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August 25, 2022

Property Management Companies in London 2022

April 19, 2022
Written by
Steve Sims

Property Management Companies can be extremely useful. Find out what they actually do, with this helpful breakdown of their services!

an ariel view of some high rise buildings in London

Table of contents

Property Management Companies

Property management companies are made up of professionals who are in charge of residential, commercial or industrial real estate. According to the trade body, the Association of Residential Management Agents (ARMA) - has over 300 members. The organisation says that the UK has 8,700 residential managing agents out of 22,650 firms, employing 300,000 people nationwide.The market earns firms a whopping £26 billion a year.

Property managers don't assist with the care of single flats in a block for individual landlords. Instead, they deal with the day-to-day running of a building. Their job is to make life run smoothly for owners and tenants and ensure both sides keep to the terms of their lease contracts.

A smartly-dressed property manager is smiling at the camera

The Property Management Industry

London is the national hub for property management companies. The capital has more shopping malls, blocks of flats and offices than any other UK city. The private rental sector is busy in the capital, with residential blocks and student accommodation taking a big slice of the market alongside offices. Even though the sector is flourishing, the industry has no significant players with more than a five per cent market share. Among the most prominent companies are CBRE Group, Jones Lang LaSalle, Savills and Knight Frank.

What do property managers do?

Birds eye view of a property manager working at a laptop

Managing large property developments involves dedicating a lot of time, resources and organisation, which landlords don't have when they scale up their portfolios to dozens or even hundreds of properties. Cue calling in a property management firm to share the burden.

Most property managers take on multiple tasks, which can include:

  • Collecting rent and service charges
  • Handling repairs and maintenance to the building's fabric
  • Looking after concierge services, like reception, security and health and safety of people on site
  • Organising gardeners, window cleaners and other tradespeople
  • Ensuring the building has lights, heating, hot water and other utilities
  • Cleaning and maintaining shared areas, like lifts, stairwells, landscaped areas and parking.

A property manager is using a drill to fix flooring

Some property managers will find and screen tenants, although this job often goes to a letting agent.

Why have a property manager?

A kitchen maintained by a property manager

Landlords who do not have a property manager either have to hire a manager for each block they own or must do the job themselves.Depending on the size of the block, landlords can opt to take on the job. Unfortunately, this can soon become a chore with out-of-hours calls and emergencies. Property managers will have tradesmen and other resources available when needed, including staff to answer those out-of-hours calls. As a result, property management companies are ideal for landlords living some distance from their investments or who prefer not to deal directly with tenants. Managers will also have experts dealing with property law and licensing as part of the team. Absentee owners often choose a property manager for convenience to counter the distance they are from their investment.

How much do property management companies charge?

Property managers generally charge a percentage of the rent collected on behalf of the block owner, although some charge a fixed rate. Management fees could cost up to 15 per cent of the collected rent, but vary depending on the services offered and the size of the building. The cost is an allowed business expense offset through the profit-and-loss account.

Right-to-manage blocks

Right-to-manage (RTM) is when leaseholders take over the running of a block of apartments.RTM companies can hire property managers in the same way as the owner. The company has the same responsibilities as the owner for repairs, maintenance, cleaning and looking after common areas.

How do you know if you need one?

It's recommended to work with a property manager in London, but it's not a legal requirement. You can determine whether or not your situation requires a property manager. Depending on the property you own and rent out, you could benefit from a specialised management company. For example, a property management company that specialises in working with HMO landlords who can ensure that your property meets all legal requirements.

What if I only rent out properties part-time?

It is common for landlords to rent out properties as a full-time career, though this is not always the case. If you are only letting out properties part-time, this could mean you don't always have the time to respond to your tenants or organise repairs. Investing in a property management company service is a great option for both part-time and full-time landlords to have.

How do you find a reliable property manager?

There are so many property management companies in London so it's important to take your time and choose the best one for your needs. A good property management team should make your life easier, not harder! You need to ensure they will quickly respond to tenant enquiries, and property issues, arrange maintenance, carry out safety checks and repairs, and find tenants for the properties.

Key things to look for when deciding on a property management company:

  • Communication: how long does it take them to respond? Is it easy to contact them?
  • Experience: how long have they been successful? What type of properties do they manage?
  • Fees: are they reasonable? Do their charges work with your budget?

Recommendations are a great place to start! You will find out a lot of information by speaking to other landlords and property professionals in the property market who have worked with these companies first-hand. If you are purchasing a new property to rent out, your estate agent could be able to recommend trusted property managers they have worked with in the past. They could even offer their own property management service as part of a package. You can also speak to tenants to learn their perspective about the companies who manage their home.

Online reviews are a fast and easy way to help you choose a service. Look for a property management company with positive reviews, a high star rating, and has good feedback from both landlords and tenants.

Find out more!

Find out everything you need to know about property management by visiting our blog. Plus, you can learn about our services and how we can help you improve your property letting experience by checking out our tenant page. We offer great London properties for tenants of all shapes and sizes, with affordable rates and great locations!

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