Factors to consider when picking a management firm

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From marketing your property, screening new tenants and collecting rents to maintaining your house, a property management company does all these and more. But owners need to do some homework before choosing a company that is reliable, trustworthy, communicative and an expert in their field of service. This is because the right property manager will have a positive impact on one’s real estate investment.

Most property management companies in the UAE look after individual properties on behalf of absent landlords, and commercial and residential towers. They also look at all legal aspects such as drawing tenancy contacts, and title deed registration. They charge around 5 to 10 per cent of the annual rent to look after a property.

One of the most important things that a homeowner should be asking himself is: can I trust this company with my property? After all, you will let the manager look after your most-prized possession.

Begin by doing research and checking other homeowners for references to find a reliable manager. Make sure the manager has experience in looking after properties like yours. For example, managers who deal mostly in commercial warehouses may not have the expertise in maintaining residential villas.

Visit the company office and meet the managers personally. Check their trade license. Make sure they know the UAE real estate laws. Ask them about the services they provide, how long they have been in the business and how many properties they are managing.

Get the property management company to provide you with contact details of landlords who are using their services. Check with the homeowners and ask if they are satisfied with the customer relations of the company, and its overall level of service. Discuss the fees and what you are getting for the money. Always be ready to negotiate.

Also ensure that the managers communicate with you all aspects of the property and send you detailed statements of rents collected and amounts spent on repairs and maintenance. They should conduct half-yearly or yearly property inspections, too.

Visit at least four to five property management firms, check out the facilities they provide, their fee structure and their reference before taking the final decision.

Handy Hints
Property management firms look after residential and commercial properties
• They market and maintain the property, screen new tenants and collect rents
• They usually charge around 5-10% of the annual rent to look after a property

Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer


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