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Updated by London Residential on Aug 25, 2017
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Is professional property management relevant in today’s buy-to-let market?

In our new series of Q&A blogs, we sit down with London Residential’s Priya Patel - Head of Property Management – and discuss why professional property management is vital in today’s buy-to-let market.

1

What happens when you don’t have a professional property manager?

Keeping up with the responsibility of being a landlord is onerous. The growing trend towards litigation means that landlords can leave themselves open to legal proceedings if they fail to comply with all their responsibilities, such as fixing issues that could cause personal injury. Life is so busy that sometimes landlords can also fail to respond to tenants’ problems as quickly as they should.

2

Do you have any advice for a landlord who has a friend as his tenant?

Friendships between a landlord and their tenant can lead to problems when the tenant fails to pay their rent or maintain the property. By using the services of a property manager the relationship is kept professional and courteous at all times, avoiding any difficult situations. We will deal with any issues that arise, offering peace of mind for the landlord.

3

What experience and training do London Residential’s property managers have?

One of the biggest advantages of choosing London Residential is our industry knowledge. All of our property management staff are experienced in their field and, for added peace of mind, we are members of the following industry bodies and associations: NALS, Safe Agent and the Property Ombudsman.

4

Are landlords passed from staff member to staff member?

In a word, no. When using London Residential we assign a designated property manager to every landlord, who will be their point of contact throughout the course of the tenancy. We believe continuity is key to building trust.

5

Have your property managers ever stepped in and helped a landlord with a tricky tenant situation, proving that the pr...

Many times and this is where a professional property manager comes into their own. Can you imagine dealing with an emergency while you were overseas on holiday or trying to fix a tenant’s leaking pipe on Christmas Day? We take that worry and responsibility away from landlords, leaving them free to get on with their lives.

6

How many man hours do you think a property manager saves a landlord?

It depends on what issues arise. For some tenancies the property manager might not need a lot of involvement, for others management can be 100% hands on and labour intensive. It’s the unknown and unforeseen that often knocks a tenancy off track but a property manager brings reassurance that any tricky situations are dealt with on the landlord’s behalf.

7

Have you had any landlords who have inadvertently broken the law because they've not kept up with new lettings legisl...

Yes, very frequently, as landlords are either genuinely oblivious to lettings legislation or do not realise the serious implications of not meeting legal requirements. As property managers, it’s our job to keep up with new lettings laws and ensure they are met across our managed portfolio.

8

How important is professional property management in the student lets market?

For student lets there is often quite a frequent turnaround of students, so that means lots of paperwork and organisation. Many undergraduates have never lived away from their parents’ home so they sometimes need extra guidance. We also make quarterly inspections on student properties to ensure they are being looked after.

9

What do your current landlords like most about professional property management?

Landlords like the fact that they are free from the daily tasks required of a landlord, including being a physical presence who has to deal with emergencies and property inspections. If landlords are too busy or want the investment benefits without the hard work, having a property manager is perfect.

10

Do many landlords operating alone use London Residential property management when they realise what's involved?

Yes, especially first-time landlords who do not realise the number of tasks and responsibilities involved in renting out and managing a property. They only discover the actual workload a few months in when they are trying to manage the property themselves.