As a landlord, you might initially think of property management as a luxury service. It would be nice but is it really worth its expense? But consider this: The highest expense a landlord can have is a vacant property.
Empty properties don’t make money. Neither do properties with rogue tenants who can’t pay their rent or damage your property. And if you do find a good tenant by yourself, the number one cause of a good tenant moving out is improper maintenance.
Are you looking after your property and the people who are living there? Are you filling empty properties with good tenants quick enough?
What does a Property Management Company do?
A property management company will deal with all aspects of managing your property so that you don’t have to. Property managers handle everything from start to finish but they don’t just save you time, they can also save you money. (After all, time is money.)
Finding a new tenant can be time-consuming. Especially when you have no expertise in marketing rental property to prospective tenants. Property managers will deal with prospective tenants directly, checking the background history of applicants – including credit history, criminal history and rental history – to see whether they fit your requirements and preferences.
Due to the tools and software that property management companies have available to them, they can advertise your properties using a number of different platforms to get tenants moved in quickly and reduce the “no rent” period when the property is unoccupied.
Once the tenancy agreement has been signed between the property management company and the tenant, any issues with the tenant will be handled by the them. Whether it’s chasing tenants up for rent (always a possibility – even with good tenants!), or inspecting the property.
The property management company will carry out property inspections to your specification and perform any necessary repairs to ensure that your property is well looked after and maintained. They will also respond to your tenant’s complaints and handle any repair or maintenance requested by your tenant, with your permission. If you are unhappy with your tenants, the property manager will also handle any evictions.
Due to the property management company’s experience in let property, you’ll often find that they’ll get the job done quicker and more efficiently, regardless of what the job is. They’ll make sure that you’re informed of any interaction between them and the tenant, and keep all gas, electricity and water suppliers updated as to who the current occupiers are of the property. This means that you will get a record of every payment, gas and electrical testing, contact, property inspection and maintenance.
Since you are contracting the property management company independently, you can have them work for you without even having to worry about the process of legally becoming an employer.
Do I need a Property Manager?
If you find yourself asking “Do I need a property manager?”, first ask yourself these questions instead:
Do I have a portfolio of properties that I can’t manage on my own?
The more properties you own and the more tenants you have, the more you will find yourself needing someone to manage them all. So if you’re looking to expand your portfolio, or it’s already getting quite heavy to handle by yourself, then you should seriously consider a property manager to help lighten the load.
Am I local to the property I’m currently managing myself?
If you’re not local to your property then you will most definitely need a property manager. To be a good landlord, you need to be able to resolve issues or handle emergencies as soon as possible, which might not always be possible with no one in the local area for the tenant to deal with in such situations.
If your tenant is locked out of their house and the agreement states that a spare key will be held with the landlord, that’s not going to be very useful if you’re off soaking up the sun in a different country that you’ve since retired to. Or perhaps you’re a buy-to-let landlord with multiple property investments up and down the country.
There are countless issues and situations that you won’t be able to deal with from afar. This is where the property manager comes in.
Do I know anything about property management?
Many first time landlords or accidental landlords don’t know the first thing about property management, from a legal standpoint or otherwise. They just know that they have a valuable asset that they would like to monetize – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! It’s extremely common. You’re not interested in being a landlord, you just want to rent out your property and be happy with the money you have coming in each month. You just want to see a return on your investment. You have your own life to worry about, and you might not be interested in worrying about your tenants’ too.
Your property manager can handle everything so you never even have to speak directly to your tenants at all. Instead you can pay a property management company a fraction of the rent to be like an “acting landlord” and keep an eye on the place for you.