Pro-active Property Management
- September 2010
Saving time, avoiding conflict, running efficiently and cost-effectively should be the goals
of all letting agents. Being on top of the game is a crucial element of running a successful
agency: with so much going on and with every day being different, it’s vitally important to
Aside from unexpected maintenance issues, most activities within property management can be
diarised and thus there should be plenty of time to manage those events in advance. We know
when the rent is due, so should be able to check a list of rent due dates and arrears; we
should know when gas safety checks are due and should be able to liaise with landlords,
contractors and tenants in advance of the due date; and we know when tenancies expire and
should therefore be able to produce renewal paperwork or possession notices in a timely manner.
Being pro-active is important from the start, but becomes exponentially more important as the
portfolio of managed properties expands.
Reacting at the last minute to diarised events can sometimes lead to disaster. Suddenly
discovering a gas safety record expired “today” for example, and subsequently
being unable to find an available gas engineer, creates a legal compromise and can be a danger
to the health or even life of the tenants.
Running a business that is continually reacting is a headache. Having systems in place that are
pro-active, provides the time and space to be able to deal with the unexpected issues like
But even those can be mitigated using sensible practices, such as property visits and using
The best way of running a pro-active lettings practice (as well as employing well-trained and
focused staff) is to use a professional management system, designed specifically for lettings
and property management. The software should not only produce early reporting on scheduled
events, but should also be able to produce the relevant paperwork and communication for all
Running to a best-practice model in residential lettings suggests that tenants should be
written to about rent arrears within a couple of days of the non-receipt of the rent, then
regularly until either the arrears are settled or eviction procedures are begun. A management
system should be able to produce each arrears letter as and when it’s required. It should be
able to produce notices such as Section 8 notices, containing all required information (and
with regards to section 8, the relevant grounds.
When jobs are raised for maintenance issues, instruction for the contractor should be as
explicit as possible and in writing and again, the management system should be able to produce
the required documentation. Visits to the property should be scheduled by the system and
letters written to both tenants and landlords automatically.
The C.A.R.L. system can do all of the above, and much more, producing reminders,
documentation, invoices, statements, to do lists, etc, all in a timely manner, with
timescales defined by you.