A good property management agent will take care of everything from collecting rent to organise repairs and provide a range of services that suits your needs. They should also have thorough knowledge of lettings regulations ensuring you avoid fines for unwittingly breaking the law. An agent should also chase late payments and have experienced contractors to carry out maintenance and emergency repairs.
If you live overseas like 68% of our landlords do, it’s helpful to have an agent who has an office in your timezone. We have found that having international offices simplifys communication and landlords value having a face to face contact. It’s also important if your agent has an office near your property so they can solve problems quickly. This is especially helpful when branches are on-site within large property schemes.
Landlords hoping to attract a corporate tenant should also know that 95% of companies will only let their executives rent professionally managed properties. There’s more to property management than meets the eye and not having an experienced agent on board can be more costly in the long run.
Top tips from Simran Prasad, Director of Management, to ensure you make the right decision when selecting an agent to manage your London property
Rental property management requires the possession of a wide range of disciplines and skills. Those involved must have an extensive knowledge of lettings regulations in the U.K, combined with a sure grasp of the issues which arise when handling the maintenance of a high value London investment property. All good property agents should have these bases covered and also possess the common sense and tact that is an essential part of keeping tenants satisfied. This guide will help you to spot the heroes and avoid the zeroes.
1. Research the agent's background. Do they specialise in property lettings and if so, for how long have they been in business? Many estate agents operate a lettings service as aside-line, yet do not possess specialist knowledge. Testimonials or references from clients will reveal the extent of their involvement - it pays to go with the professionals.
2. The regulation of property leasing and management in London is overseen by a Government recognised professional organisation called ARLA Propertymark (the Association of Residential Letting Agents). Other opt-in schemes that agents should prescribe to are The Property Ombudsman and The Dispute Service (which operates the Tenancy Deposit Scheme). Any letting agent providing a professional service will be an accredited member of these organisations and have the relevant paperwork to support their membership.
3. An unflustered yet professional attitude is invariably the sign of a good agent. The ability to communicate clearly in often pressurised situations is reassuring to both landlord and tenant.
4. A professional qualification is a definite plus when it comes to handling the intricacies of property management in London. The knowledge that comes with having a legal background can often prove indispensable. Our property management department is run by a qualified lawyer, thus giving us vital experience in this field which we are then able to pass on to our clients.
5. A quick response to all maintenance issues plays a vital part in cultivating confidence in your tenants. A capable agent will nearly always have an emergency repair service in place and ready to respond speedily to situations as and when they crop up.
6. Close proximity to your property is vital for effective management and maintenance. The sheer size of this city alone dictates that London property management agents stay local to their landlords.
7. Our international presence is integral to our effectiveness. Overseas-based clients benefit hugely by being able to contact us in their own locale and time zone. To facilitate this, we have offices in China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Singapore. From these locations our property managers provide a seamless service, liaising with our London offices so clients can sit back and know that their property is in a safe pair of hands.