What do you do if your basement pool springs a leak in the middle of the night?  Or if your tenant doesn’t understand the latest tablet controlled lighting?  Wealthy homeowners are increasingly turning to property management companies...

High net worth individuals and overseas families rarely have the time to look after the day-to-day running of their property, particularly if they plan to spend just a few months of the year there. They turn to their trusted advisers for guidance in finding a dependable and professional property management service to rely on.

Although solicitors provide professional advice on the complex legal and fiscal issues surrounding property acquisition and relocation, clients are increasingly looking for professional help on the more practical issues when owning and renting property.

In these situations it is always recommended that the buyer contact a property management service well ahead of the completion date. 

Property management companies specialise in providing a range of services, whether the buyer decides to let the property out, occupy it as his or her principal private residence or stay on a more intermittent basis. Management packages are tailored specifically to meet the needs of the homeowner.

Homes are becoming more complex, with touchscreen technology, switchback privacy glass that turns opaque at the flick of a switch, smart appliances that remember preferences, and remote access security and monitoring systems.  These all need ongoing maintenance to ensure optimal comfort and efficiency for homeowners.

Property managers can guide the owner/tenant through the complex array of household manuals, manage annual service visits and liaise with legal advisers to settle claims for any defects in the building or renovations.  Specialist management companies have the expertise to project manage refurbishments and redevelopment on behalf of the owners

There is more to property management than meets the eye and while it’s comforting for owners to know that their rental property is being maintained to the highest standards, it also increases the bottom line. Properties that are maintained to the highest standards command premium rents and have the lowest vacancy rates. 

It is important to have a clear agreement between the homeowner and the property management company that sets out what services are included and who is responsible for what. We recommend instructing a property management service early on to ensure a smooth ‘handover’ between solicitors and property manager so that clients can enjoy their property from the outset.

Recently, at Boodle Hatfield. we liaised with property managers on a number of on-going planning obligations following the redevelopment of a former commercial site in Notting Hill. On another occasion we worked with them to ensure that a tenancy agreement complied with current legislation and the terms of the mortgage.

Tenants looking to rent a property are increasingly only considering properties that are managed by a reputable agent.  Tenants want the reassurance that, if something goes wrong, it will be dealt with promptly.  At the top end of the market, a property management service can be an invaluable tool in taking the hassle out of ownership.

By using their relationships with professional advisers, tradespersons and agents, property managers skilfully manage properties to achieve the best rental outcomes or simply maintain the property to the highest standards.

This article was written by Edward Allan and Colette Hamilton-Davies. Edward is a solicitor in the Property team at Boodle Hatfield, specialising in high value residential property. Colette Hamilton-Davies is founder of Managed By which provides property management services to owners of properties in prime Central London.