Landlord Property Management

Property Management

We are an independent Portsmouth Student Rental Agency, that is owned by Karl Naumann. 

Karl has over 30 years experience managing Portsmouth Student Houses and has a Portfolio of 15 student houses himself, so we know exactly what you are looking for when it comes to excellent Property Management. This is the service Karl wants for his houses.

We are fully aware your investment (for each property) is a significant sum. Our aim is to manage your house(s) in order to protect and maximise your long term investment:

If you scroll further down the page you will find the exact detail of what you can expect, also please have a look at our PDF below to see what we can offer you:

 

Details And Fees

Our “Fully Managed” service is exactly that, “Fully Managed”

Our Fully Managed Service is 12% – NO VAT (at present) – The only additional cost is £100 for inventory per new tenancy.

This is exactly what is included:


  • Property Appraisal and Rental Valuation

The key to maximum returns, is to have no void periods at the market rent.

Rent should be set to maximise income, but to leave no voids. We have the experience to advise exactly what rent is appropriate for your property in the current market. We discuss your requirements and explore options for achieving higher rents. The priority is to set rents for each house that will actually let the property. There is no point having a property sitting there empty with a too high of a rent. Rental values do have variable change throughout the year in the student market, and we can advise on these.

We view all houses before marketing each year to assess the current condition. After marketing, if a property is not letting, there will be a reason. We address the  specific reason. If the rent is too high we will recommend adjusting; if the house is messy/unclean and tenants are not cleaning, we bring in a cleaner before viewings; if a room is in poor decor we will get decorated. We can market for individual tenants to make up groups. We do not let a house remain unlet.

  • Bills Included

We recommend this option as:

    1. We include in the contract a “Fair Usage Clause” for gas and electric. This means that the landlord can set a budget and know 100% there will not be an overspend on utilities, as any overspend will be paid by the tenants.
    2. Demand for bills included properties are higher than bills excluded, this is because it saves the tenants dealing with the bills, chasing up housemates for money and means they can budget more accurately.
    3. Services like internet will be already set up when tenants move in, meaning from the first day the tenants will have all they need.
    4. The landlords can get better deals on gas/electric than tenants, by paying by direct debit and having annual contracts.
    5. It can lead to less issues with condensation as tenants more likely to use the heating and ventilating the house, as should be over winter months.
    6. It saves a huge amount of paperwork dealing with changes in names in utility bills (and the utility companies are really poor at their admin – you can have problems arise a few years down the line).
    7. We take pictures of meter readings and either use smart meters during the year or take pictures during year and send tenants spreadsheet with usage – v -budget so they are fully aware of their usage at any time (if high we will send them notifications as well) – all tenants get advice sheet on energy usage when move in.
    8. Bills like water and internet are fixed and it really does not matter who pays these – the cost is reflected in the rent anyway.
    9. We deal with any issues with the internet (along with the tenants).
    10. We do not suggest included TV licence as these days most students use Netflix/YouTube/Disney and catch up TV which does not need a licence. The tenants are responsible if they do need a licence. 

Sites like Unihomes offer a bills included option through agency properties but we would not recommend as they take a big cut for themselves (we have worked it out).

  • We advise on properties current standards/regulations and possible improvements.

We carry out a lot of council property inspections and have a very good relationship with them.

We know exactly what is required for licenced properties and we can advise on this.

  • Photography of the property.

This is so important these days in terms of marketing. Just look through rental Agencies and landlords advertised photos of houses and see which houses you personally would like to live in and view.

The better the photo, the more likely the house will be on this list. The photos are the first point of contact for any prospective tenant.

Prospective tenants then view (normally) a number of houses and make a decision based on what they have actually seen compared with the rents/location. If you don’t have good photos you will not get a lot of possible viewings (even if your house is actually better than others).

We offer good photos with dressed rooms (it is hard to make a room look appealing with stark room and a bare mattress). We have a professional DSLR camera with a wide angled lens (you need that to get the full room in) and tripod (you will not get the same quality photo with a mobile phone, unfortunately).

We also offer 3D viewing and have a 3D camera, these 3D viewings are useful for tenants (who may be part of a group) who are overseas, or if a house has a messy group currently in (it does happen) we can say this is how it will look after the summer when you move in, 3D viewings are also useful to us and landlords for maintenance/improvement works.

Photography work is obviously best done when the house is empty and clean – we work to the best solution for the house and timing available.

