Why take up management service?
When I was asked this question recently, I was a little taken aback. Surely, you don’t want the responsibility of being always on-call? Roughly, 93% of 1.75 million landlords in the UK own just a single rental property. So it’s easy to think that you can manage your property whilst holding down a job. Let me tell you why it isn’t a walk in the park.
Being available for your tenants is not an option – it’s an obligation
As a landlord, you are required to upkeep the property on an on-going basis. Not when you feel like it, or have the money for repairs. You could be contacted by the environmental office at your council if you don’t adequately look after your property. In some boroughs, they can take you to court and force you to hand over the management of your property.
Liaising for repair works is a massive hassle
Say a tenant calls you because they suddenly lost their hot water. Will you be able to call back swiftly to diagnose the problem? If not, you could be shelling out up to £100/ph for re-pressurising the boiler – which you could have done in 2 minutes. But what if it’s something more serious? Do you have a strong contractor network who will go out to your property at a short notice, do a great job, charge you reasonably and invoice you immediately? We handle this every day and know exactly what to do.
“My property is brand-new, so I don’t need management”
You’d be surprised how many new properties have problems. Type ‘new build problems’ into Google and you will get 449 million results. In fact, a survey released by the National House Building Council (NHBC) shows that 98% of new-home buyers reported defects.
Dealing with new build problems entails a meticulously recorded conversation with the developers, freeholder’s managing agents, or your neighbour’s agent. With a managed service, we can react quickly and help to liaise with all other agents.
“I have a guarantee as part of my purchase”
Obvious defects can be caught in the first few months of living at the property. But how about hidden defects that most people don’t have the technical training to find? We do. And if we don’t, we will know that something is not right and have experts at hand to call. It is often the case that significant problems are found years later but originated when the house was brand new.
“If I were the tenant, I’d want to deal directly with the landlord”
In our experience, tenants don’t. They appreciate having a caring agent who responds quickly. That’s our primary job, not a secondary job of a landlord who can only respond when they have the time.
But as a landlord, do you really want to work directly with tenants? It’s an awesome responsibility, considering how anything can happen overnight, on weekends, bank holidays, and during your own holiday. And when it happens (usually when you least expect it) you need the infrastructure to respond appropriately. As managing agents, we have this in place and review arrangements regularly.
Don’t assume your rent will be paid
Without a managed service, you will be chasing your own rent. There are strict rules around not harassing tenants and how you serve Section 21 or 8 notices in response to arrears. Rent Collection service is included in our managed service. You will receive a monthly statement with clear breakdown of what you have been paying for maintenance and repairs – information that come in handy when you are declaring your year-end tax.
You will need to serve your own legal notice
When you are responsible for rent collection, that means you will need to serve the correct legal notice to the tenants by yourself. Legal notices are specific in terms of how and when they are served and record-keeping; all assuming that you have found the correct and up-to-date government forms. Ending tenancy, rent increase, these are not just an email conversation. What happens if you don’t serve it correctly? Tenants don’t have to move out or give you the agreed rent. You would have wasted months to start the legal eviction process. Don’t risk it.
Regulations are changing all the time
Compliance can be a big burden and if you’re busy, you may just miss it. In 2017 alone, we will see 6 changes. Do you have the time keep up with all the new regulations and any changes in your borough’s landlord licensing requirements? On a practical level, you will also have to do your own deposit protection and serve notices, at the correct times, otherwise you risk penalties.
At Marybow Property, we take management seriously and work to have great relationship with you and the tenants right from the start. Please read 10 Reasons to Choose Marybow Property for more. Ready to change your agent? Why not read these tips on How to Change Letting Agent.