property management companies

Difference Between Property Management Companies and Private Landlords

If you’re a landlord, whether you are a private landlord or part of a company, you may be wondering what the difference is between being a private landlord and property management companies?

There are lots of reasons why these are very different things, and we’re here to highlight some of the main differences between private landlords and property management companies. By reading up on these differences, you may be able to make the decision as to whether you want to tackle the responsibility of being a private landlord or rely on the services of a property management company to help you manage some of the daily and sometimes laborious tasks associated with being a private landlord.

Private Landlords

Private landlords have a lot of responsibility when it comes to letting their property. Whether you have a single property you are renting out to a family, or you have a selection of properties dotted around, the amount of work still takes up a huge portion of your day.

Typical jobs that need to be completed by a private landlord include:

Duty to Check your Right to Rent

Private landlords must ensure they have checked the tenant’s rights to rent a home in England. This means checking immigration status and the status of any adult tenant. This is an extremely important step and can be classed as a criminal offence if forgotten about.

Duty to Provide Start of Tenancy Information

At the start of your tenancy the landlord must give you:

  • an Energy Performance Certificate for your home (must be a minimum of E rating)
  • a gas safety certificate (if the property has gas appliances)
  • a copy of the latest government guide: How to rent – if you have an assured shorthold tenancy that started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015

This is a lot to remember and things can be easily missed off the list, especially if you are

It is also harder for a tenant to be able to evict tenants without supplying all these things beforehand.

Duty to Protect Tenancy Deposit

Landlords must protect tenancy deposits with a UK government approved deposit protection scheme. However, lodger deposits do not have to be protected. Tenants deposits should be returned once they leave the property after paying all the rent and caused no damage.

Repairing Obligations

Landlords are not only responsible for any paperwork, but they also have to carry out any exterior and structural repairs of a property. This includes problems with the roof, chimney, walls, guttering and drains.

You must also ensure that the water supply, gas and electricity are all kept in safe working order.

If you need to access a property to do any repair, you must give reasonable notice to your tenants and arrange a suitable time that works for both parties, unless of course it is an emergency.

Health and Safety Obligations

There are also health and safety obligations that a landlord must carry out to ensure the smooth, safe and enjoyable tenancy of their occupants. There is a range of things landlords must do to ensure the health and safety, such as:

  • have a gas safety check done every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • make sure any furniture meets safety standards – this includes making sure soft furnishings have fire safety badges
  • ensure electrical equipment meets safety standards
  • A smoke alarm must be installed on each floor of the property and carbon monoxide detectors in any room with a coal fire or wood burning stove

Not only is this a lot of potentially manual work, making you drive to different properties to perform these checks, you will also have to liaise with engineers and tenants to organise these health and safety checks. This takes a lot of organisation.  

Duty to Follow Rules on Rent and Rent Increases

It is your duty as a landlord to tell your tenants when and how the rent should be paid. Whether you choose to ask for rent weekly or monthly, you must provide tenants with a rent book to keep track of all payments.

Landlords must follow rules on rent increases that vary according to the type of tenancy you have.

Duty to Abide by Eviction Rules

You must follow certain procedures to be able to evict someone from your property. If you have reason to believe the tenants need to be evicted, you should notify them in writing and get a court order before you can order bailiffs to evict anyone from the property.

It is illegal if you try to evict a tenant from the property without following these steps and can if you breach this, it can be classed as a criminal offence. Evicting tenants can be a hard and often unpleasant process, but sometimes it just cannot be avoided. However, property management companies can take off this pressure for you so you don’t have to deal with the process by yourself.

Property Management Companies

The difference here is that property management companies take on all these daily tasks and chores faced by private landlords. The main difference is, with property management companies, they have a selection of representatives who can tackle, handle and deal with the sheer amount of tasks that naturally come with being a landlord.

Things such as client-facing problems, repairs, emergency contacts and tenant screening are all things that can be quickly and professionally handled by a property management company. If you’re a busy landlord, perhaps juggling a selection of properties in different areas, property management service could be the ideal option for you to help you better manage your time.

At Affitto, we have a wide selection of landlord services that can help you to keep on top of your tasks and give you more time to enjoy your income and time. Not only that, but we can also take high quality photographs of your properties to help boost with their listings.

Get in touch with any of our representatives in Birmingham, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham Walsall, Wolverhampton & Central Scotland and find out how we can help you today. Our representatives are available for you to call 6 days a week, 9am to 7pm.

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