According to Rushbrook & Rathbone, an increasing number of landlords are opting to have their properties managed by a third party in line with reports from mortgage lender Paragon, that many have grown their portfolios in the second quarter of 2012.
Rushbrook & Rathbone, who provide property management services to both letting agents as well as private landlords, say they have seen a 20 percent rise in interest which they believe can be attributed to the growing number of landlords looking to build their portfolios, and therefore requiring more and more support in order to service their tenants correctly.
Sarah Rushbrook, Managing Director of Rushbrook & Rathbone, says “with so much economic unrest, landlords are taking the opportunity to capitalise on the one growing market, buy to let, where demand for rental properties from those who cannot afford to enter into home ownership has increased tenfold.”
Many landlords, some of whom initially entered into the buy to let market as accidental landlords, have been very successful, now reaching a level where they require additional resources and manpower to help manage a hassle free portfolio. Sarah says “Many still work full time jobs and simply don’t have the time to deal with tenant or agent issues, which can include anything from rent collection and arrears, to maintenance issues and inventories.”
Rushbrook & Rathbone say that as more accidental landlords enter into the buy to let market, the need for third party intervention becomes ever more apparent. “Inexperienced landlords run the risk of becoming too emotionally attached to the properties and over friendly with their tenants, making delicate negotiations much trickier. Landlords must recognise letting a property is a highly regulated business venture with great potential rewards but also many possible pitfalls, this is where a managed service can ensure landlords remain compliant and do not have problems at the end of the tenancy getting their properties back” says Sarah.
Property management has changed and evolved with landlords’ needs. A growing number of landlords feel perfectly competent dealing with minor maintenance issues, such as broken appliances or minor plumbing works but are completely out of their depth when it comes to the true implications of tenancy agreements, chasing rent arrears, serving notice, dealing with dilapidations and overseeing major refurbishments. Sarah says “In response to this, we decided to offer landlords and agents the option of a fixed price service which covers all the legal and financial aspects of setting up and running a tenancy ensuring that they comply with all current legislation.”
In particular, a ‘Management on Demand’ option which landlords can tap into when they wish, has proved to be most popular as it allows landlords to maintain control over the level of their expenses and only pay for the services they use when they need them. “Landlords enjoy an “on demand” service which at times can develop into more of a concierge service where cleaning, garden maintenance, sourcing quotes and coordinating major refurbishments work can all be taken care of, as well as managing vacant properties in between tenancies or during other gaps in rental periods” concludes Sarah.