What’s a Property Manager and do I need one?

Property management is a loose term that can be applied to many aspects which come with the responsibility of owning land or property. This ranges from the upkeep of the property, i.e. building repairs and maintenance, to collecting rental fees from occupants, dealing with the payments of all outgoings, and insurance and supervision for any staff that may be employed on these premises. These last points mainly occur to larger properties and estates, where property management services are required by the landlord as they do not have previous experience or they are not able to cope with the workload which this entails. The proprietor may only give part responsibility to the agent, or may delegate all the tasks to them. Property management services also include the buying and selling of property, as well as negotiating with current tenants or looking for prospective tenants. Looking after rental properties is one of the main tasks of this type of management; these can range from rural to urban dwellings.

When would I need to employ a property management agent?

This situation would usually occur if you had property which you wanted to rent out but did not know what the procedures, laws and best ways to go about this were. It also applies if a person owns a large estate or property and cannot manage all the smaller properties on this land which they would like to rent out alone.

What does a property management agent do?

As with the role of management in any business, a property management agent is responsible for all the tasks that come with the ownership of real estate.
  • The most important role which they assume is the acting liaison between the proprietor of the property and the tenants who are renting it from him or her.
  • One of the main tasks which the agent assumes is responsibility for all aspects of the litigation in these circumstances. Sometimes a separate solicitor with more specific knowledge may be required, and some property management companies will have a solicitor working within their team instead of them dealing with the legal aspects themselves. However, all agents are trained in what the regular legal proceedings are in most cases, and this situation is therefore not that common. These proceedings include Landlord and Tenant law, situations such as evictions, non-payment, harassment, changes to the pre-arranged services and if squatters ever inhabit the property.
  • The agent is also responsible for ensuring that all maintenance repairs are carried out on the properties.
These are all areas which the agent, as the acting liaison between the landlord and tenant, has to deal with thus they must be up-to-date with current laws and practices.
  • If the property is a commercial one, then the agent will be responsible for the hiring and firing of any employers who come to work here. They may be given sole responsibility of this, or the proprietor may wish to be active in these processes.
  • The property management agency will also be responsible for advertising your property and trying to acquire interest into it. They will produce particulars about the property, which will require them coming to inspect the property and conducting a survey of it so that an accurate description can be produced. In this way, some of the duties of a property management agent are similar to that of an estate agent or surveyor.

What qualifications should I look for?

If you are looking for an agent to manage your rural property and land then you will need to employ a chartered surveyor, also referred to as a land agent. These agents will need to be accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which means they will have been examined by the terms of this institute. All surveyors who graduate from such colleges become MRICS. Recently there has been a qualification produced by The Association of Residential Lettings Agents called the Technical Award in Residential Lettings and Property Management (TARLPM). For urban lettings you should ensure that your agent is qualified under these conditions.