Fraught week and is anyone in a property management niche?

Last Update: February 09, 2017

It's been a pretty fraught 2 weeks and I have not worked on either of my sites in 11 days.

Firstly my cat came down with pancreatitis - no idea how as she gave up alcohol years ago. So I spent 5 consecutive days at the vets and fed her with a syringe. She feels more chipper now.

Second, i had a commission to write over 40 articles for a website - all needed doing in 8 days (I finished with three hours to spare) - whew wish I could now do that on my site.

Now i am having grief with my property management company. I keep getting excessively high quotes for work and when I complain that it's too high and I want another quote, the second comes in £200 higher (and I know it's £300 more than the actual work costs). Management company now refusing to get me another quote as they've already got two which I have turned down - I am annoyed!

They are also wittering on that this work is a legal requirement- and I know it isn't.

So to the point of the title - anyone here in a property management niche. As I would love to get some info on how it works properly. (PM me your website link) or if anyone has done your own property management- is it easy enough to do?

Anyhow I am going to have a glass of gin (keeping it away from my cat) and finally take it easy and contemplate learning how to write multiple pieces of content in a short time for my own site.

Evie

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WilliamBH Premium
I think you already have the best solution Evie .. another glass of gin!

With property management that is another issue .. I have managed properties and owned a property management company in Australia in the past. I now live in Indonesia and we have properties here that we rent.

It seems you are in UK .. property management depends on the jurisdiction. In Australia there are many specific things you need to do as an owner. It is not worth doing your own property management there, in my view, because of the risk of things going wrong and ending in court. The owner must comply with so much legislation. In Indonesia it is easy and we manage our own, basically the tenant has no rights, lol.

The relationship between you and the property management company in Australia is defined by legislation and the management agreement you have signed. I suspect the UK is very similar. In Australia two quotes are required for maintenance, and that is all the management company with have allowed for in their fees. Anything additional quote would be extra charge because it cost them more to get more quotes.

Generally, you are right, they will use preferred contractors .. but it is usually because they are reasonable price and reliable. The property manager wants to use contractors that give them less grief and less problems.

Theoretically the property manager is acting on the owners behalf .. but practically they act on their own behalf. A better qualiity property is easer to manage so sometimes they will want money spent that is not required by law. Also if they have a complaining, difficult tenant and a soft owner it is easier for the property manager to push the owner rather than argue with the tenant. In property management time is money!

As a owner the best thing you can do is have a copy of all relevant legislation and other documents and be reasonably "fluent" in them so you can argue and quote appropriate sections as required.

This and other real estate issues are a "soap box" of mine you may have gathered!

Note for other Australians reading this, I am referring to Western Australian Sate legislation. Property management varies from State to Sate inside Australia. For other jurisdiction ckeck your appropriate legislation. In saying that many of the concept I have said are valid in most places

And disclaimer: I am not giving legal of financial advice here, just my personal lay-man view.

Wheee!

Cheers, William.
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EvieSmith Premium
Hey thanks William for your very comprehensive reply. Yes I am in the U.K.

There was an expose in the National newspapers a couple of years ago about letting management practices. The main concern was that a landlord only got quotes from contractors who paid the management company a commission- in places the management company was making up to 80% in commission.

I have got up to speed with legislation as my mother rents out a property and manages it herself. I have therefore found that the management company keeps saying 'we need to do this by law' when no such law exists or if the law does exist it doesn't actually say what they are saying. I think they are using this to commission extra work and take extra commission.

I do get the impression that they think I am a quiet single woman they can push around - which I think they might now realise is not the case. I am actually thinking I'll dump them and do the work myself - it'll save me around 10% a month plus they have been late sending the rent on a few times which I've had to chase. My ultimate goal is to sell the property (it's a 5 bedroom townhouse) and buy 2 apartments nearer to me to rent out.

Thanks again for your reply
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Techiescot Premium
Hi Evie

If your property is near you, you can manage it yourself. If not, you need to rely on others. Perhaps it is time to change your property management company. They work for you, right? You are paying them, right? So, if you want additional quotes, they should get them for you. I suspect that they have a preferred supplier or contractor they use (most do) but they shouldn't force you to use them.

Let me know how you get on.

Warmest wishes

Gillian
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EvieSmith Premium
Hi thanks Gillian.
The property is about 80 miles away which is why I initially used the management company. But yes my feelings are that I am paying them 10% of the rent each month to do the work and if they don't I'll take my property elsewhere. They seem to have forgotten that I am the owner not them.

I'm a little less annoyed today (it must have been the gin)
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