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Who regulates property management companies in the UK?

Property management companies refer to organisations that specialise in the managing of real estate on behalf of property owners.

The primary role of property management companies is to handle daily operations and responsibilities that are associated with renting and owning out properties. These specialised companies are usually hired by individual property owners, homeowner associations and real estate investors, to ensure that their properties generate income and are well-maintained. 

The Role of Property Management Companies

Below, we take a closer look at the primary responsibilities and roles of property management companies:

  1. Rent Collection: The collection of rent from tenants on behalf of the owner, ensuring timely payout.
  2. Tenant Screening: The screening of potential tenants through background checks, verification of references and assessment credit in order to find reliable renters.
  3. Maintenance and Repairs: Oversee the maintenance and repair of properties to ensure it remains in good condition. 
  4. Lease Agreements: Create and manage lease agreements, outlining terms and conditions of the rental between tenant and landlord.
  5. Advertising and Marketing: The handling of advertising and marketing of properties in order to attract potential tenants and to fill vacancies quickly and efficiently.
  6. Financial Reporting: Provide regular financial reports to property owners, detailing rental income, expenses and related financial matters. 
  7. Tenant Communication: Act as a point of contact for tenants of a property, addressing concerns and handling possible disputes.
  8. Property Inspection: Conduct regular inspections in order to fully assess the state of the property and identify any maintenance or repair requirements.
  9. Legal Compliance: Ensure that the rental process complies with laws and regulations.
  10. Notice and Evictions: When eviction becomes necessary, property management companies will handle the legal process on behalf of the property owner. 

Are Property Management Companies Regulated in the UK?

When considering whether or not to hire a property management company or utilise a letting agent;s property management service in the UK, it is important to understand how these organisations are run and what they offer. One vital aspect to take into consideration is whether the property management industry is regulated. Below, we explore the regulatory landscape for property management companies in the UK, and will shed light on the primary associations and regulations that landlords can rely on for guidance and protection. Let’s dive right in.

  • RICS – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) plays a significant role in establishing the Rules of Conduct governing property management. For landlords seeking to educate themselves before engaging a residential property management company, RICS offers valuable resources. These include advice on handling complaints, the ‘Blue Book’ on UK Residential Property Standards, and the Service Charges Residential Management Code, which outlines best practices for managing residential properties.

In addition, RICS provides the Private Rented Sector Code, which offers comprehensive guidelines for running residential properties in England and Wales. By adhering to these standards, property management companies can demonstrate professionalism and commitment to providing quality services to their clients.

  • ARMA – The Association of Residential Managing Agents

ARMA stands as the leading trade association for residential property management agents in England and Wales. Landlords can rest assured that a property management firm recommended by ARMA will operate professionally and be subject to ARMA’s regulations in case of any issues.

By registering with ARMA, property management companies achieve ARMA Accreditation, committing to comply with ARMA Bye-Laws, RICS Code, relevant legislation, and ARMA Consumer Charter & Standards. ARMA offers a search function on their website for landlords to find registered property management companies nearby, ensuring the industry operates fairly and transparently.

ARMA membership also provides numerous benefits for property management companies, including technical advice and support, access to latest court and tribunal rulings, free helplines, permission to display the ARMA logo on their branding, and entry into the ARMA certified directory, among others.

  • ARLA – Association of Residential Letting Agents

For landlords seeking property management companies and residential letting agents, ARLA is a valuable resource. ARLA not only helps landlords find reliable property management services but also offers courses in property management for professionals looking to enhance their skills or enter the industry.

Landlords that are considering letting agents property management service should always ensure that the agent is affiliated with and regulated by ARLA in order to ensure protection in case of any disputes or issues. 

  • Leasehold Property Management Regulation

As of October 18, 2017, proposals have been revealed to establish a new regulatory body for leasehold property management companies. Presently, there is no formal or independent governing body for such companies. Conservative MP, Sajid Javid, has proposed measures to protect landlords and consumers from unfair costs and overpriced service charges, while also granting them more power over their agents.

In the UK, property management companies are subject to various regulatory bodies and standards, providing landlords with essential guidance and protection. RICS, ARMA, and ARLA are prominent associations that set standards for the property management industry, ensuring professionalism, transparency, and adherence to best practices. 

While efforts are underway to regulate leasehold property management companies more rigorously, landlords are encouraged to choose accredited and regulated property management services to safeguard their interests and ensure a smooth and efficient management process for their residential properties.

Choosing the right property management company

It is vital for landlords and property owners to carefully research and choose property management companies with a great reputation, experience, and a commitment to high standards of service. While the industry associations mentioned above provide valuable resources and guidelines, it remains the responsibility of the property management companies themselves to ensure they operate ethically and professionally.

How We Can Help You

At Gerald Eve, we understand that every investor has unique requirements, and that’s why we stand out as a great choice for property management. Our Property and Asset Management team was specifically designed to cater to investors seeking a personal and tailored service, recognising that one size does not fit all in this dynamic industry.

Diversity, creativity, and solutions are at the core of our approach. We don’t believe in dwelling on problems; instead, we focus on finding innovative ways to overcome challenges. Our ultimate goal is to be flexible and adaptive, crafting services that suit your needs, not the other way around.

Throughout the investment cycle, we stand by your side, offering comprehensive support. From pre-acquisition business planning to site mobilisation, purchase due-diligence to tenant engagement, and rent collection, we provide a cohesive and turn-key service. With us, you can rest assured that we’ll seamlessly handle all aspects of property management, making your investment journey smoother and more successful.

We take a proactive and hands-on approach to managing assets, going beyond just maintaining properties. Our team excels at pulling together the components of your investment portfolio, creating ‘sale ready’ and efficiently managed investments with minimal hassle. Driving and safeguarding value and income are our top priorities, and we are committed to maximising returns on your investments.

As a partner-led service provider, we treat each client as an individual with unique goals and aspirations. Whether you are a property company, pension fund, charity, or a high-net-worth individual, we cater to all asset classes across the UK. We prioritise building lasting relationships, not just focusing on transactions. When you succeed, we consider it a testament to our dedication and commitment to your success.

At Gerald Eve, we bring passion, expertise, and a relentless drive to excel in property management. With us by your side, you can trust that your investments will be in safe hands, and we’ll strive to surpass your expectations every step of the way. 

Your success is our success, and that’s what makes Gerald Eve the ideal choice for property management. Contact us today for all your property management needs.

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