinent to the property. Arranging all this involves over 40 hours work which is valued at over £600, but to celebrate their birthday, for a limited time, the charge is just £4. This video explains more:
Landlords, how trustworthy is your letting agent? If you are considering working with an agent, ask to see proof they have client money protection in place. This is a mandatory legal requirement, and helps keep your money protected.
If they can’t fulfil all of this criteria, look elsewhere!
Tenants, avoid the scammers that use Gumtree, Facebook Spare Room and other sites to falsely advertise properties and accept deposits for unavailable properties that they do not own. Please report any such incidents to Trading Standards, your local Council or Action Fraud depending on where you live. Take a screenshot of the advert and all contact names and details.
Remember that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you pay money upfront for a property especially without first viewing it in person. While the Coronavirus situation continues to play out, many viewings are online only. Yes, you can view online, but also check it out on Google Maps and visit the area to see if it really exists. Knock on the door and say you are looking for Mr/s (Owner). Then check with the Land Registry to see who owns it.
Take the landlord’s full name and their home postal address. Then, for the princely sum of £3, you can enter the address of the property you wish to rent on Land Registry, and cross-reference the name and address of the owner.
Do your research, make sure everything tallies up and avoid the scammers.