With guidance from Philip James our rent role increased by £40,000 per annum



I’ve been in the property market for 36 years, first and formally as an estate agent in the north west and then down in London. Now I work as a property developer, on top of being a local landlord in the area. I also professionally manage various blocks of leasehold properties for my clients. 

Orchard Street

We currently own a stunning development of 40 flats called West Didsbury Village on Orchard Street, which my parents developed back in the early 1980s and I now control for them.

Our tenants are mainly professionals, we have no arrears and our average void period is six days.

We would consider ourselves caring landlords, as we always make sure that we put the tenants comfort and standard of living first, before profit. For example, if new handles are required on the kitchen cupboards because the old ones are faded and looking tired, they get replaced. 

We collect our own rents and use a managing agent to let properties and carry out the day-to-day management.


On July 1 last year, Philip James were appointed as the letting agents for West Didsbury Village.

At the time we were very concerned about the professionalism of our previous agents and so we were nervous changing agents.

We had many problems with our previous agents, but mainly it was their poor attention to detail on their administration and paperwork and a distinct lack of signed inventories. They’d always managed to let well with voids similar to our current level at an average seven days. However, the problems were always in the back of my mind – wondering whether they were letting well because the flats were under-priced.


You can’t beat local property market knowledge and being based on the Isle of Anglesey means that for most of the time I am too far removed to really know or keep on top of the West Didsbury lettings market. Even though I carried out my own research on a regular basis you just can’t get to know the market like someone who is working in it day-in-day-out. There were other issues with our previous agents, such as a lack of training for the staff, carrying out repairs without having obtained a price for the work and the level of monthly repair bills just made me feel very uncomfortable. I was also spending considerable time questioning and querying most of what they did. At the time I felt a bit like the primary school teacher with the red pen out.

We knew we needed to change agent but weren’t sure who to go to, aren’t all agents the same – lazy and greedy? What will happen if we move agents? All agents can talk the talk but what happens if we were to change agent and they turn out to be even worse…


Fortunately help was at hand when we received a call from Rob Kennedy (who we’ve known for many years.) Rob asked if he could come over to Anglesey and pitch for our business.

Rob came over with Marc Cox, the new business manager, and I must say they talked the talk but I had a good feeling that they would be able to deliver on their promises.

And what an eye opener it was when I went to visit Philip James letting centre on Burton Road in West Didsbury. For starters, the place looked amazing and secondly, I had no idea that they were so big within the lettings market. I was shocked when I found out they managed 2,000 properties – no wonder they need a team of 35 for that portfolio.

I’m not easily impressed but once I’d met the team at Philip James, I knew, subject to agreeing terms, that they were going to be our new letting agents.

Within six months, our rent role had increased by £40,000 per annum 

What a revelation Philip James turned out to be. Everything they said they’d be, they are and more.

Philip James ensured the handover from our previous agents went smoothly and they immediately got on with the job of ensuring our current rents were at pitched at the going market level, so much so that within six months, our rent role had increased by £40,000 per annum.

A sincere and big thank you to Philip James about whom I can now say they are managing our properties to the highest of professional standards, and there is now very little of my time being wasted on dealing with matters that someone else was being paid to do. Plus I’m much happier with where the 40 flats are at in every respect.

Introducing Julian Wood

Marc Cox talks about his experience with the landlord, Julian Wood.

Landlord name: Mr Julian Wood

Landlord location: Isle of Anglesey

Number of properties: 40

Location of properties: West Didsbury, M20

For availability, please contact Philip James Lettings on 0161 434 5007

“Having negotiated with Julian for a number of weeks, I was delighted to receive the instruction to go ahead and take over the management of the 40 apartments at West Didsbury Village. 

“Having visited each and every property, it was clear that the rents were low, taking into consideration the high level of presentation throughout, and the busy West Didsbury market. We immediately set to work in reviewing rents, making contact with tenants and resolving any outstanding issues left by the previous agent. We set a target and exceeded it within six months. 

“We now hold regular review meetings with the landlord to discuss ongoing maintenance, tenancies, changes to legislation and to plan in advance. If you are a landlord with a property to let, or are considering changing your existing management agent, I would be delighted to meet with you to discuss how we could help. 

Contact me direct on 0161 434 5007, 07900 240 831 or marc@philipjames.co.uk.” 

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