Block of Flats

5 Tips For Managing a Block of Flats

Being the Landlord of a single property is tough. Looking after a handful of properties is harder. Managing a block of flats, however, is an entirely different challenge. Not only do you have certain responsibilities for the maintenance of the overall building, but the individual flats and their respective tenants as well.

If managed correctly, you should be able to maintain the value of your asset and keep the resident tenants happy. Failing to manage your block of flats correctly, however, can lead to a number of issues including vacant flats and a loss of income.

Tenants, regardless of how well you screen them, are unpredictable and present the biggest risk to your assets. This is why effective management is so important – because a block of flats is an enormous investment, and there is a large amount of risk.

So, if you’re wondering how to manage your own block of flats, we are here to help. There are a number of tips and tricks you can use to your advantage, such as effective communication and a comprehensive property owners insurance policy.

In this article, we’ll explore our top 5 tips for managing your block of flats:

  1. Use Multiple Channels to Communicate with Residents
  2. Delegate Maintenance Work
  3. Know and Enforce the Lease Terms
  4. Keep Detailed Records
  5. Get Comprehensive Insurance

1. Use Multiple Channels to Communicate with Residents

Regardless of the number of flats in your block, it’s likely that all of your tenants will be different. This means they’ll do things differently from one another, and you, including how they communicate. Some people are always on their phones, others will keep a constant watch on their emails, whereas others may even prefer written notices of important information.

This is why it’s important to have multiple methods of communication to communicate with your residents. We recommend speaking to each tenant as they move in to establish their preferred method of communication, and to make a point of using it. It’s ok if your preferences differ, as long as you can both agree on a channel that will work for you both.

To help to make your life easier, have a professional mobile number and email address that is made available for your tenants. If you have a common area that all tenants will likely pass through, such as a lobby or shared entrance, it can help to have a notice board where you can place information for everyone to see.

If you are struggling to maintain contact with a tenant, it’s important to re-establish this again as soon as possible.

2. Delegate Maintenance Work

Maintenance is essential for both you and your tenants. From the perspective of your residents, they need their homes to be in good working order. For you, ongoing costs can mean more money leaving your pocket.

A block of flats means more people, which means a higher chance of things going wrong. As we’ve mentioned, tenants are unpredictable. When these inevitable instances arise, it’s important that any issues are fixed quickly and correctly – otherwise, they may happen again and cause further damage to your property. This could lead to further loss of income and tenants leaving your building.

This is why we recommend outsourcing your maintenance to a professional contractor. Delegating these tasks will not only ensure that any repairs are completed to a high standard, but it will also free up your time to focus on more pressing matters that you need to attend to.

Plus, regular maintenance can help prevent larger issues from occurring and help you to better avoid emergency situations.

3. Know and Enforce the Lease Terms

When your attention is divided, as it inevitably will be when trying to focus on so many flats and tenants, things can sometimes fly under the radar. This is why it’s important to ensure you have a thorough knowledge of the lease terms of each flat (in some cases this can vary) and to enforce these in cases when they are being breached.

For example, this could be looking out for people illegally subletting their property on Airbnb, or making unauthorised alterations to the property.

We recommend having a regular inspection schedule in place so you can look out for and prevent this behaviour. It’s important to remember the rights of tenants when it comes to inspections, such as the requirement for you to provide 24 hours’ notice that you intend to visit the property.

4. Keep Detailed Records

Despite your best efforts, disputes and other issues can arise between you and your residents. To help protect yourself, you need to keep a detailed record of all things related to your block of flats. This includes things such as rental payments, inspections, any issues or incidents, repairs, and maintenance that has been performed.

In a dispute, for example, this will serve as evidence that you have met your responsibilities of the lease agreement and will limit your liability.

This is will serve as protection for you in the future, whilst also making tasks such as tax claims and expenses easier to manage. It will also make valuing and selling your block flats easier, should you wish to do so.

Keeping thorough records is also a legal responsibility, be sure to have a thorough system for record-keeping in place.

5. Get Comprehensive Insurance

As we’ve touched on already, with so many people present in your block of flats, there is a higher chance for something to go wrong. This could be anything from a burst pipe to a malicious damage or even a fire. All of these incidents can happen, and you need to be prepared for any unfortunate events should they eventuate.

For a typical landlord with a smaller portfolio or property, an emergency fund is a must. However, a block of flats is a large investment that carries a high level of risk. It’s likely that an emergency fund won’t be enough to cover one expense, but in a block of flats, you can incur a few of these expenses at once.

This is why it’s vital that you have a comprehensive block of flats insurance policy to protect yourself, your tenants, and your investment. The right policy will give you the peace of mind that no matter what happens, you can sleep well knowing that you’re covered

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