Property management is a growing business in the UK; there are currently over 200 letting agencies in Edinburgh, all of whom provide a property management service. Using a property management company allows landlord to hand over the day to day running of their property, however, there is also a sizeable proportion of landlords who choose to manage their property themselves.
There are many reasons why some landlords choose to use a property management company and others do not. These reasons vary from landlord to landlord and can include; costs, level of property experience, distance from the property, and previous negative experiences with letting agents.
At Clan Gordon 99% of our landlords currently opt for our fully managed service. Read more about Clan Gordon property management here.
What is property management?
Property management is the term used for all activity from the point that a new tenant moves in to a property. In practical terms, a fully managed property management service would usually include:
- Rent collection
- Regular inspections
- Tenancy renewals and ending a tenancy
- Return of tenants’ deposit
5 Benefits of Using a Property Management Company
1. Keeping up with legislation
Since Clan Gordon was founded in 2008 there have been many changes to legislation surrounding the act of letting a property. Landlords must ensure that they understand all legislation and their property adheres to the Repairing Standard in addition to safety legislation – there have been recent changes to gas, electrical and fire safety guidelines – and tenancy documents.
Finding information and making sure that a property is compliant can be a big undertaking for self-managing landlords. An Edinburgh property management company should know all legislation and requirements surrounding lettings inside out and should ensure that all properties and tenancies are compliant on behalf of their landlord clients by:
- Arrange safety certificates and installations using qualified contractors
- Ensure tenancy paperwork is drawn up and signed correctly
- Serve notice within guidelines to end a tenancy
The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) has lots of useful information on legislation for Edinburgh landlords.
Some recent blog posts on legislation changes:
2. Availability for maintenance and emergencies
Landlords, like everyone else, lead busy lives (many have other jobs in addition to managing their property) so time constraints can be a big consideration when it comes to deciding whether or not to use a property management company. Even the most well looked after properties require maintenance carried out at one point or another, and this can take up the most time for landlords.
Landlords who manage their own properties may not live in the area, so coordinating a maintenance repair can be difficult in terms of establishing exactly what the issue is, arranging access to the property, and finding the best contractor for the job.
Using an Edinburgh property management company should enable landlords to overcome all of these obstacles. A property management company should:
- Hold keys for easy access to the property
- Be located close enough to assess any issues on the day they are reported
- Have a relationship with the tenant to arrange access quickly
- Have an in-depth knowledge of common maintenance repairs and know which contractor to send (or in some cases even deal with the issue in house)
- Work with a trusted team of contractors
- Provide a range of quotes
Maintenance emergencies do happen (and usually not within office hours!) so it can be helpful for landlords to use a property management company who provide a 24 hour maintenance service.
At Clan Gordon we hold a predetermined maintenance float for our managed properties. This allows us to proceed with minor repairs (unless it is a material change) without involving the landlord. Anything above the limit is quoted for and discussed with the landlord.
3. Regular inspections
For landlords who don’t live close to their Edinburgh lettings property it can be difficult to arrange regular maintenance inspections. Some landlords may also find it awkward to raise issues – such as cleanliness or failure to look after the property – directly with tenants. Using a property management company means that this is taken care of.
Maintenance inspections should be conducted regularly to check for any issues which would worsen over time and potentially damage the property if left until the end of the tenancy. Inspections are also a good opportunity to check that tenants are maintaining the property in line with their tenancy agreement. At Clan Gordon we carry out an initial inspection in the first 8 weeks of the tenancy to check that the tenant is settling in, this is followed by 6 monthly inspections. Clients are sent a report after each inspection.
4. Industry experience
Some people assume that once a tenant has been found and has moved into the property the hard work is over. However, there are many elements to a tenancy (under the property management umbrella) that must be understood and implemented correctly by landlords. These include:
- Tenancy paperwork
- Deposit handling and return
For a landlord with one or two properties in their portfolio these can involve long processes and lots of research to ensure that guidelines are met. Property management companies on the other hand, are dealing with all aspects of property management on a daily basis and have processes in place to make sure each task is carried out efficiently and (most importantly) correctly.
5. Hassle free lettings
For many landlords, the main reason for using a property management company is simply that it takes the hassle out of lettings. As you can see above, property management can be a time-consuming business, especially for those who have limited availability and knowledge of the industry. Using a property management company should mean that landlords can choose how involved they are with their property, allowing them to relax knowing that their investment is in safe hands.
To make sure that your property management experience is as hassle free as possible, we would recommend using a company who are:
- Local to the property and know the area well
- Recommended – online recommendations are very helpful, not all companies are as good as others
- Regulated (more on using a regulated company here)
These are just 5 of the benefits of using a property management company. Contact us if you would like any information or advice on renting your Edinburgh lettings property.
At Clan Gordon we are in the process of creating a step by step guide for landlords, providing practical advice for those self-managing lettings properties in Edinburgh.
Related blog posts: