Property Management & Lettings Accounts
The summer months are always a welcome relief to our Property Managers. Finally the heating is turned off for a few months, reducing those ghastly boiler breakdowns, and the sunshine definitely helps put a spring in our steps and a cheery smile on our faces.
Over the last quarter we have been working hard on ensuring that all of your properties have had the newly enforced EICRs (Electrical Inspection Condition Report) carried out along with any remedial works required. In doing this, we have made sure that all properties meet the required safety standards as per government guidelines introduced in June 2020 for new tenancies and latterly June 2021 for all tenancies. The link below provides further information regarding this new legal requirement.
Guide for landlords: electrical safety standards in the private rented sector - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
As I mentioned in our Spring update, there are five key elements that we are consistently monitoring month on month to ensure that we are always improving on the service that we deliver to our landlords.
These are the top five key items that we believe are important to our clients:
- Customer Service
- Non-Payment of Rents
- Average Tenancy Length
- Void Periods
Below is a summary of where we are today and how we are carrying out our action plan for the year ahead.
There is nothing more rewarding than that feeling of knowing that you have provided an outstanding service. Your opinions matter - we have had some fantastic feedback over the last quarter of which we are extremely proud to have received.
We also appreciate constructive feedback, no matter how big or small the issue. Every landlord, regardless of whether their portfolio size is one property or 21 properties, is equally important to us, and we want to make sure we get it right. We’d love to hear from you!
Like many other companies, our Property Managers and Accounts team continue to work remotely. Given the lifting of some restrictions, we are now able to carry out appointment only face- to-face meetings in our office or even a local coffee shop should you prefer. However, we also appreciate that this is not always practical and therefore we continue to offer virtual meetings via Zoom or Teams.
Receiving your rent payment on time is a priority. We have had a couple of bank holidays over the last quarter meaning your rent would have been very slightly delayed, so we hope that our email notifications in advance helped here. Your rent will always be paid on the next working day after funds clear.
We monitor our non-paid rents month on month. At very best pre-COVID-19 our non-paid rents were 0.6 % in October 2019, with the highest being 2.8% in December 2020. Over the last quarter we have averaged at 2.7% meaning that 97.3% of our tenants pay rent on time.
For those tenants not paying rent on time, we can assure you that we are fully committed to encouraging payment as quickly as possible, with regular communication with your tenants via phone call, text message or email, as well as Rent Chase letters every seven, 14 and 21 days. Often it is a simple oversight, but when it is a bigger problem, you can be sure that we will do everything possible to protect you.
We know that your property may be your biggest investment, and it is our job to protect it.
As with any investment, a little work is sometimes needed to ensure that its maximum value is achievable. A well maintained property will ensure the maximum rental yield and will keep your tenants happy, meaning long term security.
Having had the EICR completed along with a valid Gas Safety Certificate, you can have complete confidence that your property is a safe home for your tenant. We have a very strict monitoring system in place ensuring that you are never at risk of a Gas, Electrical or EPC certificate going out of date.
The Property Maintenance People (The PMP) is our designated contractor panel of choice. Each of our Property Managers have a designated client manager via The PMP who in turn ensures that the right contractor is allocated to your property. For those bigger jobs, they will ensure that two quotes are provided for you.
The PMP is always looking for new recommended and trustworthy contractors. If you know a contractor that you prefer to use please do let us know so that we can reach out to them.
Average Tenancy Term
We are seeing the average tenancy term increase, with tenants choosing to renew after the initial term. We can offer a tenancy term up to two years and 11 months, giving security of tenure to a tenant and securing income to a landlord. The average tenancy term across our offices is 18 months and we expect to see that increase further in the second half of the year.
The demand for rental properties still remains at an all-time high, which is great news for landlords as properties are being snapped up quickly, sometimes after 24 or 48 hours of marketing.
Given that we also start our renewal process four months ahead of the tenancy end date, this allows us a good window of opportunity to ensure that we have maximum time to relet your property if a tenant chooses not to renew.
Having said that, the demand for rental properties still remains at an all-time high, which is great news for landlords as properties are being snapped up quickly upon marketing and often at above asking price.
Our focus and action plan for 2021 is to ensure that by working on each of the above key areas of our business, we improve communication, maximize rental income via reducing our non- paid rents percentage, secure longer-term tenancies with annual rental increases whilst also reducing void periods, and finally, drive down maintenance costs.
I very much look forward to updating you on our progress again in the Autumn. In the meantime should you have any questions or wish to speak to me directly, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!