Whether you’re new to the world of buy-to-let investment, or you’ve already established a diverse self-managed portfolio, you might have some questions around whether or not a property manager might be able to reduce some of your busy workload. When you speak to other landlords, you’ll likely receive a myriad of different opinions and advice, so knowing what to do can be tricky. That’s why in this guide, we’ll be discussing the benefits of having a property manager, so that you can make the best decision for your investment.
If you’ve recently bought a property, or you’re looking at different properties on the market, then you probably have a good idea of the overall financial value of your new investment. But how does this value translate to the rental market? Simply looking at the price of similar rental properties isn’t always the best way to value your home, so this is one of the biggest benefits of using a property management company.
With extensive resources and qualified in-house valuers, property management teams are far more capable of determining the appropriate rental amount that you should be charging tenants. They’ll be able to do this in the backdrop of the current rental market, while also incorporating future predictions into their final recommendation. By letting the property at the right value, you can attract the very best tenants.
Reliable Payment Collection
When you’re first looking into your options as a landlord, you might be wondering, what are the benefits of using a property management company? By far, one of the clearest bonuses to this approach is the fact that rental payment collection becomes easy. While on paper, your tenants might be a reliable choice, real life isn’t always predictable, and you can often find yourself dealing with situations where tenants haven’t been able to make their payment on time. Rather than trying to navigate the world of arrears and late payments yourself, leave the challenging elements to your property manager, who will be experienced in supporting both tenants and landlords through payment disputes.
Even if you’re worried about taking your first steps into the world of letting to tenants, or you’re concerned around the security of your finances, using a property management service like UpperKey gives you a lot of additional options that you wouldn’t be eligible for in the private rented sector. For example, you can opt into the guaranteed rent program through where six months’ rent is paid upfront, regardless of whether the property itself is actually occupied or not. For increased peace of mind, UpperKey do a great job of managing your home and reducing your business risk level.
Even the most careful tenants can sometimes run into maintenance issues, like broken appliances or unavoidable emergencies. Another of the benefits of a property management system is that in these instances, your designated property manager will keep on top of any repair requests for you, and one of the benefits of being a property manager is the dedicated training that is provided to source reputable and reliable contractors.
Ultimately, most landlords don’t have the specific experience or training needed to quickly resolve emergency or unexpected repairs, which can leave a poor impression on tenants, or even affect their quality of life. Property managers help you to avoid these instances by using in-house Chartered Building Surveyors who can assess the property on a regular schedule to plan for preventative repairs and routine maintenance. By establishing a clear assessment schedule, your managing agent can work with the tenant to manage any unexpected repairs, but also reassess the rental price where required, just in case changes need to be made as a consequence of ongoing work.
Another benefit of such a routine is the ease through which communication can be maintained if your tenants are speaking directly to an office and designated agent. Instead of calling you in your personal time like evenings or weekends, your tenants will know that any contact regarding their property should be conducted through official channels. Not only does this save you time, but it also establishes good practice for all parties in a coherent way. Although, like with any property, you should expect to see a fair amount of wear and tear, having a clear repairs policy is a good way to build respect among your tenants surrounding the condition of their home.
Landlords who privately manage their properties are often the only point of contact for tenants for any questions or issues they have surrounding the property. Unfortunately, while this can lead to some rewarding moments, more frequently this can be the cause of some uncomfortable interactions. From payment delays to repair requests, conversations with tenants can be challenging, and one of the greatest benefits of hiring a property management company is that you’ll have a professional, experienced team for your tenants to go to in case of a problem. This in turn leaves you with more time to spend on your own work, and helps you to grow your property portfolio without spending valuable time holding the line to repair agents, managing disputes or even serving your tenants notice.
Adherence to Legal Requirements
As a landlord, you’ll be accountable for the completion of a huge number of roles and responsibilities relating to the renting of a property to tenants. These responsibilities include adhering to legal requirements and carrying out extensive regular checks on the property. Some of the most common checks that you’ll need to complete as a landlord in the UK include:
The UK government has issued a number of electrical safety standards for landlords in the private rented sector to uphold, and it’s important that you stay up to date with these requirements. Included in the regulations is the need for electrical installations in properties to be inspected and tested by a qualified professional at least every five years, with the report from this inspection to be provided to the sitting tenant within 28 days of the test.
Gas Safety Checks
In a similar fashion, the government has also issued guidance around the gas safety checks that need to be completed on rental properties. This includes period checks throughout a tenancy, but also checks that need to be carried out in-between tenancies. For instance, before you re-let a property to new tenants after your previous tenants have left the premises, you must make sure that all gas flues and appliances have an up-to-date gas safety check record, and the guarantee from a certified professional that they are safe to use. Before the tenants get the keys, you need to provide them with a copy of these records for legal reasons.
Fire Safety Checks
Fire safety should always be one of the most important elements of letting any property and included in the many benefits of a property management company is the fact that fire safety checks can be carried out on your behalf. By law, landlords are required to have one or more smoke alarms installed in every floor of a property, as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with any appliance that burns solid fuel. Between tenancies, checks must be carried out to ensure their good working order, with the report of these checks provided to the new tenants.
On top of these checks, you’ll also be accountable for the holding of your tenants’ rental deposit, which needs to be held in an approved deposit scheme. As a result, you’ll have some important regulations to follow when your tenants leave the property, and a managing agent will be able to help you follow these to avoid legal complications. If you don’t use an approved scheme, your rights will be limited in the case of late or cancelled rental payments, so it’s vital that you keep on top of this. A managing agent will be able to help you, as well as ensure that the rental deposit is returned fairly and at the right time.
Property managers undertake frequent refresher training to ensure that they’re consistently up to date with the rules and regulations that apply to the sector, so you can rest assured that using a managed service will protect your individual rights as well as your investment. If you’re in any doubt about the training or expertise that a potential property manager has, then you can speak with them directly to understand more about whether they could be the right choice to support you. Ask them about the type of property that they typically manage, how long they’ve been doing this and whether there are any areas that they might not be so well-versed in, so that you can get the best picture of their suitability.
Hiring a property manager might not be your first thought when you purchase a buy-to-let property, especially if you’ve already spent a good chunk of your budget establishing the property and completing home renovations. However, investing in professional property management comes with a host of benefits that will pay off in the long run, including improved communication with tenants, swift property repairs and the adherence to legal regulations. Speak with an UpperKey property manager today to see how they can revolutionise the way you do business.