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Managing a Property Efficiently

Whether you are a property manager or the owner of a larger property portfolio, looking after the properties for which you have responsibility takes time, effort and patience and requires a keen eye for detail. There are many aspects of property management that will need to be taken care of to ensure you are compliant with UK law and that you keep your tenants happy.

Considerations include day to day running of the property, taking care of payments, rent and charges, block or portfolio in question, securing properties to at least a basic standard and repairs, maintenance and renovation work as and when it is required (source: Arthur Online Property Management).

Day to Day Running of a Property

As the landlord, or working on behalf of the landlord, you will be responsible for taking care of things like the cleanliness of the block or property in question, any gardening required and the general state of communal areas and areas not the responsibility of the tenants. You will also need to ensure the general health and safety of residents and tenants to comply with UK laws on both health and safety and fire safety.

It may be the case for example that looking after a block of flats, you will need to ensure hallways and entrances are kept clear of obstructions and rubbish. You will also be responsible for the general state of things like the flooring, windows and outer areas of the block.

When it comes to insurance, although you are unlikely to be responsible for contents and individual possessions within the property or block, the landlord will be responsible for the building's insurance, covering the actual building structure from damage.

Property Security

Whilst landlords are not directly responsible for individual tenants' security, such as alarms or similar, there is a degree of responsibility that is placed upon the landlord. For example, in the case of a block of flats or larger, shared office space, the landlord is likely to be responsible for the building's general security and safety.

In the case of a vacant property, the landlord or property manager will also be responsible for ensuring no trespassers or squatters make use of the property; this may be as simple as installing temporary concrete barriers around the perimeter to prevent access.

In the case of a block of flats or shared office space, good quality lighting, some CCTV cameras and secure fencing where necessary may be all you need to ensure proper security. Secure premises will usually mean happy tenants who will be more likely to stay for longer, feeling safer and more secure.

Payments and Charges

In all properties that are rented out, there will be a number of payments and charges that the landlord or property manager will need to take care of and carefully manage including:

  • Rental Charges – It is the responsibility of the management of the property to ensure that rent is collected in full and on time each month or payment period
  • Service Charges – Service charges will cover aspects of the running of the property like cleaning, maintenance and minor refurbishments and decoration costs. These charges will typically be paid by residents and tenants on a monthly basis and will be collected by a managing agent
  • Bills – In some cases, the bills for essential utilities (gas, water and electric) will be collected by the managing agent, although often, particularly in the case of gas and electricity, this will be the responsibility of each individual resident or tenant
  • Additional Fees and Charges – If there are major works required or a particular tenant causes excessive damage, it is the responsibility of the managing agent to collect the necessary charges to cover these costs
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