First Lets – 7 tips to hire the best investment property manager
Experienced property investors all know that managing your buy-to-let investment property can be a full-time job. For some, it’s exactly what they want – a second job eliminating any spare time they had. But the majority of landlords don’t want the headache of early morning (or late night) calls, late payment of rent, and dealing with nightmare tenants.
To benefit from investing in buy-to-let property and keep your free time your own, you’ll need professional investment property management. But that property management comes at a cost. How do you know you’re getting value for your money? Here are the capabilities that an investment property manager should be able to demonstrate.
1. Processes to get the best tenants
Getting great tenants is one of the three ingredients to maximising profit from rental income. Together with the best location and best investment property management, you’ve got a winning formula.
Make sure that the property manager you chose has the processes, procedures and systems in place to find those tenants. They should be able to demonstrate:
- A comprehensive tenant application process
- Tenant vetting procedures that eliminate potential nightmare tenants
- That they use up-to-date tenancy agreements that cover all bases
They need to do background checks, be experienced in applicant interviewing, and adhere to the right to rent and discrimination laws.
2. Keeping on top of tenant rental payments
Ask about the property manager’s systems used to keep on top of rental payments, and how quickly they pay you. It’s best for tenants to pay their rent by direct debit, and the investment property manager should have systems that flag up late payment.
Ask if those systems generate automated late payment notices, and how the manager handles incidents. At the very least, you’ll want to know that the property manager will call your tenant to remind them that rent is due or late.
3. Property maintenance: inspections
Regular property inspections will help:
- Identify maintenance issues before they become major repairs. It keeps costs down.
- Ensure that the tenants are acting responsibly and by the tenancy agreement.
Your property manager should demonstrate that they carry out regular inspections and that they avoid the common property inventory mistakes that buy-to-let landlords make.
As well as routine inspections, an investment property manager should conduct an inspection in the presence of the tenant at the start and end of a tenancy.
4. Property maintenance: ongoing capabilities
The investment property manager should have systems in place to make reporting of maintenance problems easy.
But it’s not only about reporting of problems. If the property manager doesn’t have the local connections with recognised, reputable, and reliable local tradespeople, then those maintenance issues could take days or weeks to tackle. It will push your costs up. It will make tenants angry. And angry tenants are less likely to accept rent increases.
If you hire a property manager that’s poor at property maintenance, you could find yourself with expensive void periods.
5. Expertise in landlord/tenant law
The majority of landlord/tenant law appears to be stacked in favour of the tenant. The team you pick to manage your investment property should be up to date with these laws. And these laws are constantly changing. So make sure they have a procedure in place to continue updating their knowledge in a crucially important area.
Changes in landlord/tenant law will be reflected in the tenancy agreements. You should be asked about your main concerns as a landlord and offered ways to protect your position and property with watertight clauses in the tenancy agreement.
6. Tenancy agreements that do what they are meant to
Standard, off-the-peg tenancy agreements are rarely, if ever, suitable for your investment property. DIY tenancy agreements – the kind you download from the Internet or buy in a major high street stationery shop – fall out of date very quickly. They have wording and clauses that are obsolete. These null and void the agreement, and hand most of the power to the tenant.
7. Eviction processes if a tenant goes bad
Even the best tenants can go bad. Circumstances change. They may be made redundant, get divorced, or suffer an injury that stops them from working. A new baby comes along that changes the family dynamic, or the black-sheep child return home. Regular contact and property inspections should give early warning signals of changing circumstances. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
If your tenant does turn bad, and stops paying rent or acting against the tenancy agreement, your investment property manager should be able to help with the eviction process. They’ll understand the rules for the buy-to-let landlord to evict nightmare tenants. They’ll do everything by the book, get all the correct paperwork together, and make the eviction process as smooth as possible.
If you’re new to buy-to-let, or simply sick to the back teeth of self-managing your properties, contact one of the Ezytrac team today on +44 1522 503 717. You’ll quickly start to discover why we’re one of the fastest-growing investment property management companies in the UK today.
Yours in effortless property management,