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Is Your Property Management Company Delivering? Twelve Questions to Help You Decide.

27 February 2017

Are you getting full value from your property management company? What should commercial property landlords look for when it comes to appointing a property management company? Here are 12 questions to help you decide.

Is there a 24 hour service?

Property Managers should be on call 24/7, 365 days a year to respond to tenant calls and react to their property issues on your behalf.

What percentage of rents and service charges and other costs are collected on or before the due date?

You need to safeguard your cash flow. Good property management focuses on collecting, not chasing payments.

How motivated is the team to bring in the cash over the holiday period? 

Check the rate achieved for the end of the year when the Quarter Day falls on 25 December. 

Does the management team all work in the same office?

There can be communication problems, and a below par service, if the accounts team is not based in the same office as the managing agents.

Is a margin added to the cost of services delivered via third parties?  There should be no benefit to the property management company in seeing higher supplier bills.

Is there a regular audit of bills and a regular tendering for contracts? 

The more properties managed, the lower should be the bills, as property managers should be able to use economies of scale to achieve lowest prices. 

Are there regular property inspections?

Spotting any problems, anticipating future issues, and providing the landlord with a plan to tackle these are key parts of pro-active property management.

Are there regular Health and Safety Audits?  Is your property manager ensuring that you are compliant?  Is there easy access for the landlord and tenants to all necessary Health and Safety Information?

Does your property management company provide regular reports? Do you receive comprehensive updates on your properties on a monthly basis in a format which best suits you?

Does your property manager take care of all tenant liaison? This includes applications for alterations, assignments and sub-letting and ensuring that tenants are compliant with lease covenants and landlord’s covenants?  Are there regular tenant meetings, to head off any potential problems?

Does your property manager understand and follow the RICS Code of Practice for Service Charges?

Following this code helps avoid any service charge disputes with tenants.

Can your property manager project manage electrical, mechanical and fabric projects?

Good, pro-active professional property and facilities management can make a real difference by adding value to your property, optimising your rental returns and removing any property headaches.