January 17, 2024

Advice and updates from Property23

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According to Wikipedia* “Property management is the operation, control, maintenance, and oversight of real estate and physical property….. Management indicates the need for real estate to be cared for and monitored, with accountability for and attention to its useful life and condition. This is much akin to the role of management in any business.”


As the wording indicates, property management refers to the physical building and structure. Whereas tenancy management involves overseeing the terms of the tenancy ensuring all parties obligations are met & adhered to.  In real terms for letting a residential property in Lancaster, these go hand in hand with each requiring specific attention and knowledge.


For me, the key words in the Wikipedia definition are “cared for and monitored” which apply equally to managing a tenancy.
It is of course possible for things to go wrong with the property management arm whilst the tenancy is running smoothly, and vice versa. By law currently, a letting agent or property manager isn’t required to hold any professional qualifications, undergo any formal training or even have any working experience or industry knowledge to work in, or become a property manager or letting agent in Lancaster.


For the purpose of this article, I’m going to assume you will engage the services of a local Letting Agent or Property Management company in Lancaster.
Choose wisely.  Having the right Letting Agent managing your property and tenancy can be worth it’s weight in gold.

  • You no longer need to ring round letting agencies to find out how much they charge. Under 2015 regulations, letting agencies must be transparent, with Landlords and Tenants knowing any fees or charges that may be incurred before they sign a contract. Letting Agents must clearly display on their website and office premises (if applicable) any and all Landlord fees that may be incurred during the life of a tenancy.
    If you are considering a Letting Agent in Lancaster who doesn’t adhere to this it may be worth asking yourself the question if they will be compliant with your obligations and tenancy if they aren’t compliant themselves.  

  • Find out specifically who you will be dealing with. For instance, will there be several people contacting you whilst the tenant search is underway; each asking if you would consider a,b,c?  Or is there one person who will co-ordinate, filter and assess each potential application based on individual merit?

  • Would you trust their judgement if you asked their advice and opinion on tenant selection? Or are they simply trying to earn their commission and would like to visit other properties? Perhaps they don’t work on commission but have spoken to prospective tenants endlessly about your property and want to start new conversations about other properties to rent in Lancaster.

  • Once tenants are moved in, would you then be dealing with one staff member, perhaps the same one who gave you the advice, or a different person on the team, or would you move along the metaphorical conveyor belt into the realms of the property management department?
    This isn’t always a down side if your chosen agent operates this way and you’re happy with it,  but as the Landlord and paying client, it could feel like you’ve just got used to speaking with one person who understands you & your property, to then be passed on to the next person beginning to forge a new working relationship.

  • Would you have the opportunity to meet all people you would likely be working with throughout the duration of the tenancy? The front end, customer facing team may be an experience that is a world away from a property/tenancy manager on the other end of the phone or email, perhaps based in a central hub which is not in Lancaster or Morecambe, or nowhere near your rental property or even in the same town or city.

  • The lines of property and tenancy management should merge seamlessly into one, with each piece of the property jigsaw fitting neatly together. This is wholly reliant on your chosen lettings experts to have actual expertise in managing both property and tenancy. If not, your journey along the conveyor belt resumes, trundling you to the land of tenancy renewal/extension or termination, where “specialists” pick up your “file” to tick boxes and assess whether they can assist with the next required puzzle piece, or if they have to pass it back to the previous department (which, more than likely they would be able to resolve but as it’s “not their department”, protocol dictates it must be reversed. Frightening though if said specialist can’t actually deal with the issue, or worse still doesn’t realise it’s existence)

That’s not to say that properties and tenancies can’t be managed this way.

I’m sure there are many happy Landlords all across the UK who deal with many different departments day in day out and possibly wouldn’t even consider the notion that a one point of contact approach makes the whole experience more fluid for all; landlord, tenant and letting agent/property management company.

In my experience (both in the property industry and also as a client of a large company in another industry) I personally feel a smoother, more efficient way of dealing with people and property, is when you deal with that one right person; from beginning to end, who lives, knows and works in the same town or city as your rental property, and who can competently care for your property, your Landlord obligations and those of the tenants.

If this sounds like the approach you would prefer when letting your property in Lancaster (or surrounding areas), feel free to contact me directly and we’ll talk about the non-conveyor belt approach to property letting & management in Lancaster, and surrounding areas.


Tel: 01524 969778
Email: louise@property23.co.uk

#lancaster #morecambe #propertymanagement