Owning property that you let out to tenants can be a great investment but it can also come with additional work, even with reliable long-term tenants. Having someone on hand who is able to deal with all the day-to-day administration of contracts and queries, and who is an expert on property law, can be useful and another sound investment.
If you own a flat, there are several different ways to take on management responsibilities, for example, through acquiring the freehold. There are statutory rights through the Right to Manage (RTM) initiative, and there is also the option of the landlord delegating management responsibility.
Whichever option you pursue, there is often a resident management company (RMC) taken on to deal with the management of the flats, and to ensure that repairs are completed in accordance with the lease.
With flats specifically, the RMC might need to appoint a professional block management agent, such as the Complete Property Group http://www.completepropertygroup.co.uk/property-block-and-estate-management/.
Managing a block of flats is complicated and requires expertise. In-depth knowledge of not only landlord and tenant law but also health and safety regulations, as well as building regulations, is essential.
Having dedicated accounts and credit control facility can be a big advantage in this scenario and it certainly pays to be organised when it comes to collecting service charges and scheduling repair and redecoration work. Keeping on top of all inspections also requires organisation and planning.
An impartial view is an advantage in terms of being able to accurately assess what work needs to be carried out and when best to schedule it. The overriding goal must be to keep the flats in a good state of repair, and a managing agent can do just that.
If you fancy setting up as a property management agent or running your own block management agency, there is useful advice on Gov.uk.
As an agent, you will need to be prepared to handle all the administration, mundane or otherwise. You should take out professional indemnity insurance, and be aware of how to comply with all the relevant laws and code of practice.
Managing agents should hold professional indemnity insurance to ensure further protection against negligent acts or even incompetence and they also have responsibility for compliance with all relevant laws, leases and best codes of practice.