Estate and Property Management brings to mind an agent dealing with a large house, estate cottages and land and farming matters, set in hundreds or thousands of acres.
That is something we do at George F. White on a daily, basis but actually, managing property involves a much more diverse range of assets and skill sets.
For example, an estate could comprise of a portfolio of commercial property, perhaps converted offices from traditional buildings or a series of mineral ownerships, waste licences, land with long term development potential (which is contract farmed), and even a residential buy to let portfolio.
In addition, estates are owned for varying purposes; It may have been inherited or is intended to pass on to the next generation. Maximising return on investment, tax advantages, potential future value uplift, access at short notice; the list goes on.
We see, on regular basis, landlords with the best of intentions but who lack the time to deal with their estate management aims and issues; this can lead to deadlines being missed and regulations not being complied with, resulting in lack of control and inefficient management that does not meet the landlords aims.
Considering all of this… how do you keep control of your estate?
Understanding the legislation
For example, is it the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954? Is it the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995? This, in turn, will inform what abilities and rights a landlord has. Can part of the property be taken back in hand and sold? What is the length of any notice required to review the rent or terminate? The answer will be in the detail which must be understood and used to the best advantage.
Why the estate is owned and your ultimate aims should be clearly set out and planned for; this will influence how tenancies are set up and managed when transfers are made, is a Trust needed? Any plan needs review and update on a regular basis and should be aligned with personal circumstances.
Most estates, in whatever guise, will have in place an asset plan and the owners will have an idea of what they own and probably, to some extent, what it may be worth. However, not all estates will have in place a strategic plan and therefore struggle to understand why they own what they do, or what they intend to do with it.
Estate Management Compliance
The rules and regulations for landlords are constantly changing and updating. For example, recently there has been a change in septic tank regulation and Energy Performance Certificates for let property now must attain at least an E grade. Are both the landlord and the tenant keeping to their repair responsibilities?
Manage cash flows and budget
No matter what type of asset it is, there will be expense at some point to maintain or progress it. This could be a repair or insurance; it could be making representations to the local authority plan or a tax liability. Managing cash flow to identify any pinch points and budgeting for future plans will help to ensure smooth running of the estate and control of investment.
Take advice from trusted advisors
Having a good team of an Agent, Solicitor and Accountant on board will provide well rounded advice dealing with all practical, legal and taxation issues. This will allow you to focus on your aims, be aware of any risks and foresee and deal with any issues.
So are you in control of your estate and property assets? Being prepared, complying with regulation, understanding the detail and planning ahead are all important factors in having, or re-gaining, control… especially if something has run away from you.
At George F White we have an experienced team of expert professionals who manage a range of property on a daily basis and who deal with the myriad of issues that occur. No matter how complicated the arrangement or unusual the situation, we will be able to deal with it.