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  • Property Management

    Smart landlord property management options

    As we launch a new tribe - Property Management - which also has a new sponsor for 2019, I thought it might be helpful to talk about property management and what options landlords have in this regard.

    The first thing to appreciate is that, in the lifecycle of a landlord, the property management phase is by far the longest.

    As a landlord, you may be in a commercial relationship with your property and its tenants for 25 years. 

    A lot of newcomer landlords think that you buy a property (conveyancing process takes 2 months) and then rent it out and sit back and watch the rent roll in.

    Far from it!  The management phase means not only managing tenants, but also ensuring compliance, maintenance, repairs, solving problems, etc.  With significant fines for non-compliance, high standards of property and tenant management have never been more important.

    Being a property agent is different from being a property manager – finding a tenant is not the same skill as managing one.

    Being a property investor is also different from being a manager, so portfolio landlords may like to outsource this part of the process.

    In the past, landlords typically had the option of self-managing, or having a fully managed service through a High Street agent.

    With the advent of the web, there are now on-line options as well as the more traditional solutions.

    These are the main choices for property management:

    1.  Fully managed service with a traditional lettings agent

    The agent takes care of all aspects of finding the tenants and managing them and typically charges between 10% and 15% for undertaking the work.

    This option is best suited to landlords who wish to be "hands off" and/or who live remotely from their property.

    Northwood is Property Tribes partner for a fully managed service and they have the additional level of peace of mind through their guaranteed rent service.

    2.  On-line lettings agent combined with property management

    Some landlords choose this on-line option, and, confusingly, there are different propositions/levels of service:

    >  Tenant find with on-line property management tools.  Upad are Property Tribes' partner for this service.

    >   Tenant find will full service property management run by people. 

    It is important to fully understand what is and isn't included in the service and the cost.

    The pricing is usually "pick and mix" meaning that landlords can choose the services they need and the property management aspect will be a monthly flat fee.

    3.  Pure on-line property management

    This is for landlords who are happy to find and vet their own tenants, and who are then looking for a service to undertake the management of the property.

    A good firm has qualified and skilled staff members just like a High Street agent. They have established procedures and contacts for most situations, and landlords are typically assigned an Account Manager who will look after their properties and be the main point of contact.

    The pricing is usually based on a flat monthly fee for managing the property and can be an attractive option in the context of Section 24, for landlords looking to reduce costs.

    4.  On-line property management software

    This does not involve any service from people.  It is simply software that allows the landlord to manage the property, communicate with tenants, organise repairs etc.

    The pricing is usually based on the number of properties being managed on the system.

    Which option is right for you?

    This will largely depend on five factors:

    1.  Your level of knowledge and skill and how confident you feel about managing tenants, ensuring compliance etc.

    2.   The amount of time you have to devote to managing properties and tenants.  For example, do you travel for work a lot or are you unable to take personal phone calls at work?

    3.   How "hands on" you want to be.

    4.  Whether you are digitally minded and want to use on-line tools or prefer to be able to deal with a human on the end of the phone.

    4.   The proximity of your rental property to where you live.

    Our new Property Management tribe is being powered by The Happy Tenant Co. who provide a unique and bespoke property management solution for landlords with properties in London and within the M25.

    Adam Joseph, CEO of the Happy Tenant Company comments:

    "Letting a property has become a minefield for landlords with the increasing velocity of new regulation and
    tenants becoming ever more discerning.  Unless self-managing your portfolio is your day job and undertaken
    on a business basis, it seems prudent to outsource this responsibility to a professional partner.

    Fines for non-compliance can be substantial, and that’s before you consider the health and safety aspect for
    tenants and the attention to detail, systems and experience that good property management demands.

    The Happy Tenant Co. wanted to partner with Property Tribes, as this community has always placed an emphasis
    on the importance of high standards of property management, in whatever format the landlord chooses to
    undertake it.

    Well managed properties and tenancies mean that your tenant is likely to stay longer term, your properties are
    maintained (therefore retaining asset value and achieving the highest possible rents),
    and happy tenants generally result in a happy landlord life.

    Vanessa’s article illustrates the various choices a landlord has, and this means there is generally an
    option that suits everyone’s individual circumstances.

    Over the landlord’s lifetime, they may move between options - for instance from fully managed at the start,
    to self management, and then back to fully managed as they enter their autumn years … or they may combine
    different management options across their portfolio, especially if some properties are close to home,
    with others being remote.

    This flexibility and choice is very positive for the sector in terms of supporting landlords as to their personal
    circumstances and preferences over the considerable time that they may be in the BTL business.

    At the Happy Tenant Company, we think we have created a unique property management proposition that will
    particularly appeal to the smart portfolio landlord.

    Many traditional estate agents offer management as an add on, but it will not be their sole focus ...
    but for The Happy Tenant Company, it is.

    The Happy Tenant Company manages the letting agents, manages the tenants, manages the property
    and then leverages its scale and bulk buying power to negotiate exclusive discounts from relevant suppliers
    like letting agents and maintenance companies. All these discounts are passed on to the landlord in full.

    With The Happy Tenant Company, landlords with properties in London and within the M25 get a "one stop shop"
    covering the whole letting process - one person to coordinate all your letting agents, a dedicated and experienced
    property manager and access to a qualified accounts team for financial reporting and rent collection.

    The Happy Tenant Company is very pleased to be joining Property Tribes as a commercial partner and that
    the importance of property management has been underscored by the creation of a new tribe dedicated
    solely to this topic.  

    I look forward to joining the conversations and contributing towards creating a valuable and informative
    resource that puts good property management centre stage".

    SEE ALSO  -          Love this quote by Mary Latham ... but do you agree with it?

    UP NEXT -              Buy to let still viable starting out in 2019?

    DON'T MISS -         How to vet a lettings agent ... 12 questions to ask



    If there are any Landlords who own investment property in London, I would certainly like to speak with you regarding our Property Management Services here at The Happy Tenant Company.

    We offer an all round management service, but we can also save you time and money with tenant sourcing under our service, via our panel of Letting Agents.

    Our panel Letting Agents across London offer us discounted tenant sourcing fees starting from 5% + VAT (of the annual rent) and they do not charge our clients renewal fees to retain tenants.

    There are also plenty more benefits to discuss.

    Please contact me via elaine.aristides@happytenant.co.uk or my DDI: 0203 728 4412