A Private landlord has a number of duties to fulfill, to ensure their property is managed correctly. Property management companies are sometimes hired to oversee and perform daily operations of a property and ensure that the property owner and the tenant are both satisfied.
There’s lots of differences between a private landlord and a property management company, with both options bringing a host of advantages & disadvantages.
Landlords must be aware of the differences and decide whether to hire a property management company or take on the responsibility for being a private landlord.
When you are a private landlord there it’s a big responsibility when it comes to letting out your property. The amount of work takes up a high proportion of your day whether you have a single property or multiple of properties, it’s still time consuming.
Below is a list of tasks that private landlords would have to complete:
Health and Safety
The landlord has a responsibility to make sure that the property is safe for their tenants to live in, health and safety requirements include:
- Making sure a smoke alarm is installed in every floor of the property and also installing carbon monoxide detectors in any room containing a coal fire or wood burning stove.
- Meeting the safety standards of any electrical equipment.
- Making sure the property is well ventilated to prevent mould and damp as they can cause health hazards for tenants.
- Completing a gas safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer every 12 months.
- Ensure all furniture meets safety standards for example fire safety badges on soft furnishings.
As a private landlord you would have to carry all of these out by yourself, whereas with property management you could rely on them to organise these health and safety checks.
Right to Rent
Private landlords have to check the status of a tenant and their tenant’s immigration status, to ensure the tenant has a right to rent in England.
If forgotten it can be classed as a criminal offence meaning it’s an extremely important duty to check your tenant’s right to rent.
Landlords have to ensure that the gas, electricity and the water supply are all kept in a safe working order.
They are also responsible for structural and exterior repairs to the property which includes any problems with the guttering, chimneys, walls, roofs or any drains.
The landlords must give notice to the tenant and arrange a suitable time if they would like access to the property to carry out and repairs, unless there is an emergency.
It can be hard for private landlords to arrange times for them and the tenant to agree on, especially if the landlord has a day job. Whereas with a property management company they organise and complete all of the repairs.
Protecting Tenancy Deposit
Using the UK government protection scheme landlords must protect tenancy deposits, once tenants leave the property and the rent is all payed off the deposit is returned if no damage was caused.
Start of Tenancy Information
It’s important to supply all required information to the tenant before the tenancy. This information includes:
- Gas safety certificate
- Confirmation that the deposit is protected
- Latest government guide – “how to rent”
- An Energy Performance Certificate at a minimum rating E
From this checklist alone theirs lots of things that you would have to remember and a private landlord would have to manage all of these tasks.
Obeying Eviction Rules
There are crucial rules that private landlords have to follow when trying to evict a tenant, this include notifying the tenant and getting a court order.
It’s classed as a criminal offence to try and evict a tenant without following these steps.
Furthermore evicting a tenant can be a very stressful and an unpleasant process so the use of a property management company can help take the pressure off private landlords by them not having to deal with it.
Rent Increase Rules
Landlords have to provide tenants with a rent book to keep track of all payments; also a landlord’s duty is to inform tenants how and when the rent should be paid.
Additionally as a landlord you must follow the rules on rent increase which relies on the type of tenancy you have.
Property Management Companies
Property management companies are hired to carry out the above tasks so that landlords don’t have to.
A main difference is that property management companies have certain people who are specialised in each task to go and handle and complete the tasks that come with being landlord.
Property management is great for a busy landlord perhaps with multiple properties as it can be hard to focus on all properties. Property managers professionally handle any problems facing a landlord such as; repairs, emergencies, health and safety or client problems.