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Property Management Companies

Property management companies, usually act on behalf of a landlord in respect of the management of a block of flats. Usually, they are appointed to handle sizable blocks where the arrangements are quite complex and the day-to-day dealings are beyond the time of the landlord who may hold a portfolio of properties, portfolios of property, take considerable management. Whilst some landlords, feel perfectly capable in handling their own affairs and do so on a day-to-day basis, some landlords simply prefer a third-party to deal with the lease holders on a face-to-face basis as discussions and disputes can be quite time consuming. Property management companies, perform a variety of tasks, are experienced with the day-to-day problems that can occur in running a large block and provide an essential line of communication between the leaseholders and the freehold. However, it is important to remember, who is employing property management company and whom they received their instructions from.

Each individual flat owner would have been granted a lease by the landlord, the terms of the lease would have bestowed on each flat owner certain obligations which are contractually binding. The usual provisions of a lease relate to the payment of insurance premiums, rent and service charges. As well as these charges, each flat owner will be faced with certain restrictions or regulations governing the way in which they behave in relation to their neighbours. Other regulations relate to how the individual property may be used or rented to a tenant. The property management company will deal with all of these matters, making sure that the regulations are adhered to and that payment for insurance, ground rent and service charges are received in good time. The property management company will usually help deal with insurance claims, and will be the first port of call, if a loss occurs at the property. They may simply put the lease holder in contact with the insurance company, or depending on their status, may be able to offer a wider service.

In addition to the above items, the property management company will look after the management of the common parts of the building and the provision of services to the flat owners, many blocks include facilities such as gyms and swimming pools and the management company, will make sure that these are kept in a serviceable condition. Most landlords find, without some specific company, enforcing the obligations of the leaseholders, running a large block of flats is difficult if not impossible.

Property management companies can be located in local directories or on the Internet, some may specialise in certain property types. However, only ones that deal with the selling of insurance products are regulated by the FSA. The Association of Residential Managing agents should be able to help you if you want to locate a managing agent near your property. ARMA registered managers are part of an association that commits them to reputable practices and a high level of service for their clients.

How to choose a property management company

Choosing a reputable property management company is essential as the standard of service and expertise offered does vary enormously, you should consider the following in choosing a property managing company.

  • Are they happy to provide references?
  • Do they have a full understanding of leases and all relevant legislation relating to blocks of flats.
  • Can they that they comply with the Codes of Practice.
  • Do they have their own team of people to deal with all aspects of managing the property.
  • Can they provide you with accounting facilities for budgeting, service charge collection and year-end accounting.
  • Can they deal with rent arrears collection and disputes between lessees in an independent and fair manner
  • Can they assist leaseholders who want to rent their flats to tenants if this is allowable. Many lessees will want to use their own agent though

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