Castle-inhabiting entrepreneur and 300-property landlord Emma Manners, the Duchess of Rutland, gives away some of her portfolio management secrets.

While many landlords are relying on a mortgage holiday to keep afloat as their tenants struggle financially, one of the country’s high-profile property owners has told a national newspaper that all of her 300 tenants have paid up on time during the crisis.

The Duchess of Rutland, Emma Manners (pictured), runs her property empire from Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, renting out houses and cottages in towns and villages around the estate, as well as in neighbouring Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

Her stately pile has appeared in TV series including The Crown and its owner recently promoted her own branded gin.

Manners has told The Daily Telegraph that her lack of money worries is due to extremely loyal tenants – some of whom have been renting from her family for 50 or 60 years.

- Advertisement -

While the noblewoman had worried that Covid-19 might impact their finances, she’s yet to experience a single late payment compared to a 10-20% rates in the wider market.

Vetting procedures

Her comprehensive vetting procedure, conducting interviews herself rather than relying on others to choose tenants on her behalf, is another positive says Manners.

“I interview all the tenants and find out where they’re from and about their lives. We try to make a community, such as inviting them to harvest festival and carol services every year. We’re an extended family.”

Keeping existing tenants happy has also helped her avoid costly void periods without a rental income. 

She says: “When you have a portfolio of properties it’s always about the down time between tenants, so we always look for people who want to be here for the long term and want to settle. I don’t like the churn, that’s my key rule.”

That churn can be reduced by continued investment in properties, and not raising prices to the point stable tenants choose to look elsewhere, she helpfully advises.

Subscribe to LandlordZONE

4 COMMENTS

  1. There’s nothing special about that story. My tenants have all paid their rent in full during this pandemic, I chose my tenants carefully and maintain the properties, as do many landlords. I don’t live in a castle, just an ordinary house as do my tenants.

    The only difference I see is that I don’t invite them to religious and other festivals.

  2. Or more likely: ‘I only choose well off tenants who still have funds during the pandemic.’ What has loyalty got to do with the ability to meet living costs? Some people live on another planet to most!

  3. Ditto Sheena Maddock, as many Landlord are in a similar position.

    Us included, as we consider ourselves lucky to have such outstanding Tenant’s, and with being concerned with regards to their rent commitments.

    Matter of fact, we soon decide to say thanks by reducing their rent, knowing they had money issues, our hope was that this helped to get back onto an even kiel.

    Yes, contrary to public opinion; there’s only a small percentage of Landlord that are, well cruddy 😉

  4. Yet it is to my understanding that you all dont take housing benifit during a pendemic your sure to be paid. Saddly yes there is a stigma attached and true alot of garbage but if you have an ounce of common sense you could choose well some ppl can get up to £400 a month and claim up to £1200 a month duchess want to rent me a place please

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here