So, what exactly will a property management company do?
A company that offers property management services in London will look after all aspects of maintaining a property from marketing your rental and finding you tenants, to checking references, collecting the rent money and making sure you receive it, responding in a timely fashion if something should break down and needs emergency repair, and even help evict a tenant where necessary. These are necessary services that would be difficult for an owner living abroad to deal with.
Do I need to employ a property manager?
No, the property manager holds the status of being an independent contractor in the UK, so you do not have through the hassles of legally employing them.
Should every overseas owner use a property management company?
Ideally speaking, yes, as it will save you precious time and solve a lot of problems. However, there are of course costs involved with using property management firms, and you will need to weigh that up against the rental income you will earn on the property.
It will also depend on how many flats or units you are renting out. The more units you have, the more likely there are to be issues, and owners of multiple flats will definitely benefit substantially from employing a management services company.
If you live overseas and have little opportunity or reason to visit London, you will probably find it is vital to use the services of a management firm. Even dealing with small issues can be a huge hassle if you are not on-site.
With such high property prices in London, if you can actually afford to buy a property in the capital for rental purposes, it is likely to are already running a successful business that will take up quite a bit of your time. In this case hiring a company to deal with the day-to-day issues that inevitably arise when you own a property, makes perfect sense. It is much more logical to devote your time to building your already lucrative business and offload the management work to others.
There is also the factor that property management may not be something you would enjoy, and therefore you will probably not be very good at it. Some people like to meet prospective tenants, check out references, etc, while others find this a tedious task. If you fall into the second group, management services will be the way to go.
When you consider how much easier life is for overseas landlords when they decide to use a property management London company, the small monthly fee which usually works out to be around 10% of total rental, is not extortionate, and a price most people will be more than willing to pay for the peace of mind this service provides.