Property management companies oversee the maintenance, administration and operation of rental properties. Their precise role will vary, depending on the management agreement, the types of properties they manage and their fees. Examples of their work include advertising properties to find tenants, rent collection, covering overheads and taxes while keeping rents affordable, and adhering to rental rules.
These companies are in charge of the physical upkeep of properties, including emergency repairs and ongoing maintenance. Often, they manage the budgets for buildings and keep vital records for tax purposes.
Whether you have recently become a landlord or have been renting out properties for years, enlisting the services of a property management company is highly recommended. This is particularly true if you are sick of handling maintenance calls over the weekend. Hiring one of these companies will make your life easier in several ways. Here are 5 reasons landlords need a property management company to bear in mind:
1) Faster Rates of Occupancy
A property management company will pull out all the stops to prepare your property for tenants. They will check that it is presentable and satisfies all legal criteria. Then, they will list it on well-known letting websites, so lots of prospective tenants will see it. When a tenancy comes to an end, a reputable company will help tenants leave promptly and ensure that your property is kept in good condition. If necessary, a management company will carry out repair work, so new tenants can move in straight away.
2) More Trustworthy Tenants
Screening tenants can be rather challenging, and – if you are an inexperienced landlord – you could select an unreliable tenant. The primary issue with unreliable tenants is that they might not want to leave your property, once you decide you want to replace them. Established property management companies use screening processes that have stood the test of time. This allows them to choose tenants who will pay their rent on time, rent long-term, cause minimal damage to your property and behave well.
Property management companies that have been in business for years will have processed countless tenant applications. As a result, they can analyse data about prospective tenants quickly and spot warning signs. Using such a company to deal with tenant screening also protects you from rental scams designed to defraud landlords.
3) Reduced Maintenance Expenses
Suffice to say, there will be occasions when technical issues arise on your property. For example, the dishwasher might malfunction, or the boiler could break down. In these situations, it is important to act fast – however, this is hard to do if you are busy, taking a weekend break or at work. Also, it can be hard to find a qualified person to resolve the issue. A property management company will have its team of maintenance staff, who can keep the appliances in your property working correctly. This is a more cost-effective option than using third-party contractors. Better still, the maintenance staff will get to know the tenants and make sure that every problem is handled professionally. Tenants will appreciate it if you keep everything in good working order, and doing this also preserves your property’s value.
4) Compliance With Safety Laws
Before you can let your property out to tenants, there are several safety measures you have to take. For example, you require an EPC (energy performance certificate), an EICR (electrical inspection), a Legionella risk assessment and a gas safety inspection. Also, you need the right quantity of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Property management companies are familiar with all existing safety legislation and can organise the right inspections to be done. Also, they can carry out the work necessary to address any problems that are discovered. This way, you can be sure that your property complies with the law.
5) Less Paperwork and More Convenience
Often, a property management company will provide financial services to a landlord. This could include arranging payments for the insurance, mortgage, lawyers and tradesmen. Also, they will produce reports each year, detailing a rental property’s expenditure and income that landlords can use on their tax returns. These companies can help landlords record their taxes and advise them about relevant deductions. The reports show the monthly profits made from each property in a landlord’s portfolio.
Expenses that have been incurred during the tax year are itemised on these reports. Moreover, a property management company can send landlords records of invoices, expenses and receipts for the tax year. This is also extremely helpful for tax reporting. Hiring a good management company minimises the chance that you will get something wrong and leave yourself exposed to legal action.
Outsourcing the management of your rental property to a third-party is not a decision to be taken lightly. However, if you opt to do this, it is vital to be aware that different companies provide different levels of service. For this reason, you should shop around and thoroughly research each company before deciding which one to hire. Rest assured, once you find a reputable company, you will never want to go back to managing your property.