Property Management Services in London

A property needs to be regularly and carefully maintained. When problems occur, and they no doubt will, we need to be on hand to act.

The key is understanding the root of the problem, which avoids wasted time and money. We have seen a variety of issues in such a broad variety of properties that this is second nature to us. So the landlord can rely on us to keep a watchful eye on their property safe in the knowledge that their interests are perfectly represented.

Tenants are paying customers and need a level of service – we offer that service. This ensures the tenancy runs smoothly and disagreements are minimised.

Lastly, the investment needs to deliver for the landlord. This requires the property to be constantly upgraded. We will plan renovation and modernisation with our clients for a improved and lasting rental yield.

Our mission statement explained

 

Be hands-on, be a problem solver, be nice.

 

Our business is as much about people management as it is property management. We’re a service industry and the people we serve are landlords and tenants.

We do have a tricky path to tread because we ultimately act for and are paid by our client – the landlord, but act as a middleman between a landlord and tenant, who often have a different opinion on what should be done and what is reasonable. They are on different sides of a contract. We also have to take an objective position sometimes and advise on the legal requirements of both parties and act as a mediator in the case of a dispute.
Most property contractual arrangements attract representations for both sides. But unless a tenant is being relocated by a corporation who has appointed a relocation agent – the tenant isn’t represented.

So this a difficult position for us. We’re pulled in two directions sometimes.

There is a culture that exists in agency where property managers are treated with disdain and used as a scape goat. If the landlord wants to be gracious – the property manager is vicariously seen as gracious. If the landlord doesn’t want to give the tenant what he or she is asking for – the property manager is seen as difficult and obstructive. Equally if the tenant asks for too much, is combative or irresponsible – again the property manager can be the target in the eyes of the landlord for not handling the situation better.

We accept that given our position, we are going to struggle to to be liked by everyone all the time. But our challenge is to reduce the % of all that deal with us who hold a negative view to the absolute minimum. So how to we tackle this?

Number 1; Be hands-on

Our slogan plastered on all our jackets and polo shirts is ‘Hands-on Property Management’. We like to meet landlords face to face, we like to meet tenants face to face. We see the properties regularly. We get stuck in and get our hands dirty. This improves our relationships with both parties – and both see us as personable, reasonable and responsible people. It takes the heat out of most situations. It’s much worse if you’re dealing with a faceless entity over email. We get involved physically too. We’re not standing back at arm’s length and waiting for other people to do the problem solving for us. Which leads me to –

Point 2; Be a problem solver

It seems an obvious point, but there is traditionally too much beating around the bush and worrying about red tape or process. And this can escalate quickly and lead to bad feeling and frustration on all sides. We talk between ourselves in the office, and we discuss what is going to solve a problem, make an action plan and get on with it. This often involves us going way above the call of duty – going out after hours and doing some emergency fixing, taking portable heaters to a flat, doing some extra last minute cleaning etc. If we have an issue we stop and ask ourselves – are solving the problem or are we delaying it? The quicker and more efficiently we solve a problem, the less complaints there are and the more the business grows. The greater we are respected by our landlords and tenants, and the more patient they will be with us. This takes sacrifice – but there is reward and satisfaction in that.

Number 3 – be nice.

All too easily forgotten but crucial. You can be firm, you can object, you can disagree. But do it whilst being nice. That is all.

FEES

For rental properties, we charge 6%+VAT of the rent. If you have a portfolio of properties, we are happy to discuss a package deal.

For short let management, we will normally agree a fixed management fee per booking dependent on the size of the property.

For block management or estate management, please call us to discuss your exact requirements and the property in question.

FINANCES

We have a dedicated client account and property management software that allows us to carefully track income and expenditure.

We will provide you with statements and invoices for your tax returns and chase rent on your behalf.

LAW

The law is changing all the time and landlords are a target of more and more scrupulous legal requirements.

It is our job to keep abreast with the latest industry updates manage in accordance with the law and RICS guidelines and make sure you’re informed and covered.

CO-ORDINATION

Co-ordinating tenants, contractors, access, keys and billing is not a challenge to be underestimated.

It’s a big part of the hassle factor of management. We do all of this for you.

DO I NEED MANAGEMENT?

If you’re busy, abroad or simply want to focus on other more enjoyable things, management will be beneficial to you.

Managing a property requires large actions and small actions; it’s the small ones that get missed by landlords or estate agents. Simply popping by to look at a problem, topping up boiler pressure, replacing a carbon monoxide alarm, unblocking a fridge drain, filling that hole. Without these important touches, the property deteriorates and small problems can become expensive ones.

Self-managing does not necessarily save money as it takes time, experience and diligence. It can also be stressful – often at the worst moment!

As a landlord you need to be available to attend to issues 24/7 – for modern, discerning tenants it’s not good enough for the property to be managed from a distance.

If you’re not absolutely sure that you can identify the cause of an issue quickly, it’s best to get someone else to do it.

WHY ARE WE HERE?

Acara Management was formed in 2013 because of the need for a higher quality of management service for landlords.

Many landlords use estate agents for management once their property is rented, but find the property does not receive the care and attention needed to maintain and improve it properly, and in turn keep the tenants or the landlord happy.

This is because management is hard work! Typically, estate agents won’t visit the property and instead do everything from their desks. This hugely restricts the quality of the service they can offer.

A desk-bound property manager often has to rely on somebody else to diagnose the problem. If this is a tenant, mistakes can easily occur. If it’s a contractor, that’s a call-out the landlord has had to pay for.

We diagnose problems ourselves as part of the service, allowing us to solve a problem cost effectively. If we can solve the problem ourselves and save the landlord a call out, we do. It does not always need a plumber to unblock a sink, a gas engineer to top up a boiler, or an electrician to reset a switch.

Contact us