A Guide to Property Management
As a landlord, you may have come across the term ‘property management’ and wondered what it entails and if it might work for you. This guide will help demystify the world of property management and help you to determine if it’s right for you.
Property Management: A Definition
Property management is the oversight of maintenance for properties by a third-party contractor also incorporating tenancy management. Services usually include day-to-day repairs, security and general upkeep of properties including property inspections. Property management services can be used for residential, commercial and industrial properties such as shopping centres and offices.
What is Typically Included?
The duties of a property manager are varied depending on the type of property they are managing.
In the residential world, a property manager will typically set and collect rent, screen tenants, maintain the property, set and manage the budget for the property and maintain rental property records.
In addition, they must understand legislation when screening tenants to ensure they do not fall foul of anti-discrimination legislation and several other pieces of law, including deposits, evictions, lease terminations and making sure the property meets all safety standards.
Benefits of Property Management
Employing a property manager or agent removes a lot of stress from renting your property. It allows you to focus your time less on managing your properties and tenants and more on making your money work for you. These are some of the reasons why using a professional property management company/agent can help you:
- Good quality tenants – A good property management company can screen prospective tenants by thoroughly checking their financial and rental history. Often a laborious process for landlords, expert property managers can quickly use their expertise to raise potential red flags.
- Long-term tenants – Good long-term tenants are a dream for landlords. Knowing the rent will arrive on time every time provides you with security, and a happy tenant can often become a long-term tenant. Property managers can help you build that relationship with your tenant by ensuring any repairs are undertaken quickly and efficiently and dealing with any queries the tenant may have.
- Rent collection – It can be awkward having to chase up late rental payments, especially if your tenant is a serial late payer. A property management company can act as a buffer between you and your tenant, chasing up collections and applying additional fees if necessary. Should the worst-case scenario arise, they can also handle evictions using the letter of the law. More importantly we have found that managed property stock is less likely to suffer late payments.
- Maintenance and repairs – As well as handling all maintenance and repairs to the property, a professional property management company will have a list of fully licensed and insured contractors who can undertake the repairs when needed. This provides you with peace of mind that reputable contractors work on your property. They will often offer excellent pricing deals due to the historical working relationship saving you money.
- Increase the property value – Using the expertise provided by a property management company can save your money and potentially increase your property value. They will undertake regular inspections of your property, looking for potential faults and taking early preventative action, when required, to stop issues from turning into problems.
Choosing the Right Agency
Once you’ve decided that using a property management company is right for you, it is essential to find one that will provide you with the best possible service.
If you have friends with a property portfolio that they have professionally managed, it is worth asking them for recommendations. It is equally worthwhile asking any tenants you know that deal with a property management company for their thoughts.
Have a look at online reviews and find an agency with positive reviews from landlords and tenants alike.
Once you’ve shortlisted a few companies, have a deeper dive into their reputation. See if you can find out about any properties they’re currently managing to see if they’re in good repair. Find out what their fees are. Do they charge a percentage of the monthly rent or a flat fee? What do they charge if the property is empty or some rooms are vacant in an HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy)?
Find out how long they’ve been working as a property management company and what type of properties they have managed. Perhaps most importantly, get an idea of their communication levels. Do they respond quickly to your queries, and is their communication clear?
Professional Property Management at Regal Estates
Regal Estates is based in Willesden Green and has 25 years of expertise in property management services covering the NW10, NW2 and NW6 postcodes.
We currently manage hundreds of properties for various clients ranging from single property investors and accidental landlords to portfolio investors, ex-pat landlords with property in London as well as property developers.
Through My Property File, we manage all communications with you, the landlord, and the tenant with complete transparency. This enables you to report issues, access rental statements, track payments and invoices, follow up on maintenance work and review your tenancy agreement.
We are currently members of ARLA Propertymark and SafeAgent and have an experienced team of in-house property managers waiting to help you now.
Property Management FAQs
Q: Is property management right for me?
A: If you are finding you don’t have the time to commit to managing your rental properties yourself, then property management is ideal for you.
Q: Is property management expensive?
A: Property management comes with a fee, which will vary dependent on the size of your property portfolio. This may be a percentage of the monthly rent or a fixed fee. However, as a business expense, any prices for complete management services are tax-deductible.
Q: What is the difference between property management and block management?
A: Property management is the management of individual dwellings, while block management is the management of leasehold residential properties on behalf of the freeholder or leaseholder. This will include collecting ground rents, and service charges for the block, maintaining communal and external areas, and ensuring the block meets health and safety standards. At Regal Estates, we also offer a comprehensive block management service for freeholders/leaseholders.
Q: Can you get an HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) property professionally managed?
A: Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO Property Management) is a specialist area. Some property management companies will offer license consultancy and feasibility studies and help to convert the property into an HMO. Once the HMO is ready for market, the property manager will provide advice on room rent rates, marketing, finding tenants and continuing to manage the property.
Regal Estates offers HMO management in North West London.
Q: Can a portfolio of properties be managed by the same company?
A: Yes, in most cases a portfolio of properties can be managed by the same property management company – you’ll just need to ask. At Regal Estates, we also specialise in medium to large portfolio management services across North West London, contact us today for more details.