Property managers are essential for busy landlords who are looking to reduce the burden of managing a rental property. Management company fees, services offered & reputation are essential factors landlords have to consider when choosing a property manager.
Property manager fees can vary depending on the depth of services a landlord needs. Usually, and we get into more detail on this later in the article, property manager fees span between 10-20% of the monthly rental income.
Services offered can also be tailored for a landlord. Some landlords merely want a property manager to find tenants when rooms & properties become vacant, whilst others may opt for fully managed services where landlords hardly get involved with the running of the property.
A property manager’s reputation & regulatory affiliation must also be considered. Ratings across agent ranking websites can be quickly analysed.
In addition, property managers publish on their websites which regulatory bodies they are associated with, which is another factor.
Property Manager Fees
Management company fees vary across the nation & are impacted by the type of services wanted by the landlord.
Tenant find services
Property managers usually have access to the largest property platforms, Zoopla & Right Move as examples.
Private landlords usually do not have access to these platforms, due to the nature of price plans these sites offer, it’s only cost-effective if you have multiple properties to offer, i.e. like property managers do.
Using these portals is the most tried & tested way of finding a tenant, plus you can count on it as also the quickest, which is a key factor for a landlord holding vacant properties & rooms!
On the lower property manager fee scale, lettingaproperty.com is one of the cheapest providers, of finding a tenant, with a £149 one-off fee
Fully managed fees are usually between 10-15% if you look around and compare agents.
Services under this banner include tenant find services, but also typically include rent collection, maintenance, tenancy renewals, and inspections.
Management company fees small print
While management company fees vary across agencies, landlords should always consider the small print to ensure the features they need are covered.
Below are some add-ons’ that property managers may charge outside of the service fee:
- Inventory keeping
- Renewal of tenancy fees
- Administration fees
While passing on a majority of fees to tenants is now banned, landlords can still be charged a range of fees from the property manager.
Management company size, reputation & affiliations
As with all industries, you have large institutions that have been in business years, as well as smaller, more nimble companies.
The letting industry has been disrupted in recent years, namely via online start-ups that due to lower overheads, are able to offer highly competitive fee rates.
However, with the recent demise of Upad, an online letting agent established in 2008, landlords need to be wary that the larger, well-established property managers may have the financial backing to overcome turbulence in the market.
Either way, landlords to need to research property manager reputations and the company’s financial status.
A good rating across all internet ranking sites and no news of financial turmoil or pulling back from various markets is a good first step in picking a property manager.
Management company affiliations
Various laws in the UK require property managers to be part of regulatory bodies, for example, a deposit protection scheme.
Being part of such schemes ensure the property manager abides by certain standards required by the UK.
It is easy to find out which regulatory body a property manager is affiliated to, commonly property managers include their affiliations at the bottom of their web pages.
In parallel, a property manager fee comparison on Rent Round will show landlords which affiliation the property manager has, alongside the manager’s fees.
Aside from management company fees & ratings, you should also consider:
Quality of adverts
As alluded to earlier, portals such as Zoopla and Right Move are the most effective methods of attracting tenants.
Make sure you put yourself in the tenant’s shoes and view listings of prospective property managers on these portals.
Are the pictures professional, are they taken at the right angles and do they show the property in a positive light?
Pictures are the first impression to tenants, getting this basic principle wrong could indicate more difficult aspects of property management not being dealt with properly by the property manager.
Availability of the management company
When is the property manager available to answer queries or issues? If the opening times are limited, they may not be fitting to your schedule.
Review opening times and emergency procedures of prospective property managers to ensure you’re covered around the clock
Responsiveness of the management company
Before you’ve given over your property, you want to see the property manager responding to your questions as quickly as possible.
If a property manager isn’t responding well enough before they’ve got a landlord’s business it’s unlikely they will respond well enough after.
Delayed responses indicate not enough staff, too many properties being managed or inefficiency.
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