Protecting your landlords rights by safe lettings and property management

Can you remember dates and times of conversations or when you have received correspondence?

When dealing with properties to let, logging all conversations, correspondence and adding notes on our computerised system is a huge part of my job role here in the property management department. I believe Property Management Companies should always ensure their notes on the system are able to ‘tell a story’ of a tenancy; be it for 6 months, 24 month or longer.

The property management training for our team procedures here at Concentric Lettings & Lawson’s, mean we MUST make a note on individual tenancy files on our computer system logging details of any telephone conversations, e-mails, SMS, letters and actions required. All notes created are confirmed with the users names along with time and date logged – these details can never be altered. This alone helps all members of the Company know what has happened during a tenancy and also assists in fellow colleagues of the Management Department having instant live-time information.

I come from the school of ‘always cover your back’ and our job is to protect the landlords rights, therefore keep every e-mail received and sent and make these are copied and pasted onto our system. I ensure the rest of my team use this same concept. This way of thinking it vital for Property Management!

Everyone within the Company who has dealings with a tenant, landlord or contractor should always add a note to a tenancy if they think it is important or may be needed to inform others at a later date.

Here is a perfect example of the beauty of our processes, procedures, systems and the importance of making notes:

A letter is received from a solicitor who has been instructed to act on the behalf of a tenant’s boyfriend (who was not on the tenancy) attempting to sue one of our Landlords. This gentleman was claiming he was injured after plaster from a kitchen ceiling fell down during a tenancy. This letter states the incident happened on the 14th of April and head injuries & soft tissue injuries were obtained.

Any other Lettings Agency would panic at receiving such letter, trying to trace their memory back to conversations, what happened, when did anything happen and who they spoke to!

This is where our procedures show their true colours:

After checking the above tenancy file on our system I found a note created by myself dated the 13th April and timed at 12.02pm confirming I was informed that this gentleman had called and verbally abused a colleague after the incident. The note then confirms I called the female tenant who confirmed nobody was hurt during the incident; just a lot of mess was created.

Due to this simple note being logged on the system, the tenant has little defence and the landlord and my company have been saved from a very successful and stressful legal battle. Our advice for landlords and management teams here is a simple but completely essential practice to ensure that you are covered against fraudulent claims or someone just trying it on.

Helen Deeley has worked in the property and property maintenance capacity for over 8 years, joining the Concentric/Lawson’s letting agency team in 2009.

From a history of being responsible for organisation of contractors, projects and works on factories and commercial buildings for a large corporate maintenance holding company, and then working in partnership with local council, housing department in the regenerations of housing. Here she personally handled the refurbishment of run down vacant properties in the local borough.

Since joining the Lawson’s/Concentric team, Helen has worked her way through the ranks and now enjoys managing the HUB, a collection of property management experts, property inspectors and contractors to manage all the properties throughout the UK for both companies.

Helens organisational and teaching/management skills have allowed her to excel in this role, and is now moving into the capacity of Trainer for the group.

Her wealth of experience is a great benefit to the team and our landlords and shines through in the numerous videos, blogs and articles that she writes.

Helen Deeley

Property Management Manager-Concentric Lettings