The rental market is booming, with many landlords considering getting in on the action. Whether you are a first-time landlord with no experience, or a go-it-alone landlord who has had enough of dealing with hassles like weekend maintenance calls, engaging a property manager or property management company to take care of your tenants and your property can be the perfect solution. Here we look at the benefits of using a property manager for landlords.
What do Property Management Companies do?
Property Management companies deal directly with tenants and prospects, saving you the time and worry of self-managing your rental marketing, maintenance, rent collections, tenant complaints, and more. Plus, a great management company brings valuable experience, giving you the peace of mind of knowing that your investment is in safe hands.
Here are some of the key ways in which it pays for a landlord to have a property manager.
Better tenant screening
First impressions are not always accurate, and even the most honest looking of candidates can prove to be difficult tenants. This is why letting agents and property management companies always take potential tenant screening very seriously. A good company will conduct credit checks and evaluate an applicant’s references to ensure that they have the best chance of taking on a reliable, responsible and respectful tenant. A tenant who takes care of your property and pays their rent on time is not only a win for you, but it creates a lot less work for your property management company, too.
Faster occupancy rates
It is your property management company’s job to help you to achieve the very best possible financial return on your property. To accomplish this, they need to make sure that your property is occupied with quality, reliable paying tenants as quickly as possible.
At the end of a tenancy, a quality property management company will also work through a set of processes to efficiently check your tenants out of the property, ensuring that it is left in optimal condition. If it isn't, they will work with you to take the necessary steps to rectify any issues to make your property ready for the next tenants as quickly as possible.
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Ensuring legal safety requirements are met
- There are a number of important safety and legal regulations that must be met before a property can legally be let. These include:Electrical inspections (EICR)
- Energy performance certifications (EPC)
- Legionella risk assessments
- Landlord gas safety inspections
- Carbon monoxide detector standards
- Smoke/heat detectors standards
A property management company will provide advice regarding all up-to-date safety regulations and can assist you in arranging the necessary checks to be conducted to ensure that your property is safe and fully compliant. They can also assist by coordinating any work that may be required to resolve any issues that surface.
Better property maintenance
When a problem arises in your property, such as the heating not working or a burst pipe, it is important that action is taken quickly. If you are busy, working or away on holiday, it can be difficult for you to manage it, and it can also be hard to find the right person to handle the problem.
A property management company has access to a network of qualified tradespeople they can contact to solve whatever problems may arise. At Portico, we actually have our own in-house team of tradespeople. They will also manage the task of liaising directly with your tenants to arrange a suitable time for the property to be accessed by the relevant tradespeople so that they can carry out the repairs. As our offices are open 8am - 7pm, tenants are able to drop their keys off before or after work at their convenience so we can carry out the necessary work.
Additionally, your property managers will also carry out regular periodic inspections to ensure that the general standard of your property’s condition is being maintained by your tenants throughout the duration of their lease.
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Higher rental returns
Letting agents and property managers understand the property market and keep a very close eye on the demands and market conditions in your local area. They will be able to determine the current rental value of your property quickly and the lucrative areas to invest in a buy-to-let. They can also advise you on some easy ways to ensure that your property can realise the maximum rental income, such as carpet replacement or redecorating, or even through what expenses to include with your tax return. They can even liaise with the relevant tradespeople to carry this work out for you.
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Making sure rent is paid on time
A key concern for many property owners is ensuring that rent is collected on time, every time. This is where engaging a property management company can be particularly handy, as they can act as a buffer between you and your tenants when it comes to late-payers.
Property management teams are familiar with these situations and can usually implement strategies to resolve the issues in a professional manner, avoiding the problem escalating and/or becoming personal. They can also pursue evictions and start legal proceedings on your behalf on the very rare occasions that this action is necessary.
Avoiding face-to-face communication with tenants
Appointing a property manager as your tenant’s point of contact can ease a good deal of the stress that comes with being a landlord. All interactions with tenants can be dealt with in a professional manner and protects you from any awkward or confrontational conversations regarding late rent payments, unreasonable property damage or evictions etc.
Drafting a robust tenancy agreement
A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your tenants. It serves to protect your property, sets out your legal obligations and that of your tenants, and helps to prevent a myriad of potential disputes from happening in the future.
A property management company can assist you in drawing up a contract tenancy agreement for your rental property. This document will contain standard items such as the tenancy start date, when the rent is due, how much it is, and the relevant notice periods that must be given. It will also contain any items pertaining to your particular property, such as whether or not you permit pets, etc. New tenants will not be given any keys to your property until they have signed and agreed to all of this documentation.
Do you need a property manager?
Choosing the path of property management over going it alone is a big decision, and it is not for everyone. For many, though, the advantages far outweigh the costs.
If you do decide to engage a property management company, it is important to understand that not all companies offer the same level of service. So, take your time and do your due diligence before deciding on the company that best suits your needs.
And before you do decide, be sure to consider the property management services we offer here at Portico! We have a suite of property management services available to assist landlords - from help with the essentials, through to a uniquely personalised concierge service designed to take every last hassle out of being a landlord. Call us today on 020 7099 4000 and find out how we can help you.