Are residential property management services improving?

Real Estate

As a director of a leading property management company, I am acutely aware of the need to improve property management services. While the real estate services profession in this specialized field requires repairing its tarnished image, I can suggest that clients can play a key role in this process by raising their awareness. After all, landlords, tenants, freeholds and resident management companies are key when choosing your block management agent.

By appointing a freehold administrator or managing agent to handle your service fee funds, wouldn’t you, as a customer or landlord, benefit from taking a closer look at the fundamentals? Why not think about how you can better define your real estate service requirements? By applying a few relatively simple common sense measures, you may be able to avoid the trauma of employing a poor block manager. Freehold businesses, owners, residents, and renters would surely do well to make a concerted effort to seek out properly qualified and regulated administrative agent firms. Easier said than done, I hear you say.

The apparent decline in the professional standards of managing agents could certainly be influenced, if not reversed, by clients refusing to make do with cheaper, shoddy real estate service providers. When hiring a new freehold agent, clients should ask candidates to clarify the property service standards they operate by. It is essential to ensure that the service levels offered meet the requirements and that this is ultimately confirmed in a formal service agreement. There are several codes of practice that could be considered, however the RICS has arguably led the way forward.

The latest RICS Residential Management of Service Charges Code was passed by Parliament in 2009 with the aim of setting the standards of the profession taking into account the new legislation. If your block management agent is not in compliance with this code, questions should be raised and any concerns investigated and clarified. If any company claiming to be a competent residential property specialist does not comply with this RICS code, I strongly suggest that something may be wrong.

Looking now at the growing legislation that applies to residential property services, there have been some pretty significant changes in recent years. There is new and specific regulation of block management and service charges under the Leasing and Common Property Reform Act 2002. Revised health and safety regulations have also come into force affecting the way in which assets are treated. housing blocks. Landlords and management agents are now required to provide workplace and fire risk assessments for landlord or homeowner common areas. The effect of these changes should help improve service quality by making block management agents more accountable for their actions.

As new legislation comes into force, the best qualified and experienced professionals should be well positioned to advise and guide clients through the new requirements. The latest RICS Code should also help weed out wholly owned block managers who cannot meet the necessary standards.

As a result of the changes taking place across the industry, building owners and owners should be able to add more and more value to their real estate assets through effective and efficient management.

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