When deciding whether to engage professional help or to oversee your rental property yourself, it’s helpful to answer the question – what does a property management company do?
A property management company oversees a rental property on the behalf of the landlord. Their role includes collecting rent from tenants, taking responsibility for day-to-day repairs, and managing the overall maintenance of a property.
In this blog, we highlight what a property management company does, the reasons their services might be of benefit and how to find a good one to take care of your investment.
Key responsibilities of a property manager
A property manager has certain key responsibilities including interacting with tenants as the landlord’s representative, ensuring a property meets industry standards, fulfils legal requirements, and that the necessary paperwork is in place, dealing with all tenant-related issues, overseeing maintenance of the property, keeping to a budget, and communicating with landlords.
For landlords who lead busy lifestyles, those who are not local or simply feel that they do not know enough about letting property, a professional property manager can fulfil an important role.
Why use a property management company?
There are a few key reasons to use a professional management company if you own a rental property:
- Ensure legal requirements and safety standards are met – Property management companies are up to date with industry standards and legal obligations meaning they ensure their landlords and the properties they manage fulfil requirements. Keeping up to date with the latest rules and regulations without expert guidance can be challenging.
- Effective maintenance solution – Rental properties must be well maintained, not just to be compliant but also to ensure tenants are happy in their homes.
- A clear line of communication – Instead of a landlord having to ensure they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year, should their tenants need to reach them, a property management company can assist tenants with their needs in a professional and timely manner, connecting with the landlord when necessary.
- Management of rent collection – Ensuring tenants pay on time and in full is an extremely important part of a property manager’s role. Horton and Garton’s team do offer a stand-alone rent collection service should a landlord not wish to engage with full property management.
- Boost rental value and appeal – Happy tenants stay in a property for longer, meaning fewer void periods, and they are often willing to pay a higher rent for a property that is well managed for peace of mind.
- Save time and often money – Amongst the reasons to engage a professional property management company, is the benefit of saving time and often money too. Relieving a landlord of their duties to be on standby around the clock.
What are the signs of a good property management company?
Expertise, communication, professional standards, reputation, and competence are all signs of a good property management company and attributes you should seek when deciding who to engage to oversee your rental property.
A recommendation is of course the best way to find a property management company. Knowing someone who has tested their services and would gladly recommend them is of course ideal but not always a possibility if you don’t know any other landlords in the area.
Do we need a property management company?
When deciding whether you need a property management company there are several key points to consider:
- How much time do you have available to dedicate to the property and the tenants? Will you be available at 6 am on Sunday morning in the dead of winter when the boiler breaks and an emergency plumber needs to be arranged? Assistance can be required at any time of the day year-round.
- Proximity to the rental home and the ability to visit and conduct inspections when necessary – if you live miles away or even in a different country it might not be easy for you to check on the property as often as is recommended, or if you have a time difference to contend with it can be even harder to be available to communicate with tenants and make arrangements for repairs, or ongoing maintenance as is needed.
- Your knowledge of the industry standards, legislation and required paperwork – with new rules and regulations coming into effect almost annually, keeping on top of exactly what is needed and ensuring a property is fit to let can be time-consuming and costly if not completed correctly.
- Local contacts – you’ll need a good black book of contacts who can help with any maintenance. Finding trustworthy local businesses can take time. By comparison, a property manager will have built their own list of suppliers and tradespeople over the years who can be relied upon when needed.
If there’s a question mark over the above points it might be worth thinking about working with a professional company.
BENEFITS OF A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY
Stay up to date and compliant with legislation
Legal requirements for landlords can be complex and ever-changing. Failure to follow these may result in ramifications. Partnering with a property management company will ensure that you remain up to date and compliant with the relevant regulations and that your property and tenants are safeguarded.
It’s crucial to conduct thorough tenant screening while searching for a good tenant.
A property management company will have a reliable and verified screening process which will help them to identify suitable tenants more quickly and spot any red flags in their applications. By doing so, you can avoid the risk of renting to bad tenants, facing lawsuits, or falling for scams.
A property management company will collect and pay your rent at an agreed date every month. However, there may be times when a tenant has a problem paying rent on time. If this problem arises, a property management company will manage these disputes on your behalf and take the appropriate steps, saving you time and stress.
A property management company will be the point of contact for the tenants meaning that any concerns or questions they have will be handled by the property manager and will only involve yourself if necessary.
Maintenance and Repair
When letting a property, wear and tear is to be expected. However, there may be times when unexpected repairs or maintenance issues appear that need to be handled quickly.
A property management company can handle all aspects of property maintenance, from routine repairs to emergency maintenance requests, helping you to take care of the property and any issues that arise promptly using their network of trusted contractors.
Managing Lease renewals
Lease renewals require careful planning and communication to avert disputes between the landlord and the tenant and to ensure a smooth negotiation.
From drafting the agreement to negotiating the lease terms with the tenant, property managers streamline the lease renewal process to help landlords keep their property occupied by a reliable tenant.
Horton and Garton’s services
Horton and Garton offer an exemplary service to local landlords and oversee hundreds of letting properties. There are some key differences between the service we offer and the ‘industry norm’ that are worth noting if you’re considering engaging professional help.
- Spread the cost: Our fees are charged monthly, not in one lump sum at the beginning of the tenancy. This means the cost of letting your property is spread over the term of the rental agreement.
- Dedicated property manager: The ratio of properties per property manager is lower than is usual for London property management companies allowing landlords to have a more personal relationship and ensuring tenants have a dedicated point of contact who knows the property.
- Professional and qualified team: Horton and Garton focus heavily on training their team ensuring their up to date with requirements, and with senior members of the team holding ARLA recognised qualifications, landlords can rest assured that they’re in safe hands.
- 24/7 Assistance: We offer out of hours assistance should something unforeseen arise, whatever the time of day, there is someone available to resolve issues.
Property Management West London
It’s one of the key decisions to make when letting a property, and certainly in the past landlords might have felt they were able to oversee their rental property themselves.
Increasingly though, with strict new guidelines surrounding safety the quality of rental property and more paperwork that must be kept up to date, the services offered by a property management company can lift a burden and make being a landlord a less arduous task.
If you’d like to explore how we can assist with your rental property please do get in touch with us, without obligation.