Today’s guest article was produced by Chestertons affinity,a unique estate agency located in Puerto Banus in the heart of the Costa del Sol. Chestertons affinity has been using its expertise to guide clients through the investment property world for over a decade. Chestertons affinity is a member of the key regulatory bodies for overseas property specialists: AIPP (Association of International Property Professionals) and REAS (Real Estate Association of Spain).
In 2014 the British embassy in Madrid estimated that as many as 800,000 Britons reside for at least part of the year in Spain, with many choosing to rent or buy a home in the sun. However British property owners who divide their time between the UK and Spain can often encounter problems in ensuring that their Spanish property is maintained to a good standard. Problems relating to the structure, fittings and utilities can arise if the home is unoccupied or if the property is rented out. The safest way to ensure that the property is maintained to a high standard is to use a reliable property manager with a proven background.
What to look for in a Property Manager
Many letting agents and estate agents provide property management services – this can be useful because the agent is the single point of contact for any issues relating to letting, maintaining and ultimately selling the property. Look for an agent with an established presence in your area and check that they have a reputable background – your property manager should be able to provide you with references from other clients who can vouch for their services.
Management Services for Rental Properties
Property managers are integral to ensuring that rental properties are maintained to the satisfaction of the owner and the tenant. They can handle tenant emergencies by replacing lost keys and arranging any necessary repairs, as well as arranging ‘before and after’ cleaning and laundry services. Increasingly, owners of rental properties are using management services to provide value-added benefits for tenants, such as airport chauffeur services and welcome packs. A basic welcome pack would include minimum groceries while a VIP pack may include champagne and fresh cut flowers. These added touches increase rental value because they set the rental home apart from its competitors.
Management Services for Unoccupied Properties
A good property manager will conduct a full inspection of the property on a monthly basis and send a Condition Report to the property owner after each inspection. The inspection should check for damp, condensation, infestations, leaks or evidence of forced entry. The manager should check that the alarm system and utilities are working in the building and ensure that the rooms are properly aired. Depending on the arrangement, a property manager may also be used to water plants, forward mail and arrange for the upkeep of a swimming pool where required.
The Property Management Agreement
When engaging a property manager it is important to agree in advance the type of work you expect to have done. The property management services and fees should be set out in detail in a property management agreement to avoid any misunderstanding.
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