Property Management Agencies Need To Help Landlords

Property Management Agencies Need To Help Landlords

The management of the property can cover a large range of things for example maintaining the upkeep of the property all the way to collecting rental fees off occupants, insurance and the organising of annual gas safety checks.

As there are many responsibilities for the landlord to cover especially when a large property portfolio is involved, it is recommended that they employ a property manager to help cope with the workload or where the landlord may not have much experience.

Property management services are a great way to take the stress of management a property away from the landlord, so if you’re a landlord and are struggling with the management of your property this guide will tell you what you need to know about property management.

When would I need a property management agent?

Usually when a landlord is looking to rent out a property but didn’t know the procedures, laws and best ways to go about the process. A property management agency helps them so they can make the best deal possible whilst following the correct guidelines. This can also apply to a person that owns a large estate or property and cannot manage all the small properties on the land which they would like to rent out individually.

What do property management agents do?

Similarly, to management roles in other industries, a property manager is responsible for all the tasks that come with the ownership of a property or properties and what the landlord has asked them to cover.

The most important role that the property manager will assume is the acting liaison between the landlord of the property and the tenants who are renting from them. This means that one of their main tasks is to take on responsibility of the litigation in any circumstance. Sometimes a solicitor with more specific knowledge may be required but usually the property management firms have their own. However, the management agents will be trained in most legal proceedings and therefore it is very rare a solicitor is needed in your case.

In addition to this the agent is responsible that all maintenance repairs are carried out on the properties to the standard the landlord expects. This includes anything fro broken blinds to leaky radiators. Typically the property management agency will have an agreed excess with the landlords or will call up for each maintenance job prior to carrying out the repairs. It is also a legal requirement for the landlord to carry out a gas safety check and the property management agency should help landlords with organising this.

If the property is a commercial one, then the agent can be responsible for the hiring and firing of any employers who go to work there and may be given sole responsibility of this, or the proprietor may wish to be active in these processes.

The property management agency will also be responsible for advertising your property and trying to acquire interest into it. They will produce particulars about the property, which will require them coming to inspect the property and conducting a survey of it so that an accurate description can be produced. In this way, some of the duties of a property management agent are similar to that of an estate agent or surveyor.

What qualifications to look for

If you are a landlord of a rural property or owner of a large plot of land, then you will need to employ a chartered surveyor also known as a land agent. These agents will have taken exams that are accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, meaning they will have been examined by the terms of this institute. All the surveyors who have passed this exam and graduated through these colleges/universities will become MRICS.

For urban lettings you should be looking for an agent qualified by Technical Award in Residential Lettings and Property Management (TARLPM) which has recently been produced by The Association of Residential Lettings Agents

Where to find a property management agency

There are a few ways of finding a property management agent that will be suitable for your situation. You can find some as follows:

  • There are many property management agencies situated on your high streets. If you walk in and explain your situation, they will be able to help and offer their services.
  • If you are buying a large plot of land or property your estate agent will often recommend a suitable property management company who will be able to deal with your situation. Often larger firms will deal with all aspects of the property as they will have a property management sector as well as the estate agent department.
  • We recommend looking at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors website and the Association of Residential Letting Agents which gives you a list of all agents who are MRICS and TARLPM. This means all the agents details you obtain will be sufficiently qualified, however you will not know their reputation.

What to ask

When you are with the agent it is key to ask the right questions so here a few to give you an idea:

  • What are the chances of finding a tenant for my property?
  • Will you deal with aspects of litigation yourself or hire a solicitor?
  • What are your fees?
  • Are you appropriately accredited?

Who does the responsibility of Gas Safety falls under?

It is a legal requirement Gas appliances and flues must be safety checked annually by a qualified gas safe registered engineer. However, with the new regulations introduced in April 2018 landlords are now allowed to arrange gas safety checks to be carried out anytime between 10 – 12 calendar months after the previous gas safety check, whilst still preserving the original expiry date.

But whose responsibility is this, the landlord or property management agent?

The responsibility of carrying out the maintenance and safety check duties and the keeping of associated records should be clearly specified in the contract between the landlord and property management agent. If the contract specifies that the agent has responsibility, then the same duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 that apply to a landlord then apply to the agent.

To arrange a gas safety check you can contact us for a free quote.