What to look for when choosing a management company

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    What to look for when choosing a management company

    my friends and I have been LLs for a number of years and rather than use a management company/ LA we manage our own properties. we tend to help each other out with the properties doing viewings for each other, checks, references, move in/ out cleaning, maintenance all the usual things associated with renting it makes it quite easy as there are 5 of us altogether we have 79 properties between us spread over maybe 20-30 miles.

    As one of them is having a baby she decided that for the next couple of years it would be easier to hand over management of her 11 properties to a LA, 2 of which were due to become vacant at the time,
    In our area property usually doesnt stay empty for that long but even though the LA had been managing them for 4 month they were still empty,
    Driving past one night there was a light on in one of the properties so she stopped and knocked on the door, the person who answered advised that they were renting from the LA and had been in the property for nearly the whole 4 month !
    Discusted that the agent had told her the property was still vacant she promptly told them to hand back all her paperwork, keys etc and that they were no longer managing them and if they tried to charge her any kind of cancellation fee or withhold any rent she would report them, needless to say she never received any kind of objection from them and she is now back to self management !!

    Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this ? it brought us to the question of yes you can reference/check potential tenants but it seems near on impossible to check/ reference a LA

    How do other landlords who use agents go about finding decent ones, what are the key selling points that you look for/ ask when deciding who to use to manage your properties ?

    #2
    Originally posted by button2004 View Post
    How do other landlords who use agents go about finding decent ones...
    I am going to hazard a guess here... I am going to say that you'll get some responses that claim there are no decent ones. I'm going to say that some Landlords will say they have a very good relationship with their Agent and long may that continue... as to how they found them, I am going to say there was a bit of luck involved.

    Your situation - sharing out those 11 properties amongst 5 (or 4) Landlords seems like an opportunity for a bit of extra cash? I expected you've thought that through and decided it wouldn't work.

    79 / 5 = 15 with a remainder 4, so 16; 79 / 4 = 19 remainder 3, so 20... it doesn't seem like those extra ones would make the thing entirely unmanageable?

    A good cautionary tale, nevertheless.

    Comment


      #3
      we dont charge each other for management, we just look out for each more or less, for example if a potential tenant request a viewing and the owner cannot do it at the requested time one of us will go and do it for them, or if a tenant leaves and the house is a mess we all ' roll up our sleeves' and get stuck in.
      she just thought that having a new baby a LA would take away the stress/ worry for a couple of years.
      After that happened we did take on the responsibility between the remaining 4 of us and its no more work than usual to be truthful i just find it strange that to find references for a LA is so difficult.
      I understand that no LA wants anyone to have contact details for people who's properties they do/ have managed and if you do ask for references they will always point you in the direction of the LL'S they have a good relationship with not the ones they have annoyed.
      You can find reviews on almost anything on the internet just not many LA's thats why i ask what is it that LL'S look for or ask potential LA'S when deciding who to use.

      Comment


        #4
        I was/am lucky and have a reasonably good agent.
        I found them via a family member who rented a property from them.

        My thinking was slightly different.
        Will it be easier to manage one relationship (with an agent) than a dozen or so (with individual tenants) and if so, how much is that worth to me.
        Do I have an existing network of handymen, contacts in the area who will do something quickly if I need it doing? Not then, possibly now.
        How much is that worth to me not to get emails, texts and phone calls and have to carry out my own inspections, viewings etc?

        Essentially, is the cost of the service worth it to me?

        However, my assumption was that I would have to actively manage the agent, I couldn't just let them get on with everything and wait for the money to roll in.
        I check gas certificate dates, inspection visits, every agreement, the rent's being paid, every deposit process etc.
        But I only have one "person" to check with, so the agent is a great filter and buffer, and that's worth the fees I pay them.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Well, I limit their involvement in my affairs to Tenant Find only... a decision based on limited experience, but not just one crafty, lying, lazy, incompetent, bullying LA... >3. Obviously this is not a generalised statement. There will be other experiences, but you don't often get to hear of the good stories, just the bad.

          Comment


            #6
            The link below is a guide on how to pick a letting agent.

            http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...34&postcount=8

            Comment


              #7
              There are actually quite a few sites to find reviews, you can also do basic checks on the company to see if there's any adverse history/credit, which can be an indicator. Membership of a regulator isn't always a sure fired way of finding a good agent, most of the nationals are members but their customer service is appalling. A bad agent will typically show themselves early on, the good ones will need a few months to completely build your trust, but are willing to make the effort. You'd quickly get a feel for which camp they're in.
              <a href="http://www.manchesterpropertygroup.co.uk/" target="_blank">Manchester letting agents</a>

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