When it comes to the maintenance of residential buildings such as blocks of flats, there are a few different options available.
It could be that a single investor or company owns all of the flats, or it may be that separate dwellings are leased to homeowners on an individual basis. As such, either a residents association or the investor will have to look at how communal areas will be cared for; for example, many leases will have the costs of property maintenance included along with an accompanying service charge.
Here, we look at the role professional property management can play in keeping on top of maintenance by examining the benefits of instructing a managing agent.
What is a managing agent?
A managing agent is appointed by either the residents or the freeholder to oversee property management.
Once they have signed a contract to oversee block management, they assume legal responsibilities to ensure regular maintenance is carried out in compliance with all legislation in place to ensure homes are safe for habitation. There are a number of tasks for which a managing agent may be responsible, from ensuring deposits are kept in an approved TDS to tenant screening, tenancy renewals, cleaning and exterior maintenance, fire, gas and electrical safety testing and much more. The exact property management requirements should be outlined in a clear contract that is signed by both parties.
Why use a managing agent?
A managing agent can provide a number of services that free up your time as a landlord or homeowner whilst ensuring that no corners are cut.
If you have a number of different properties for example, enlisting an agent to oversee property management can alleviate a great deal of planning and time spent dealing with correspondence and enquiries. As they specialise in property management, an agent will be up to date with any legislation changes that could impact your investment and can take action accordingly to ensure your properties are always compliant. If you live abroad or have properties overseas, you may wish to have someone local on the ground to attend to issues of regular maintenance as well as to respond to emergencies, and so instructing an agent near to your investment could be beneficial in this regard.
Ultimately, whether or not you choose to enlist the services of a managing agent comes down to whether or not you are in need of property management. This depends on your own individual circumstances.
While the services provided can be of huge help to landlords, there is of course cost associated with these, and so you should look at your budget and weigh the pros and cons of