At LevelUP, we aim to be transparent and change the way the property management service is delivered. So, in this month’s blog we’re going to give you some tips on how to tackle leasehold management company problems, list property management complaints and more.
How to make a complaint against your property manager
When it comes to property management, there may come a time when you may need to complain about your property agent. If you’re unhappy with the service being provided to you by a property agent, there are steps that you can take which will be provided below. But before we start, there are various types of property agents and it’s great to know the difference between them.
- Estate Agents – Market and sell properties to potential buyers. They’re usually employed by estate agencies.
- Managing Agents – A person or a company that manages property for an external owner.
- Letting Agents – Like estate agents, letting agents market and sell properties to potential buyers, the difference being that letting agents find tenants to rent properties in place of a landlord. They can also manage properties for the owner.
Now that we’ve listed the differences between the different types of agents, let’s get to the main task at hand. Common complaints against your property manager and what to do about them.
Common management company complaints
Property management can be a tricky business. However, when it boils down, it’s a service-based industry meaning that your property manager should have your wellbeing at the forefront on their minds. You should expect them to maintain or maybe even exceed the standards set by the industry. It’s also important to be mindful about what may or may not be outside the property manager’s control.
Here are some of the most common property management complaints and tips on how to avoid them:
Charging above market rent
Rents are the main income stream for real estate investors therefore, the rent should be on par with the current market rates in order to increase potential income. Performing comparable rental listings or “rental comps” to help determine the value of a property to others on the market can help with this problem.
Hidden fees are a massive problem in any industry so let’s help you avoid them. To avoid hidden fees, make sure you read a property management contract thoroughly before signing it and ask questions to get a better understanding of anything you do not understand. (There’s recently been a change in law so that agents can’t charge administration fees anymore).
Mixed messages from a company
To avoid getting different answers to the same question, ensure that you ask a salesperson about staff you may be dealing with once you’ve signed up in order to avoid future problems.
Placing a bad tenant
One of the most expensive mistakes in property management is placing a bad tenant. Make sure tenants are screened accordingly and keep communication to a healthy level to avoid any issues between a landlord and tenant.
Not keeping promises
A poor property management company can promise the world and give you deadlines for work to be done. The date comes and deadline comes and goes – without a word from your managers. Although delays happen, it’s important to manage the communication before complaints are made!
Communication is crucial and non-communication can be a big deal breaker. A property manager should be communicating with a client regularly. And should be comfortable with a variety of communication methods and reports should be consistent on a monthly basis or depending on how their business operates, and questions should be answered quickly and clearly.
Other common problems:
- High maintenance fees
- Zero transparency
- Lack of interest
- Poor response times in emergencies
- Complaining directly to the agent
If you do have a complaint against your property manager, it could help to speak directly to the agent first in order to put things right before you escalate your complaint.
Agents may not be able to resolve complaints immediately, therefore communication between an agent and client is vital.
Furthermore, if you’re not pleased with the way an agent handles your complaint, you could make a formal complaint to see that the issue is resolved. Give LevelUP a call and we will advise you on how to complain to your management agent.
Changing your property manager
With the current numbers of dispute with property management companies rising fast, it’s now common for clients to end contracts with property managers due to agreed terms not being met or having management company complaints. Here’s where we come in. We’re experienced in helping leaseholders, right to manage and resident companies change management services.
What are your 3 options?
If you’re not happy with your current situation, you have several options to help you change property managers. There’s three main ways to change your property management company which are:
- Appointing a new manager through a tribunal, using your right to manage, or setting up a resident’s association. We talk about how to change your property manager in detail here.
Appoint a new manager via a tribunal.
- In order to appoint a new manager, you need to be able to prove bad management. The first step is to send a landlord a section 22 notice, which will grant them the opportunity to fix the problems you’ve addressed. If this fails, you can apply to the first-tier tribunal to ask a new manager to be appointed.
- Exercise your right no manage
Leaseholders of flats have a right to manage, which enables allows them to take over the management of their property, they’re able to do this without a landlord’s permission by creating a right to manage company. It’s not necessary to prove bad management, although a minimum number of leaseholders needs to take part to set up the company.
- Create a resident’s association
The final option is to form a resident’s association, this is a group of leaseholders that lease from the same landlord and have similar terms.
LevelUP are experienced in assisting leaseholders, Right to Manage and Residents Management Companies in changing management services. Please feel free to contact us for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01322 907033.
You can find out about our property management in Kent here.