Property Managers – What do you actually do?
Written by Molly Wheeler, a Property Manager at Remus, completing her Senior Housing & Property Management Apprenticeship with Learning Curve
The role of a property manager takes on many responsibilities that are not always clear to residents, the phrase “what do you actually do?” is heard a lot in the industry. A number of residents are not always aware that the development they live in has a property manager until they receive a letter or bill, which understandably is frustrating. This article will help explain what a property manager is and what a management agent does.
The definition of a residential managing agent as stated by ARMA, the Association of Residential Managing Agents, is “the company appointed by the landlord to run and manage the building and services. They will collect service charges from leaseholders in accordance with the terms of the lease. The service charges will include management fees which are their fees for this service. This is usually only a very small element of the total service charge.”
So, what does this really mean?
It means that your managing agents manage your block or estate based on the requirements in your lease or the TP1 documentation you receive when buying your property. If you own a house this will be your TP1 and if you have purchased a flat this will be your lease. Your managing agent and property manager will have knowledge of the Landlord and Tenants Act 1987. As well as Health and Safety requirements which will include the more recent exposure on cladding following the Grenfell Tower Fire on the 14th June 2017. Accountancy to run the finances of the management company appropriately and section 20 project works to coordinate these major works effectively. These are just a few of the responsibilities that are carried out by the managing agent to maintain the development aesthetically and in line with safety regulations.
What is a managing agent and why do we need one?
Managing agents carry out the required works and actions set out in the lease or TP1 on behalf of the client, which is either a Landlord, Freeholder, Resident Management Company (RMC) or a Right to Manage (RTM) Company. These are set up once the development has been handed over from the developers that built the site. ARMA states in their What Does a Managing Agent Do publication that there are benefits to having a management agent in place. The services that will be provided will be stated and agreed in the management agreement and will note any duties the client wishes to include. The management agreement is a contract and not dictated by any legislation.
How does a management company work?
The development will have been registered with a management agent prior to handover from the developers, alongside this they will have set up a Management Company for the development so the company can take over the costs for any contracts that are outstanding. Residential directors are then appointed to manage the company. Management agents will provide the development with a Property Manager that will be working with the directors and supporting them with running the development. Your Property Manager will then take on the role of becoming your central point of contact for the development. They will carry out all the roles necessary to continue safe and consistent management on behalf of the management company, these include: Finances
- Creating and disseminating the annual budget for the collection of service charges which will include contracts where they apply such as
- Cleaning, Gardening, Fire Management Systems and Health and Safety Inspections.
- Payment of invoices from contractors employed to carry out minor repairs and scheduled contracts.
- Preparation of the end of year service charge accounts, so residents and Directors know the expenditure and where the money collected in the service charge has been allocated to.
Leaseholder and Resident Enquiries
- Making sure all parties are kept up to date on outstanding items to build a relationship with those who live in the development.
- Answering conveyancing questions, repairs, and maintenance queries, service charge questions and permissions requests that are requested by residents.
- We ensure that the covenants of the lease/TP1 are carried out which ensures residents safety, and the aesthetics of the development are upheld..
Repairs and Maintenance
- Organising minor day to day repairs throughout the development.
- Organising section 20 works when they are required.
- Prepare specifications and contracts for scheduled maintenance and re-tender contracts regularly to ensure the most competitive price is obtained.
Health and Safety
- Update and track any health and safety requirements such as cladding surveys, fire risk assessments and asbestos reports alongside any specific requirements that may be in place in the development.
When residents are aware of a property managers roles and responsibilities it contributes to smooth and efficient management. When residents are aware of the details above it helps streamline the development and residents feel supported and understand what is expected of them as well as what to expect from their property manager.
I hope that reading this has given you a better understanding of what a Property Manager does, but if there is anything more you would like to know please get in touch and I’d be happy to help.
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