A specialist property management agent has a number of responsibilities, which may vary depending upon the specific terms of the management contract, plus the individual requirements of the development or property.
Typically, property management companies are responsible for grouped properties such as flats, but they may also manage single properties.
How do you manage property?
There are several key aspects to successfully managing a property portfolio, with legal obligations as well as health and safety considerations for tenants.
Maintaining a property is essential. As a landlord, you are legally liable for the health and safety of your tenants, which requires you to ensure the building in which they are living is structurally sound and safe to inhabit.
The property must be properly insulated, with a safety-approved boiler, heating, plumbing and wiring. You must also ensure there are sufficient refuse disposal facilities, plus well-maintained communal areas, if applicable.
It is in your best interests to ensure any property is well presented and maintained, in order to find and retain reliable tenants. After all, no-one wants to live in a damp, dirty and poorly maintained property.
- Reduce tenant turnover
While ensuring their rented property is well maintained and appealing to live in is essential to retaining your tenants, there are other factors to bear in mind which are important to keep them happy and, ideally, prevent them from moving on frequently.
Once you have found good tenants, it is desirable to keep them, rather than regularly have to advertise for new ones.
Responding promptly to any queries or concerns from your tenants will reassure them that you are a responsible landlord, as will fixing any maintenance issues swiftly and efficiently.
One of the main reasons for tenants to move out of a rented property is experiencing issues with their neighbours or fellow tenants, so ensure you have a thorough process in place when you are choosing prospective tenants. Always ask for references and carry out any necessary checks prior to signing a contract.
- Follow landlord/tenant law
You are legally obliged to adhere to landlord/tenant law when you are renting a leasehold property to tenants.
When managing a leasehold property and renting it to tenants, you must:
- Provide a property that is safe to live in, in a good state of repair
- Return any tenant deposits when their tenancy ends
- Refrain from charging excessive fees
- Not enter the property without first arranging access with the tenant (s)
- Provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate for the property
- Refrain from unfairly evicting a tenant
- Refrain from charging excessively high rent
- Sign a written agreement if a fixed-term tenancy lasts more than 3 years
- Hire a property management company
If you are unfamiliar with property management, you do not have sufficient spare time to manage a property yourself or you have a large property portfolio to manage, consider hiring a specialist property management company.
You can hand the full management of your property to a specialist company, or choose to manage certain aspects yourself. A management agent can do as much or as little as you wish, including:
- Managing repairs
- Property maintenance
- Liaising with residents
- Collecting ground rent
- Managing financial services including year end accounts and service charges
- Advising on compliance matters such as leasehold legislation
- Property project management such as overseeing redecoration and upgrade projects