Azad Ayub Ltd

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Azad Ayub Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.azadayub.co.uk

43AZAD AYUB LTD |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Owner and Director Azad Ayub
Our team at our north
London office
Azad Ayub started by buying his first property in 1974.
For the last 45 years, he and his team have operated
mainly across north London, buying and renovating
numerous properties and subsequently renting them out.
Although the team is only comprised of Azad and seven others,
they work with a host of subcontractors and other networks –
their plumbers and builders, for example, have been with the
company for many generations. Testament to their success
is the fact that many tenants stay with them on a long-term
basis; Azad himself has been managing properties for over 35
years, and while he began his business by primarily dealing with
students, he rents properties across a variety of demographics.
My background is in civil engineering – something which helped me greatly when I
got started in the housing and property sector. While the management business is
now everything, over 40 years ago, I was working full-time elsewhere, and merely
managed my portfolio during lunchtimes. Soon enough, the developments and
management were exceeding what I could oversee during a single sitting and I
eventually took it on as a full-time pursuit.
A full operation
Our typical journey with a property encompasses purchasing it, renovating it,
ensuring that it meets our high standards, renting it out and continuing to manage
it. The management and maintenance side is more complicated and generally less
rewarding, but it is still something we fully commit to.
FACTS ABOUT
AZAD AYUB LTD
»Director: Azad Ayub
»Established in 1974
»Based in London
»Services: Property
development, letting and
management
»No. of employees: 8
»Azad’s background is in civil
engineering
Azad Ayub Ltd
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | AZAD AYUB LTD
All properties we manage are gas
and electricity certified so that we can
discern accurate EPC ratings, and we
carry out regular periodic smoke alarm
and carbon monoxide detector tests.
To cope with the influx of housing
legislation, management has become a
big part of what we do, and we have
created our own software platform
to assist in this regard. Although we
began with just a single property,
and at one point reached 200, we
now manage somewhere between 50
and 100 properties in the UK, with
ventures abroad in Spain, the United
States and Pakistan.
Educate your community
I am an incredibly active alumnus
of Imperial and sponsor Friends of
Imperial; their outlook and goal is
always to propagate knowledge of
science and technology within the
community. I’m a massive proponent
of that in kind, and it’s something
the business positions itself around
consequently – not just on a local or
national level, but internationally too.
We sponsor Able Child Africa, and
have been judged as the Best Green
Landlord in London and in the United
Kingdom by the London Landlord
Accreditation Scheme and the United
Kingdom Landlord Accreditation
Partnership. None of this work is
done with any subsidy – all of our
initiatives concerning sustainability
and responsibility are funded from our
ownresources.
Continuity is also important to us.
Remaining a big part of your local area
across generation ties back into our
focus on community at every level –
our electricians, plumbers and builders
have been working with us for years,
and one of our contractors ended up
marrying my secretary some 20 years
ago. We try to stay connected to our
local area and the community – given
the space we operate over, this is
incredibly important to us.
Optimal conditions
We have reached our optimum size,
managing somewhere now between
50 and 100 properties. We are able
to continuously provide good service
within that range for the people that
we work with. At one time, we had
more people employed, as opposed to
using self-employed tradesmen, but
the approach we now have is far more
beneficial for all. Our turnover has
fluctuated over the past 40 years, and
has now settled around a figure we are
comfortable with.
We stay connected to
the local area and our
community
We manage between 50
and 100 properties at
any one time
We spend
appropriately
to make our
properties
attractive for
potential
tenants
45AZAD AYUB LTD |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
This growth has allowed us to acquire
more properties – during our expansion
phase, we were purchasing two
properties a month till we reached our
optimum size. It is important to grow at
a rate that is both tenable and organic,
and with that in mind, we now deal
with properties of all sizes, ranging
from studio flats all the way up to
ten-bedroom houses, all of which are
freehold or on long leases. We spend
appropriately to make our properties
attractive for potential tenants, and
ensure we retain a good standard and
quality across allproperties.
Concerns past, present and
future
Our biggest challenge historically has
been the increase in interest rates.
During the first recession, we spent all
of our money paying off banks, leaving
us with very little in the way of resources
to maintain properties. We downsized
appropriately to remain afloat, and were
thus more prepared for the second
recession. As we had scaled down, a fall
in property prices and other challenges
did not affect us in a material way.
The largest concern recently, however,
has been new regulation with regards
to houses in multiple occupation. We
have invested heavily into upgrading
our properties – installing, for example,
fire doors, smoke alarms and other
safety devices. We have successfully
carried out all required works and
ensured that all of our properties are
now fully compliant.
When it comes to Brexit, we know that a
lot of companies, both in our sector and
elsewhere, are greatly concerned. From
our point of view, however, it actually
will not affect that much – as proven by
our past with the recessions, we have
the capacity to deal with change, which
we haven’t actually noticed that much
in the wake of the referendum decision.
Some contractors have returned home;
those who have were consequently
replaced by others. Even with a
possible shortage of potential tenants
on the horizon, we are confident we
can ride things out. We have always
concentrated on our ability to move
sideways and diversify – the capacity
to focus on different demographics as
required is incredibly important.
Going forward, going public
At present, our focus is maintaining
our current trajectory. We have no
immediate plans to expand, but once
today’s present landscape of uncertainty
settles, we may well change that
outlook. We will always principally focus
on London as the core area for our
business going forward, and any growth
will naturally be organic and sustainable.
The two directors of the company are
my brother Ijaz Ayub and I. Ijaz is a
chartered accountant and an FCA – he’s
based in the USA, where he manages
our portfolio of properties in Dallas. We
have nieces and nephews coming up
who may too be interested in joining
our ranks. We also have long-term
aspirations to see the company go public
– just as long as it remains grounded
in the same kind of sustainable and
community-oriented values we have
always practiced andmaintained.
We have no
immediate plans
to expand, but
once today’s
present
landscape of
uncertainty
settles, we may
well change our
mind
We have grown
organically over our
45-year journey, and our
dedicated team continue
to deliver outstanding
service

www.azadayub.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Azad Ayub Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.