General Guide to Appointing a Managing Agent

Most blocks of flats will have a residential association that takes care of managing leaseholders. Having a managing agent is a great way to help set the residential association apart from the leaseholders and ensure that unbiased decisions are made going into the future.

What Does a Managing Agent Do?

A managing agent in the 21st century must provide a plethora of services in a professional manner. These include the following:

  • Landlord and Tenant Laws
  • Building Construction
  • Basic Accounting
  • Health and Safety Regulations
  • And So Much More!

A great managing agent will bring a lot of knowledge and experience to the table. You can rely on them to uphold leases in a manner that follows landlord and tenant laws as well as health and safety regulations.

Benefits of Hiring a Managing Agent

The main job of a managing agent is to help take almost all of the tasks off the plate of a residential association. In fact, they provide many great benefits that any residential association can get on board with.

Plan, Schedule, and Oversee Inspections and Repairs

When you’re managing a large block of flats, it’s imperative that you have a clear-cut plan in place. You need to ensure that all of those flats are regularly inspected and that maintenance and repairs go off without a hitch.

A managing agent will take care of planning flat inspections and maintenance services for the entire building. They will handle the collection of service charges and keep reserve funds for necessary repairs and redecoration.

They Advocate for the Building

One great benefit of having a managing agent is that they can act as an unbiased middleman. They will assess what work needs to be completed and when to keep the property in good condition. There is no swaying of private interests or preferences when making their decisions about these upgrades.

They Collect Funds

As tenants are brought on board, the funds that they owe for their new flat are collected by the managing agent. This agent is responsible for keeping track of which tenants pay their fees and which ones don’t. They’re also in charge of taking steps to recover unpaid charges.

Unbiased Dispute Management

Inevitably there will be disputes and issues at every block of flats. It’s imperative for a good managing agent to use impartial judgment when determining a solution. This helps to keep the private issues of building owners at bay while coming to a feasible solution for all parties involved.

Administration Tasks

Administration tasks can be the most mundane and time-consuming tasks involved with managing any block of flats. Fortunately, a managing agent can take over this necessary administration side. From properly storing sensitive information to keeping detailed accounting records, a great managing agent will do it all.

They Have Legal Knowledge

One of the hardest parts of any residential association is knowing all the tenant laws that must be followed. A managing agent will bring all that legal experience and knowledge to the table. This way, you can ensure that you’re meeting all legal requirements regarding leases and tenants.

After understanding all the benefits that a managing agent can bring to your block of flats, it only makes sense to hire one. However, you don’t just want to call the first person that you find online.

How to Find a Suitable Managing Agent

Since any managing agent is going to be put in charge of some sensitive tasks, like funds collection, you want to ensure that they’re an upstanding and experienced agent.

Create a Schedule of Desired Services

One of the best ways to help get started on your journey of hiring a great managing agent is to create a schedule of services that you want them to complete. This should include everything from collecting unpaid lease funds to scheduling heating system maintenance. When you have this list, you can go over every detail with a potential hire to ensure that they will meet the needs of your building.

Look for Recommendations

One of the best ways to find a great managing agent is through word-of-mouth. When existing lessees disclose who they’ve dealt with in the past, it can help to give you a list of potential hires. Talking with other blocks can also be a great way to get managing agent recommendations.

Collect Prospective Managing Agent Data

Once you have your list of prospective managing agents, it’s time to get their contact data. You can typically find this on their agent website or by checking your First-tier Tribunal cases website. You’ll simply need to search by the agent’s name to get their contact details.

Conduct Informal Meetings

Any great managing agent knows that they must prove their usefulness before any block is going to hire them. You’ll want to schedule an informal meeting with each prospective managing agent on your list. This will give them an opportunity to learn more about your block and disclose solutions for handling existing problems.

It’s best to ensure that you have copies of your standard leases and annual statements of accounts. Be sure to go over a list of prospective issues that you have with your block and ask the managing agent how they would handle them. Think of this informal meeting as similar to a job interview.

Speak With Other Clients

At your informal meeting, you should be getting references from the managing agent about existing properties they’re managing. You’ll want to contact these places to gather their opinion on the job that the managing agent performs. This is just an extra step that can help to weed out any potential problem managing agents before you hire them.

Propose Tender and a Contract

Once you decide on a managing agent that fits your needs, it’s time to offer them the job. You’ll want to comprise a set annual tender for their services and construct a contract. This contract will need to include key information to help solidify the role of the new managing agent and your existing residential association. Some of these items include:

  • Responsibilities of the Agent
  • Authority Limitations of the Agent
  • Spending Thresholds
  • Mandatory Response Times
  • Reporting and Communication Lines

It’s important to note that your new managing agent should be attending your association meetings and presenting necessary reports at them. However, when problems develop in between meetings, you’ll want to designate one or two individuals who will be responsible for effective communication with the agent. Never rely on the agent having to speak with all of your lessees, as this can get overly confusing and time-consuming for everyone involved.

Ensure Professional Memberships

One key element to look for when hiring any managing agent is the professional memberships that they hold. The Institute of Residential Property Management (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Housing are great associations for any managing agent to be a part of.

These organizations require all members to meet minimum requirements to be approved for membership. This includes professional indemnity insurance that covers any damages as the result of the managing agent’s negligence. Additionally, members are required to hold fidelity insurance that reimburses any funds that are stolen by any of their staff members.

Apart from insurance coverage, memberships also require each member to undergo regular assessments. They’ll be checked on how they collect and hold money for their clients. Also, all members are required to have a complaint-handling process and direct access to an independent ombudsman service.

You’ll want to ensure that any managing agent you intend to hire has an active and ongoing membership. You can check their membership by visiting the website of the professional association that they’re a part of.

Hiring a managing agent can be a great addition to your block. They can be an unbiased individual or company that works on behalf of the entire block to ensure everything runs safely and smoothly.


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