The average rent in London has risen by 8.9% annually, while the average length of a tenancy has grown to 16.9 months. Combined with capital appreciation (18.5% average across London), it would seem that now is a great time for investors. For many of these landlords however, overseeing a rental investment can be time consuming, so many find the services of a property manager invaluable.
As a property manager, I am always aware that our landlords depend on us to find the right tenant and keep their property well maintained to protect its long term value and guarantee an income. With this in mind, I have to know exactly what is happening in the property market at all times so that I can guide and advise my clients to the best of my ability. Although most people have a basic understanding of what it means to have a property manager look after their investment – overseeing infestations, leaks, gas or electrical problems - they also offer peace of mind when it comes to legal requirements. Many landlords however, are not familiar with these aspects, so here are some key responsibilities of a property manager which highlight the benefits of appointing one:
Day to day:
- Processing of rents and arranging standing orders
- Arranging inventories and ‘check in’ and ‘check out’ reports to protect the investment and the deposit
- If the property is a short let, the property manager is expected to make sure that it is stocked with certain necessities such as linen, crockery and cleaning equipment
- Pre let services where the property manager will assist in ensuring that the property is fit for renting. This includes cleaning, health and safety checks and redecoration/ furniture supply
- Conducting inspection visits to the property twice a year, which should be followed by a comprehensive report with any recommendations which might need to be made to improve or maintain the property
End of tenancy:
- Assisting with an eviction process where required. Being responsible for deposit releases and avoiding falling foul of legislation surrounding deposit negotiations
- Updating the property’s utility providers and local authority when there is a change of tenants
- Being alert of any new regulations affecting landlords and tenants and communicating this when appropriate
- Day to day small refurbishments will also fall under the responsibilities of a property manager, while larger scale refurbishments can also be supervised at an additional fee
- Processing and organising all payments and statements from contractors
- If there is a instance where insurance claims need supervision, the property manager would be the point of contact
What does the future hold for property management?
In recent months, there has been much debate surrounding the lettings market and how to regulate the industry. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, launched a voluntary regulation earlier this year, the London Rental Standard (LRS), where accredited landlords can enjoy peace of mind that they’re complying with the law and offering a good service to their tenants. With obligations increasing yearly for landlords to ensure that their properties are safe, well maintained and compliant, this new regulation is a good way to guarantee just that, and having a property management company on board ensures landlord’s will meet the standards set out.