  • Marketing your property(s)

We use student-specific sites and social media to advertise your properties. A lot of agencies will just stick their houses on Rightmove. Rightmove is the best site for family houses and house sales, but is not for student houses (we know as the response rate is very low for any houses we have on the site). We use the sites and social media students actually use.

  • Accompanied viewings (7 days a week)

Tenants are not just available 5 days a week – some will need to view houses over the weekend or out of normal work hours – we will do viewings whenever a potential tenant wants to view a property. We give 24 hours notice of any viewing to existing tenants. We get feed back from the viewing (this may give us information on an issue we can resolve or reason if a property does not let after a number of viewings). 

  • Preparation and signatures Tenancy Agreement

We let all our properties on 11 month contracts. If tenants ask for 12 month contracts we will do a 12 month contract. Nearby University Cities offer 12 month contracts as the norm, Portsmouth historically has always been behind in terms of the length of the contract (however time is needed in these multi-occupancy properties to do the maintenance and paintwork etc).

All properties are marketed as group tenancies for the whole house, but on exceptional occasions, we can look for individual tenants. Each tenant has to provide a UK based guarantor, we recommend Housing Hand if no UK based guarantor but will provide the tenant with options.

Group contracts are the ideal for multi-tenanted properties as it makes the actual logistics of managing the properties easier, all tenants are then jointly liable.

We use DocuSign (an e-signatory package) as this helps cut the administration times down, means tenants can sign from overseas or different parts of the country (say they are on placement etc). We use this package as well for other notices where we need proof of receipt from the tenants (as the package time stamps/dates viewing of any document). 

  • Registering deposits in deposit protection scheme

The deposit is collected and protected in a custodial deposit protection scheme. We like to use the custodial schemes as:

    1. They are free (we don’t charge for a free service unlike a lot of agencies).
    2. We don’t hold the actual deposit (it is held by the scheme).
    3. We provide a copy of the prescribed deposit information to the landlord as proof of deposit setup.           
  • Full Tenant Check-in Service

Checking in tenants is important as it gives them the information they require to live in a property well from day 1.

    1. We hand over keys and show them round the house and how to use boiler etc.
    2. We set up a house Business WhatsApp group for each property to deal with any maintenance issues. These groups are great as they allow tenants to take photos of any issue and send to us – we can then forward these photos to maintenance man if needed. It means issues are dealt with asap and not stuck in an inbox as tenants have instant communication with us. We have an out of hours message that gives advice on each possible issue they may have with what to do and 24hr emergency contacts (if we do not answer the issue ourselves which we should be able to unless say 2am in the morning). We only use WhatsApp for maintenance issues and require tenants to use email for rent or other queries as email gives an easier audit trail if needed.
    3. We also provide tenants with a contact sheet with emergency numbers and contact details for any emergencies out of hours.
    4. We send details on bin/recycling collections and what to put in each bin.
    5. We give advice on how to prevent condensation in the home.
    6. We give fire advice.
    7. We give them a “Welcome letter” that gives them a lot of answers to questions they may have.
  • Collection of rent – Including monthly rental statements
    1. We collect the rent on a monthly basis in a Client protected Account.
    2. We ask for rent to be paid in one lump sum monthly or termly.
    3. We provide the tenants with detailed monthly rent statements and chase any late payments.
    4. The rent is then transferred to the landlord’s nominated account on/around the 5th of each month / or the next business day. Certain months students wait for student loans, we can be flexible for timings on these months (if the landlords are happy) so payment made after the loans come through.
    5. Our Fully Managed fees are deducted from the monthly rent that is remitted to the landlord.
    6. Monthly statements are sent to the landlord itemizing the rent received and any billable deductions, e.g. maintenance charges and agency fees. We include tradespersons receipts with the statements and photos of any works done. This gives the landlord evidence of works (both cost and quality). We add on no extra fee to maintenance works (apart from large works like a new kicthen/bathroom etc) 
  • Dealing with any arrears (court action additional cost)

We will chase tenants and guarantors for rent until payment is made. We have never had to actually go to court ever, if the situation did requires court action we will use a specialist agency and any cost will be recharged at cost. 

  • Regular Inspections carried out on the property – We aim for Monthly Inspections

These are crucial to identifying problems before they escalate and keeping a close eye on tenants and the property.

A report plus photos are submitted to the landlord.

We guarantee quarterly inspections for each house, for houses that are “issue” houses we will increase that to monthly inspections. For houses that are being well looked after quarterly inspections work well. We are experienced and will know the difference on the first monthly inspection. We also get feedback from maintenance persons when they visit houses plus we get to view houses during viewings (that will normally happen each year).

