Who regulates property management companies in the UK?
Whether you’re an established landlord or someone that is looking to expand their property portfolio it’s important to know exactly what you are getting into. A big chunk of this is understanding your ongoing obligations as a landlord and also whether a property management company could be the right choice for you. Of course, choosing a property management company doesn’t mean that you are void of all responsibility so make sure you choose one you can trust to do a good job and keep you on the right path.
Are Property Management Companies Regulated?
Whilst there are several things you should consider before picking the property management company that you want to work with, being aware of their regulators is a good idea. That said, you can discuss with the property management company who they work with & what they do to ensure that they operate within the guidelines given by any regulator.
The Property Ombudsman deals with all sorts of organisations within the property industry including estate agents, letting agents, and property management companies. They have several membership obligations that members must follow & are available for customers to contact should they be unhappy with how a complaint has been dealt with by the company in question.
RICS deal with the Rules of Conduct surrounding property management as well as offering advice for handling complaints and the minimum standard expected for UK residential properties. They have a range of resources available to landlords including the 2015 Private Rented Sector Code which advices on how to run residential property companies in England and Wales.
Arma is known as an industry leader when it comes to residential property management companies within England and Wales. Companies can opt to be registered with them, which means that landlords can feel more confident when selecting a company that has been recommended by ARMA. They offer advice on a range of landlord and property-based topics as well as help with running a successful property management company if this is required
Property management companies and resident letting agents can register with ARLA and sign up for a range of property management courses to brush up on their skills and improve their industry knowledge. Landlords can opt to use a property management company that has registered with ARLA so they can feel secure knowing their property is managed by a company that is regulated by them.
How Much Do Property Management Companies Charge?
The cost of using a property management company will vary depending on the area you are in, the value of your rental, and how involved you are asking the property management company to be. You’ll find that many organisations offer a range of packages which means that they can be as involved or as hands-off as you want, but this will affect the cost. For example, if you ask the property management to take care of everything including building repairs and invoice chasing then the cost is going to be higher than if you were to take care of some of these elements yourself. That doesn’t mean the extra cost isn’t worth paying, it just means you should research what is needed and speak to the property management company you want to work with about the options they offer and the associated costs.
What Are Property Management Companies Responsible For?
The great thing about being a landlord and using a property management company is that you can work out with them in advance what they are responsible for and what you would like to retain the responsibility of. Most offer flexible packages which means that they’ll work with you to ensure that there is a property management package that suits you and your needs. Many landlords prefer a property management company that takes care of everything but there are usually options available for landlords that what something different. The best thing you can do is speak to local property management companies about your needs & what they offer so you can find the solution that best suits you.
Can You Change Property Management Companies?
Generally speaking when you commit to using a property management company you sign a minimum term contract. This doesn’t mean that you definitely can’t change property management companies but it is worth checking the terms of the contract you have signed to see how you would go about changing. If you do want to swap property management companies it could be worth speaking to the company you currently use about your reasons for wanting to swap and see if they could resolve this for you instead.
Do Property Management Companies Pay for Repairs?
Generally speaking, they don’t cover the cost of the repairs, but instead will pay out for the work to be done and then invoice the landlord for the costs. This is something that is discussed in advance and a budget for repairs is usually set, with anything that is needed that costs more than this needing to be authorised by the landlord before it goes ahead.
Are Property Management Companies Worth It?
Everyone will have their own opinion of property management companies and whether they’re worth it for them. One thing for sure is that if you have a large property portfolio placing this in the hands of an agency that know what they are doing can help to take the pressure off. Even if you’re a landlord of just one property, knowing that this property is in safe hands and taken care of each month without you needing to get involved can make life as a landlord a much easier one. The best thing any landlord can do is research the options, work out what they need, and choose the option that best suits their requirements.
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