Professional property management - What not to expect
During December, we’ve been fortunate to be appointed as managing agents by a number of landlords fed up with their existing agents. Usually it’s a fairly simple process, however we have noted a few areas of concern:-
· Lack of inspections. One landlord had a tenant in the property for 4 years and hadn’t done an inspection during that time. The landlord opted to change when he had to pop round to fix a tap and saw the place stacked floor to ceiling with possessions!
· Poorly managed rent arrears. We recently had a tenant apply through us and went for the normal previous agents reference. The reference came back showing £1800 of arrears. The reason it seemed was that the landlord had increased the rent twice in the last few years, but the tenant had carried on paying the same amount. The agent didn’t chase, the landlord didn’t complain and the tenant remained completely unaware that the debt was building. The poor tenant was rejected by our landlord and it cost them over £200 in referencing fees.
· Unclear rent due dates. Picking up one block, they were longstanding tenants. The documents claimed the rent due date of the 1st of each month. The tenant (and agent) felt it was the 15th of each month. Neither knew why it was incorrect, but it needed to be clarified in the event we ever had to issue notice.
· No EPC’s on managed properties. We took over a block of 3 units where the middle flat had never had an EPC. The tenant had moved in 5 years ago and it hadn’t been picked up by the agent on move in. The fine for this could’ve been huge.
· Maintenance issues. As we always conduct an initial inspection in the first month, we’ve found leaking radiators, missing gas certs and electrical issues. All of which the tenants have claimed to have been reporting. A small number have left landlords very liable.
Curiously, each of these came to us with “no anticipated problems” and none are rocket science to make good. However, it does show the “laid back “attitude of some landlords and lettings agent.
Category: Professional property management - What not to expect
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