Over the years we have been handling various NRI clients with property dispute issues, and our observation has been that ignorance of fundamental rights and norms leads to a lot of hassle for NRIs. It would help if people were conscious about getting their property issues properly managed.
Professional Property Management is a domain that has come to gain importance over the past few years. Greater value needs to be given to this aspect so that the interest of NRIs is safeguarded. Technically, Property management is the administration or management of property whether they are residential, commercial or industrial.An individual who is hired to professionally handle the daily operations of a real estate investment and other issues would be called a property manager. They manage all types of properties, from single family homes to large apartment complexes. Property managers act on behalf of the owner to preserve the value of the assets while generating income.
The responsibilities of a property manager vary, based on their salary and the terms of their management contract, but mainly they include the following:
Property managers are responsible for setting the initial rent level, collecting rent from tenants and adjusting the rent.
Setting Rent – The property manager knows how to set the right rent level to attract tenants to the property by their understanding in respect of the market and property located in the area.
Collecting Rent – They play the role of the enforcer i:e fixing up a date for rent collection each month and ensuring it is paid (with late fees if needed).
Adjusting Rent – The property manager can increase or decrease the rent by a fixed percentage each year, according to law.
One of the primary responsibilities of the property manager is to manage tenants i.e. finding the tenants, dealing with them, and their complaints and initiating evictions.
Finding Tenants – Property managers are responsible for marketing the property. They understand what attracts tenants and what kind of makeover the property needs to fill the vacancies.
Screening Tenants – They are responsible for sorting through the prospective tenant applications to find the best tenant for your property. They have a proper selection process, which includes running credit checks and criminal background checks.
Handling Leases – They are responsible for setting the length of the contract, the amount of security deposit and making sure it has all the necessary provisions to protect the owner.
Handling Complaints/Emergencies – They are paid to deal with all kinds of complaints, requests and handle emergency situations.
Handling Vacating process – When a tenant vacates a property, the manager is responsible for inspecting the property, checking for damages and deciding what portion of the security deposit is to be returned to the tenant. Besides this, small issues like cleaning, repairing, looking for new tenants are also the responsibility of the property manager.
Dealing with Evictions – In case a tenant doesn’t pay rent or disobeys the terms of the lease, it is the property manager who would see to it that the property is vacated by the tenant.
Maintenance and Repairs
All physical management, repairs, maintenance of the property also becomes the responsibility of the individual or firm doing the professional property management.
Responsible for Knowledge of Landlord – Tenant Law – The property managers must have a thorough understanding of laws regarding the proper ways to:
- Screen a tenant
- Handle security deposits
- Terminate a Lease
- Evict a tenant
- Comply with property safety standards
Property managers take care of the property in the absence of the owners, protecting it from vandalism and making sure the repairing is done adequately and timely.
Vacant Properties – Property managers are often hired to look after vacant properties so that there is no vandalism and they are properly maintained. They also make sure contractors or repairers complete their work in time.
Managing the Budget/Maintaining Records
Operating Budget – The manager must operate within the set budget for the building, but in any emergency situations where the tenant or property is in danger, they can order repairs without any concern for the budget.
Maintaining Records – The property manager is supposed to keep thorough records of transactions, leases, maintenance, repairs, complaints, rent, insurance regarding the property.
The property manager takes it upon himself to assist the property owner with the tax-filing for the particular property.
WHY IS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT?
The main benefit of Property Management is to the owners of houses, and other real estate properties are the preservation of their properties with regular maintenance and repairs.
Proper asset management also adds value to your houses for rent and helps in time of selling the property.
It helps in the continuous flow of business and income for the owners and the satisfaction of tenants’ needs.
This is a service that holds exceptional value for NRIs who cannot always travel back and forth to India – this limitation also causes mental harassment for them, as they land up in situations where their property might be under threat.