What is the Role of a Property Management Company?
Property maintenance companies are the companies or organisation responsible for looking after a freehold property. This will usually be a block of flats or a house in multiple occupations, where there are lots of tenants living in one place. This creates a slightly complex situation in terms of who owns what – there is a landlord who owns the building itself, and who owns the land that the property sits on. They will not own the individual residences – these are usually owned by individual landlords, but on a leasehold basis. So it is clear that a landlord is responsible for their own property. Who is responsible for maintaining the freehold property?
The landlord who owns the building will ultimately be responsible for all maintenance. However, they will usually pass all responsibility over to a property maintenance company who can deal with all of this for them. This is beneficial for landlords because they can then go on to own multiple blocks of flats, earn income from them, but without having to take care of them. They entrust this to the maintenance company so that they know their property will be in safe hands and can make them the maximum amount of profit.
The maintenance company will look after anything that may need doing to the building. Here are some scenarios in which the maintenance company will step in and take charge:
- The property has gardens that need looking after. Unless the gardens are private and belong to one specific tenant, the maintenance company will take care of the grounds. They will hire a gardener to look after all the land that the property sits on.
- The property has corridors that are heated. All heating provision will be taken care of by the maintenance company, and they will make sure the boilers are functioning properly and receive regular servicing. If the radiators need bleeding, this should fall to them too.
- The communal windows need cleaning. The maintenance providers should arrange for a window cleaner to come out regularly to maintain the windows and keep them clean.
- Some repair work needs carrying out to the building – perhaps some roof tiles need to be replaced, or there is some bricklaying that needs to be carried out. The maintenance provider should have contractors they work with regularly, who will be able to carry out the work. They should obtain a few different quotes so as to find the best price for the landlord.
- The communal hallways and areas need to be kept clean and tidy. It will be the residents’ responsibility not to leave personal items outside their flats that could obstruct the hallways. However, all cleaning should be carried out by an appointed cleaner.
How is this paid for?
Residents or landlords of flats should pay a service charge for living in the block. This will go towards all of the maintenance that the building requires. If more money is required for something big, then the landlords will be asked to provide more money.