  • Advise and arrange on any repairs required – including emergency repairs

We arrange for repairs to be completed in a timely manner.

We provide before and after photos of any billable works that need doing where possible.

All repairs are carried out with a view to the long term, trade quality materials are used, we have 30+ years experience and many trade contacts to call on.

All maintenance works up to a pre-agreed limit (agreed with the landlord) will be completed without the need to contact the landlord. For works costing more than the agreed limit, we will contact the landlord for permission before instructing (all billable works will be clearly itemized on the landlord’s monthly statement).

We can use landlords trades-persons if requested.

All repairs are carried out at cost  – 0% commission or add-ons to small repairs. Landlords are given the actual tradespersons bill when they receive their monthly statement.

We endeavour to ensure competitively priced maintenance rates e.g. basic call out during normal hours is estimated to be from around £30 but can be less depending on the tradesperson and if they have other jobs booked in with us after/before etc.

For larger works such as new Kitchens/Bathrooms or any major refurbishments, we will charge a 10% fee of the cost of the works – in order to compensate for the time involved organising/planning the works. Just as there is a potential for these larger jobs to turn into issues (and require a number of trades and materials) that take up a lot of time. 

  • Arrangement of Gas Safety, Electrical Safety tests, etc

We arrange these tests and certificates (when needed), we just pass on the actual cost with no markup on the monthly landlord statement.

We submit these tests and certificates to the council as required and get receipt.

  • Deal with tenant issue’s and queries

This keeps us busy 🙂  

Although we represent the Landlord in any property, it is important for us to ensure the tenants have all the information they need so they can live in the property well.

We don’t get involved in personal issues among the group etc and it is important to keep a professional agency distance from the tenants.

We do get involved and help issues like replacement of tenants if someone wishes to drop out of university (we help with advice/paperwork and can help with advertising for replacements etc)

  • Contacting Tenants regarding renewal

If a group is looking after the house and timely with their rent we will offer existing groups first option to carry forward the tenancy.

  • Hold keys throughout the tenancy term

We need keys (external and internal) in case of any issue with locks/tenants getting locked out etc. 

  • Tenant check-out

Ahead of the end of tenancy:

    1. We send all tenants an email giving advice on how to clean the property in order to get their full deposit back. We send them the photos taken when they moved in and the inventory in order that they can look at the condition the house needs to be in.
    2. We schedule an agreed time to inspect the property during check-out,
    3. We take the utility meter readings and collect the keys.
    4. We take detailed photos of any cleaning or damages for our and the tenants record and provide the tenants with an end of tenancy statement.
  • Dealing with disputes & complaints regarding deposits

At the end of the tenancy, we will arrange for the refund of the tenant’s deposit, minus any deductions agreed.

Our ideal situation is that the house is left as it was moved into and we can refund the tenants total deposit. We give the tenants lots of information on cleaning/rubbish disposal etc to try to make this happen.

We deal with any deposit disputes between the tenants and us and also the deposit protection service if needed and the guarantors. It is important for us to have lots of photographic evidence both at check-in and check-out.

  • Inventory

This is a necessity.

An in-house photographic inventory is included for an additional cost of £100. As well as photographic there is also a written inventory they can write comments on and send to us. It is our only additional cost. We will not manage a property without an inventory as we need it to manage the deposit process at the end of tenancy.

We take 10’s of photos of each room. These are sizable files and a number of rooms/hallways/gardens in each house so a lot of photos. In order to ensure the tenants can see them (but not edit them) we use Dropbox and give the tenants a Dropbox link for their photos they can access on their inventory

  • We arrange cleaning needed

If cleaning is required we can arrange, if could be charged to the tenants deposit (if they have not cleaned the house to standard) but also can be charged to landlord (eg tradesperson over summer makes a mess etc).

  • We arrange painting and summer works needed

These multi-tenanted houses need freshening up to keep in good condition. The summer is the ideal time (as they are empty) we visit the houses around April to schedule works for the summer. Exterior works are best done in the summer as well (but can be easily done when tenants are in). Works can be done on empty rooms and communal areas during holidays and July (when houses start emptying).

We organise works and recharge the landlords at cost. 

  • Tenant Find Option: – Cost = 3 weeks rent

We only offer this service if all our similar size/location properties have been let.
Our priority is to let our fully managed landlord’s properties first