Block property managers and block management companies have a lot of responsibilities. They are responsible for the quality and condition of the block, keeping it rented out to qualified tenants, handling tenant deposits and ground rent collection, scheduling repairs…the list goes on.
But amongst the many responsibilities property management companies handle, which are the most important ones, and which ones make for a good property manager?
Here are a number of important responsibilities that property managers and block owners should take into account when choosing a block property management company.
Firstly, who is responsible for the management of a block of flats?
Normally, the landlord or freeholder is responsible for the overall management of a property. Leaseholders, on the other hand, may elect to run their own freehold Residents Management Company (RCM) and take on the responsibilities that the landlord has.
However, it’s also increasingly popular for landlords and property owners to hire a professional managing agent, like us at Scanlans, to handle and maintain their property. Managing agents, also known as property managers, follow directives from the landlord and can bring an organised, professional approach to building management.
When it comes to determining the responsibilities of a block of flats, it can be difficult. This blog will help to determine exactly what each person involved in property management is responsible for.
What is a property management company responsible for?
A residential property management company is in charge of everything from scheduling repairs and improvements, to providing administrative support. A property management company may help the building owner run the property more effectively by providing experience and expertise. They perform priority tasks such as:
- Repairing and maintaining the building’s structure, walls and roofs
A property management company is the one to deal with any maintenance or repair demands made by the tenant. One of the primary responsibilities of a property manager is to provide a 24-hour response for any emergency repairs. Some management firms, on the other hand, use specialised after-hours technology to handle these inquiries.
- Routine site visits
On-site staff, contract property services compliance, and the condition of common parts, grounds and leisure facilities are all monitored on a regular basis by a Property Manager. Additional visits to development projects are often scheduled to meet with consumers and contractors to really get involved in the process.
Furthermore, identifying little maintenance concerns early as a result of site visits may help property owners save money – before they become major issues. It’s also a fantastic method to figure out what would make tenants happy. All of these factors will contribute to property owners’ success in their endeavour to be successful landlords.
- Accounting services
Property management firms are responsible for keeping track of all financial documentation related to your rental property company. As a result, here’s what you can anticipate from a property manager while she or he handles your block management finances:
- Thorough accounting of all property service charge payments collected, including receipts
- Annual reporting of all financial statements
- Monthly income/expense reports
- Documentation of any payments made on the owner’s behalf
- All maintenance and repair estimates, work orders, and invoice/payment receipts
- Yearly tax information for the property itself and the rental property business
- The preparation of year end accounts
- Acting as company secretary if necessary for a residents management company
- Sourcing prospective tenants
Block property managers can source and undertake new tenant screening checks, as well as manage initial communication with them. This is a key responsibility of a property management company as they can check to ensure that each new tenant is vetted, which helps ensure the quality of tenants in the building is kept to a high quality standard.
Property managers can also handle the initial setup of the security deposit as each new tenant moves in. They will collect the deposit on the moving date, and should the tenant move out, they will then deduct the necessary fees and return the rest. These tasks are especially useful for busy landlords or RMC directors.
However, despite these important responsibilities other tasks are also handled by a property management firm, including:
- Scheduling and assessing cleaners, gardeners and window cleaners
- Maintaining facilities onsite such as vehicle gates, lifts, smoke and fire alarms
- Undertaking and upholding health and safety in communal areas of flats and overseeing fire risk assessments
- Service charge and arrears collection
- Dealing with tenant complaints
- Upholding legal obligations such as ensuring a lease agreement is in compliance with the fair housing act
- Dealing with breaches of lease
What is a managing agent responsible for on behalf of a leasehold management company?
Whether you are the director of a residents’ management company or have exercised “The Right to Manage,” a managing agent may assist you with property management.
This is extremely beneficial if you don’t have the time or need expert assistance. A managing agent ensures that clients are kept informed of their legal obligations and that everything is maintained to the greatest extent possible. This includes:
- Collection of service charges and ground rent
- Management of contractors
- Compliance with relevant company and property law
- Management of on-site staff
- Preparation of budgets, financial forecasts and year-end accounts
- Handling solicitors’ enquiries on the sale of individual properties
- Engaging and management of maintenance contracts and repairs
- Administration of insurance premiums and communal claims
- Compliance with health and safety legislation
- Attendance of meetings
- Regular property visits and inspections for preventative maintenance
Do property management companies have a responsibility to handle problems?
Yes. When managing properties on behalf of a landlord or residents management company, a property manager will have a responsibility to help resolve disagreements. These may include scenarios like:
- Disagreements with residents about the cost of repair work or necessary expenditure;
- Handling resident complaints, for example regarding a communal issue or neighbour
- Leaseholders failing to pay service charges; and
- Residents disagreeing with board members disagreeing with board decisions (if an RMC is in place)
It’s critical to have a procedure for dealing with disputes if they do arise. A block property manager can assist you in resolving any tenant and landlord conflicts that may occur.
They will have considerable dispute resolution experience and will be able to assist you in reaching a solution swiftly and effectively. In the long run, this may save you time and money.
Looking for an expert block management company to handle the responsibilities of your property?
At Scanlans Property Management, our speciality is residential block management services.
We offer a variety of services to blocks of flats, and we take pride in our reputation for consistently delivering a high-quality, dependable service.
With a wealth of experience in dealing with all aspects of block property management, we can make sure that your block is managed efficiently and effectively.