Busting Property Management Myths

There are so many property management myths out there it’s incredible. When talking about property management, we all know more than a few crazy stories or wild expectations that people genuinely believe to be true. We discuss 3 of the major ones.

Renters will Destroy my Property

New landlords hear horror stories about tenants that have completely destroyed the property and left without paying anything. However, these cases are often so few and far between and almost always take place in poorly managed properties.

For instance, university accommodation often suffers much more than other units because of the massively high turnover. The reality is that landlords of multiple student accommodation can still turn a decent profit even if some units need repairs after tenancies end. The academic year allows for refurbishments and tidy-ups for the changeover. Provide the basics well and cater in kitchen for multiple occupants with, for example, enough freezer and cupboard storage for all occupants.

On the other hand, families will want to live in, generally more comfortable, and tidy places. The needs of families are different – a clean and tidy garden will be a great asset to a family with children, for instance. As long as you have a strong agreement in place and are using the tenancy deposit scheme, you should be in a good place.

Ensure your initial contract are well specified and are clear on what the tenant must do at the end of tenancy. It may be that you provide a fully professionally cleaned unit and expect the same cleaning at the end of the tenancy. Ensure inventories and check-in reports are detailed enough to pick up any damage above and beyond wear and tear. Hold the deposit in an approved scheme. Join a landlords’ association and follow the best practice they outline in their code of conduct.

Schedule regular visits to check for items like damp, structural damage or fire-related risks. This will give you peace of mind and make sure your records are always up-to-date. You may think that this is a tedious and time-consuming task, but with free inventory software and a free mid-term inspection app, you or your managing agent can easily run around the property and update your condition report every 6 to 18 months.

Remember you can purchase insurance to cover almost any aspect of rental – from rent arrears, furniture damage & maintenance to eviction services.

Property Management is Simple

Some people assume property management is really difficult, while others assume it's easy. The second is probably the worst myth you can believe in as it often leads to poor management and many issues arising between you and your tenant.

Good property management requires spending many hours working on finding tenants, collecting rent, and coordinating maintenance (or repairing things themselves). Working with a managing company can solve your time overhear, for a price, but if you do it yourself, you’ll need to be completely aware of all the things you’re responsible for doing.

Property Management Agents will Complicate things

Agents are there to make life simpler. That’s why you pay them. If hiring a property manager makes life more complicated for you, you've hired the wrong manager.

A good quality property manager should be looking out for your property and your best interest. Good returns for you means good returns for them. And if you sense that they don’t quite understand this, we’d recommend looking elsewhere.

With various tools and apps like free dictation software and inventory clerk apps, it's very easy to standardize the property management process. As long as you have a good system in place, you should be able to receive regular updates about how your property is doing in a clear referenceable format.

Property Managers are Expensive

Most property management companies don't get paid unless there is a tenant in your property. So while you will indeed need to part with a percentage of your takings, you're buying the security that someone is always working hard to ensure that your property is filled with tenants and making money for both of you.

If you think about how much it can cost to arrange every aspect of the property management process yourself, you’ll find it hard to find a way to do it cheaper than the amount you actually pay to a property manager. For instance, while you won’t need to fix something on your property every day, you could find that one week the boiler breaks down and a window is broken. Agents have access to known trades people whom they can rely on.

Remember there are different levels of service managing agents offer:

  • Recruit the tenant including doing background checks, collecting the deposit and initial rent. You are responsible thereafter for subsequent rent collection, maintenance and mid-term inspections
  • Recruit and rent collection. Collection of rent is included. You are still responsible for maintenance.
  • Fully managed. All of the above plus maintenance. Some contracts even include covering the rent, or a proportion, when the unit is empty.
You can pick the level that suits your circumstances.

Dan , 09 April 2021

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