If you are looking for for a commercial property manager, how can you find someone you can be sure will take care of your property professionally and act in your best interests? After all, anyone can set up in business as a commercial property manager – whether they have relevant experience or expertise or not.
The simple answer is to look for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) logo. The strict criteria for RICS membership means you can be confident that by choosing a suitably-qualified RICS surveyor, you’re guaranteed a property manager who is competent, knowledgeable, and professional.
What does that mean in practice?
We’ve identified 7 key benefits you can expect from an RICS property manager:
1. An understanding of the terms of the lease
When you appoint an RICS surveyor as a property manager, you can be confident they will understand the terms of the lease. This level of legal understanding is important for three reasons. First, it means you can rely on your property manager to liaise effectively between you and your tenants over any concerns relating to the terms of the lease and work to resolve issues before they turn into problems. Second, you’ll get sound advice to help you fulfil your legal requirements and avoid the risk of a tenant having any cause to take a case against you. Third, should a tenant try to evade their responsibilities under the lease, an RICS surveyor will know exactly what steps to take to protect your interests.
2. A reliable source of advice
With in-depth expertise in commercial property matters, an RICS surveyor can provide clear and comprehensive advice to both you and your tenants on a wide range of property-related issues. Don’t want to be bothered by minor tenant queries? Where a less knowledgeable agent might routinely pass queries over to you, an RICS manager can often give tenants the answers they need directly.
3. Professional support
Whenever you need professional support for tasks such as lease renewals and rent reviews, you can call on your RICS property manager (at an additional fee). You already know and trust the person, and they already know you and the property.
4. Sound record keeping
A RICS surveyor has a professional duty of care that includes sound record keeping and efficient administration. They will keep proper track of rent and any other recoverable costs due and paid, and note key lease dates to ensure you don’t miss vital deadlines for serving notices to do with lease renewal and rent reviews.
5. A dedicated client account
Where rent is being paid via a property management firm, you don’t want any worries that money might go missing before it reaches your account. With an RICS firm, you can relax. Your money will be kept safely in a ring-fenced dedicated client bank account. If the surveyor’s business hits financial difficulties or ceases trading, any money held on your behalf will be passed over.
6. RICS regulatory compliance
All RICS surveyors are regulated by RICS. The regulatory regime includes audits for compliance with RICS professional standards and guidelines.
7. Protection in the event of any problems
Further peace of mind is guaranteed by two key provisions of RICS membership. Members must carry professional indemnity insurance that meets RICS approved standards. They must also offer a complaints handling procedure that includes dispute resolution via an RICS approved provider. Complaints can result in compensation or even disciplinary action by the RICS. Rogue traders are not tolerated.
Gifford Dixon Director Steven Gifford-Dixon is a Chartered Surveyor and RICS member, and the firm is regulated by the RICS.
For more information about the RICS, see the RICS website.