Property Management is unfortunately not often fully understood, not only in terms of what it actually includes but also the real value it brings to property. Whether you own or rent the property, whether it’s big or small, and no matter what type of property it is, it’s just not as simple as taking the initial rent or cost or value at face value and assuming that’s it.
There are going to be those other hidden issues and nasty surprises that will crop up and could put a spanner in the works so to speak. And although when the economy and property market are going well these issues may not be so relevant, when they aren’t, as in the case of the last seven years, then you tend to see these issues crop up time and time again. Landlords and investors suddenly get hit with costs and issues they hadn’t budgeted, and tenants are unable to cope with all the costs and responsibilities of occupying a property.
One analogy of this in the Property Management Guide book is when you buy or rent a car. Often you’re initially concerned about the big and obvious issues, such as what make and model you want, what size and shape, whether it’s, say, an estate or saloon, and maybe what size engine and general specifications. You may then narrow down a few personal preferences like what colour it needs to be or some nice little luxuries like leather seats or a metallic paint finish.
Quite rightly it’s all about your personal preferences and needs, and then of course what this all amounts to cost-wise within your budget. You can then be up and running, looking through your local paper or online adverts, starting to select the sort of cars worth looking at, and seeing what’s out there ‘in the market’.
You then come across a beauty. It’s ticking all your boxes and certainly worth seeing what they will take for it. At that stage, though, you’ll quite rightly be wanting to iron out a few more technicalities to make sure this particular car and offer is right—maybe the length of MOT, if there is any tax still, the service history, and the number of previous owners. You may then want a specialist to check this over, whether a friend who knows about cars and can look around it or a full check-over by your own mechanic. Or if it’s from a garage, then you may be checking the warranty and any basis of future services and repairs.
In short, you don’t want to end up with a lemon and endless problems afterwards, which could soon outweigh any great deal you’re striking now to buy it. Replacing, say, a clutch may set you back over £1,000; therefore, if you know about it now, you can either budget for it or hopefully get the cost of repairs reflected in the agreed price.
This also relates to if you’re renting or borrowing a car as well. There is often a summary of the car’s condition you need to comply with, and if you’re using someone else’s older car and you’re planning a long trip, then you’ll want some kind of reassurance that nothing should go wrong and who sorts it out if it does.
This is exactly the attitude we should have with property. Quite rightly the location, the actual property itself, and the price is what it all boils down to. But the property management detail is essential to make sure you get it right and don’t get hit with problems with, for example, your new landlord or tenant awards, the condition of the property failing, or some strange issue rearing its nasty head from a neighbour in the future. In fact, this is more so for property than a car really, which is such a large and substantial cost to buy or rent—you simply must get this understood yourself or through others right from the start and make sure you don’t get a lemon.
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