Published: 29/03/2021If you're dipping your toes in the buy-to-let London property market for the first time, you might shrug your shoulders and say, 'It can't be that difficult; any idiot can do it?' Only when you've experienced sleepless nights worrying about the rent not being paid on time or whether or not you've got all the legalities in place will you see the benefits of employing the services of a professional property manager. Once you've had this light bulb moment, you will be released from the endless 'To Do List' headaches and the aggravation and stress involved in self-managing your rental property. It will be a weight off your shoulders.
Here are a few scenarios that might help you make up your mind:
Tenants are notorious for calling at all hours, thinking their issue constitutes a real emergency, i.e., when there's a power cut, but all they needed to do was flick the trip switch.
You're on your dream holiday, sitting blissfully by the pool, without a care when your tenants call you to tell you the washing machine is caput and that there's been a flood. You have to put down the cocktail, press the pause button on your holiday, and try to find a plumber, source a new machine, and call the insurance company before you can pick up your best seller and relax once again.
CHOOSING A TENANT
You may fear being accused of discrimination if you're not up to speed and don't know what you can and can't ask when vetting a prospective tenant. The laws change regularly on the protocols of marketing a property, so keeping up to date can be time-consuming.
Your tenants have fallen out and want out, but under the lease agreement they both signed, they're jointly responsible for the rent. What do you do??
Don your mediation hat to resolve the feud because you're the property owner and need to take charge of the situation before it gets out of hand. Complaints about or from neighbours, can include issues regarding animals, excessive noise, etc., and can sometimes become very unpleasant. Worst-case scenarios may involve the law.
Your tenant is responsible for the day-to-day running of your property, from changing the light bulbs to cleaning the filter on the washing machine. However, some tenants don't even do the smallest of tasks, so you'll need to be good at DIY.
Evictions are a minefield and a daunting process. They require exact procedures and notices to be followed to be legal. Knowing the law and keeping up with the constant changes can be time-consuming. This is when it's good to have a manager to advise and shield you.
If your tenant fails to pay rent, disputes a security deposit deduction, needs to be evicted or accuses you of violating their rights, you could find yourself in court.
Regular inspections are essential to ensure that your property is being kept in good order and your tenant is sticking to the tenancy agreement. The problem is that inspections are far from fun to conduct and can cause a perfect relationship to turn sour.
Conclusion: At the end of the day, a professional London property management company can save you a lot of heartaches. Property managers deal with the nitty-gritty of managing your investment, thus freeing up your time to continue to build your portfolio or go to the gym! Tenants prefer professionally managed properties and are usually prepared to pay a premium for the privilege and peace of mind.