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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.


A week in the life of a Property Manager


Property Management can be complicated, unglamorous and dirty, and that’s why clients pay us to do it. We have the experience and the contacts to deal with the difficult scenarios, but we also have the human touch because we get to know the property, the landlord and the tenant.

All our staff are based in offices local to the properties they manage

Monday

“As the rents were due a week ago, I checked my dashboard on our computer database to show the rents that were unpaid this morning. I drew up some letters to send out as a polite reminder that the rent is due and will follow this up later in the week with a phone call. We like to build a relationship with our tenants and so calling as well as writing to them is part of our process for chasing rent. If I don’t hear back by next week I will then send a second letter, and continue to try to speak to them on the phone.

Tuesday

Once we book a check out, we arrange to meet all tenants for a pre-check out appointment a week before. This is an opportunity to walk through the property and alert the tenant to outstanding cleaning jobs or repairs which they might be charged for at their check out. It is a great chance to remind the tenant of their obligations as per the tenancy agreement, and to advise them of any damage which is above “fair wear and tear”. Last week I visited some tenants and advised them to clean the carpets and windows before today’s visit. The check out went really well, and the tenants had taken my advice and used our suggested contractors, so I can arrange for the deposit to be returned to them.

Wednesday

Two weeks ago we wrote to our tenants to let them know we would be carrying out a routine maintenance inspection (including taking photos) this week. Before I left the office I checked the files of the properties and noticed one property was last redecorated seven years ago. When I got there I stood outside and looked at everything: the gutters, the roof, the windows and the façade to consider whether an external redecoration is necessary. This was all okay, but I could see that the internal paintwork needs freshening up and the carpet in the bathroom is looking worn.

Thursday

I wrote my inspection reports today and sent them, along with photos, to the landlords. These list my findings from the inspections and include my future recommendations for maintenance. For the property which needed work I suggested re-painting at the end of the current tenancy and replacing the bathroom carpet with vinyl. I liaised with Bricks & Mortar and Decorum Interiors to provide estimates for this work to send to the landlord.

Great news! I called the tenant whose rent is outstanding and she paid over the phone.

Friday

We operate a 24/7 emergency line (for genuine emergencies), which is manned by our Property Managers – not run from a call centre. I was on duty for our office and I took a telephone call at 7.30pm reporting a large water leak at a property.

En route to the property, I arranged for a plumber to visit and fix the mains-water leak from the apartment upstairs. Fortunately, that tenant of the property above had arrived home by this time to allow access. By the time I arrived on-site, I had also arranged for an electrician to visit and check both apartments’ electrics.

The apartment was on the ground floor, and so for security reasons we couldn’t just leave the windows open to dry the property out. As such, I arranged for another of our trusted contractors to be on-site within an hour with dehumidifiers and air circulators. In the meantime, I helped the tenant to mop up and remove the water.

Damage to the living room ceiling from the large water leak

On Monday I will hand the situation over to the Property Manager who usually deals with the property, and so knows the tenant and landlord as well as the block manager. He will visit the property to photograph the damage and then get the insurance claim underway. For now, I need a glass of wine!”