Three Pillars of Good Property Management

Rental properties can be a profitable source of revenue for many landlords. However, good returns rely on the property being effectively managed.

If you’re new to property management or looking to optimize your process so you can avoid common mistakes and avoid having your property falling into disrepair, we’ve outlined the three most important pillars that will keep your property up, running and generating revenue.

1. Managing Tenants
There is always a human element in property management. Letting this slip into the background can lead to a number of avoidable issues, including disputes. More than just collecting rent from individuals who inhabit your property, whether it's an individual, a family or multiple working professionals, managing a rental property will include the following:

  • Tenant Screening - you will have to advertise the vacancy in your property as well as set up appointments with people to view your property before they move in. This could mean several viewings before you find someone who is suitable.
  • Managing deposits – in either a tenant account covered by insurance or with one of the tenancy deposit schemes.
  • Certificates – covering Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a process to assess and manage the risk of legionella and Gas Safe certificate (if required).
  • Move-in - as well as making sure the lease agreement is signed, you will need to go over any inventory check-lists and rules relating to the property. A condition report is also advised to avoid disagreements later on.
  • Move-out - you will need to check the condition of the rental unit for any damage before the tenancy formally terminates.
  • Rent Collection - setting up a system to collect monthly payments; you will need to establish late fees and grace period processes.
  • Tenant Complaints - setting up a process to field complaints and address issues relating to the house quickly and effectively will help you maintain good working relationships with your tenants.
During all this, we recommend doing what you can to establish a good relationship with your tenants and staying on their good side. They may have a number of obligations to you and your property, such as keeping it in good condition, but being too direct or forceful in your demands can lead to lengthy and avoidable disagreements.

2. Property Maintenance and Inspections
The other big part of managing a rental property is ensuring it remains well-maintained and structurally sound. As well as providing your tenants with a safe and liveable space, without damp, rot or other issues that would make living in your property unpleasant or a danger to health, you will also need to make sure things like cracked pipes and leaks don’t turn into serious issues that could damage your property in the long-term.

You should plan to regularly inspect the property to make sure everything is in good working order.

As a landlord, you will also be required by law to conduct regular fire safety checks to make sure no fire hazards exist that could lead to damage to your property and tenants' lives. This is especially important for HMOs. Several companies can assist with such matters, as well as regular electrical and plumbing checks.

3. Managing Finances
Finally, good management requires you to ensure you are turning a good profit and reducing costs where you can.

You’ll need to have a good basic accounting system to understand how much money is coming in each month and how much money is going out. Below are a few things to include in the bookkeeping for your rental property.Save Time with Reports2Go
Each process above can be made easier with the right tools. Take a look at our software and services, like our free property management app that can help you lower inventory and property condition report costs, as well as save yourself time when managing your property.

Gary, 19 February 2021

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