How Professional Property Management Could Save You Thousands

Issue 38

Catherine Affleck, operations director and head of property management at Bradley Hall discusses compliance in her specialism of property management

I think we can all agree, as landlords and as property and facilities managers – and even as tenants to some degree, that property management compliance can be an absolute chore!

Of course, we all understand its importance and the potentially dire implications of when things don’t go to plan – but that doesn’t make it an any more palatable subject to any of us. Compliance is the red tape we all must wade through to facilitate our true property intentions. There will never be anything appealing about legionella testing, a health and safety risk assessment is unlikely to get hearts racing, but the devil is in the detail and these are the documents which will protect you should things ever go wrong. So, should a landlord ever just wing it and hope for the best? In a word, no!

If the worst-case scenario fear of having a tenant fatality in their premises isn’t sufficient incentive, then the hefty penalties for non-compliance might be enough to make those landlords who might allow their safety standards to slip to save a couple of hundred pounds a year think twice.

In Sheffield an amateur landlord was fined £17,000 for failure to provide a gas safety certificate, a London landlord was fined £214,000 for a series of electrical and fire safety breaches across their property portfolio and, in Brighton, a landlord who failed to suitably maintain fire escapes and equipment was fined £43,680.

I don’t believe there are any landlords out there who genuinely don’t care about their tenants’ safety and welfare, and I’ve certainly been lucky enough not to come across any in my time in property management. For those who do drop the ball it is sometimes down to inexperience as a landlord, not understanding their obligations, perceived restrictive cost implications or just a simple and naïve belief that “something bad won’t happen to me”.

What do you need to do as a landlord? Before letting your property you’ll need an EPC, a gas safety certificate which is ideally accompanied by a boiler service, a PAT testing certificate for any landlord owned electrical items, a fire alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm. It’s also best practice to have a five yearly electrical fixed wiring test certificate. There are further considerations if you own a block of residential properties, particularly where there are shared services, but we’re here to advise you further in that case.

At Bradley Hall we pride ourselves on the service we provide to our landlords and tenants. Tenant welfare is a major priority and where we have happy tenants paying their rent, we have happy investment clients. We understand that our landlords have other things to think about, compliance is second nature to us, we deal with it day in day out with our team of trusted approved contractors.

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