Property Management in a Pandemic

Allsopp & Allsopp’s property management team have faced many challenges over the last 3 months and have worked tirelessly to assist their clients through such unprecedented times.

Anisha Sagar, Head of Property Management talks about the challenges faced by all parties and how the property management team have been tackling these issues.

Anisha Sagar Head of Property Management-Allsopp & Allsopp

The challenges

We have had many clients who have found themselves in a difficult situation over the past few weeks and months and we have found ourselves solving problems we have never had the experience in dealing with before just like the majority of our clients.

Some of our clients' tenants have lost their jobs and have been looking for reductions in rent and we have also had landlords who rely solely on rental income or who have also lost their jobs. The team have had to come up with quick solutions which are adaptable and suitable for both the tenant and landlord.

Landlords are affected too

Many people have a stereotype of a landlord who they often imagine to have lots of money and lots of properties but that isn’t always the case. More often than not, landlords will have one or two properties, have a full time job and rely on the rental income from those properties to perhaps pay the mortgage. During the Covid 19 pandemic, some landlords have found themselves in similar situations as their tenants and have incurred a wage reduction or have lost their job completely and for those landlords, they now rely solely on their rental income.

Negotiations

As a property manager, we have had situations where we have come up with a payment plan for tenants to pay landlords. In a number of cases, increasing the amount of cheques has been a huge help to a tenant and welcomed by the landlord but in other cases a rental reduction has had to come into play. Of course, in these situations we need to see proof of loss of income and negotiations will have to take place with the landlord. Temporary measures are also an option at times with only a short term rent reduction. In all cases new contracts need to be signed and agreed by both parties.

Tenants overseas

We have had instances where tenants have been abroad on holiday or for work and their tenancy agreement has expired in the meantime. This has not been a problem if they wish to renew, however, if they wish to vacate the property, it is important for the landlord to get the property back on the market as soon as possible and have all previous tenants' belongings collected from the property. In this case, we have found ourselves packing up tenants belongings and sending these overseas to them on their behalf. In other cases, tenants and landlords have had to come to an agreement on a temporary extension on the lease of the property with the tenant paying monthly until they can return and vacate the property themselves.

Ending tenancy early

Sadly, we have had some tenants who have had to end their rental contract early for one reason or another and this has been difficult. Tenants who have lost their jobs have disputed the 2 month fee to break the contract. According to RERA, a loss of job diminishes the 2 month penalty fee from the contract as long as proof has been shown. Luckily, working alongside a team of rental agents at Allsopp & Allsopp has meant we have a database of clients who are actively looking for properties to rent and can line a tenant up for the property as quickly as possible so the landlord isn’t losing out on rental income for a long period of time and more often than not, don’t have to remarket the property online.

Landlords looking for Property Management

The Property Management team has been contacted by a number of landlords who are looking for someone to manage their properties as they are overseas or are looking for a little extra help. Landlords are happy to have someone take a little pressure and stress from them as I am sure the pandemic has affected them in some way. Being in a different country can make things that little bit more challenging when owning an investment property, property managers can take this on on behalf of the landlord and ensure their property needs are dealt with accordingly and to ensure their property is well looked after in their absence with maintenance contractors on hand 24/7.

We have also had a number of landlords contact us to arrange the handovers of their properties in new developments. Property Managers can obtain power of attorney on the landlord's behalf and ensure snagging is complete and conduct a move-in inventory when they find a suitable tenant.

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