Remaining compliant can be particularly difficult for agencies, especially when managing an extensive portfolio of properties. Compliance is often easily overlooked and forgotten – it isn’t a problem until it is a problem.
Investing in property management software will help make staying compliant an easy task, especially with the use of automation, powerful reporting functionality, sustainable tools and innovative integrations.
Automated certificate reminders
There are a number of certificates and checks that need to be regularly updated in order to remain compliant, such as gas safety checks. The more properties in your portfolio, the more difficult it is to keep track of due dates, which if you miss then you could be liable. Automated reminders for certificate renewal allow you to remain compliant and plan ahead in case there are any issues with getting them renewed.
More specifically, your agency can store EPC certificates and gas safety certificates on the platform. If they need to be presented, they can be easily accessed and referenced. Tenants will also be able to access these (if your agency grants them access).
Keeping track of the EPC of the properties in your portfolio is essential as it is mandatory for properties to have a rating of at least “C” or above by 2025, beginning with the new properties first and the existing ones by 2028.
From 2025, there will be a £30,000 penalty for an invalid EPC (raised from £5,000). Property managers would benefit from putting a plan in place to raise the EPC rating of the current properties in order to avoid fines.
These reminders will help your agency remember which properties have met this requirement and alert them of the ones that have not met it as yet.
Creating reports is a vital and essential part of property management. Pulling the required information from multiple sources, however, is time-consuming and is prone to human error. The reports you produce need to be done quickly and accurately otherwise they can cause major issues for property managers and stakeholders.
Storing all key information on one centralised platform allows you to easily produce automated reports. Automation works by pulling together all of the required fields of data to create a report quickly and efficiently, making a once arduous task as seamless as possible. The use of automation also minimises the risk of error which eliminates the risk of sending out reports with incorrect figures or information.
Property management software will allow you to create customised reports as you will have all of the information you need in one place. These reports will allow property managers to produce reports using data from applicants, payments, management fees, overdue transactions, predicted monthly income, occupancy rates and so many more options. Having the ability to produce reports on the system will ensure that information can be relayed if it is requested. Also, keeping track of financial information is essential when remaining compliant.
Helping your agency to reach the net-zero goal
The importance of sustainability has been stressed to the industry especially since 2019 when the government announced the net-zero goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 100% by 2050 in comparison to the levels in 1990.
CBRE predicts that the government will impose stricter regulations across the UK in 2022 in order to meet the net-zero targets.
Using property management software is an excellent way to digitalise your agency and get rid of your manual, paper-based systems. Furthermore, most property management systems have integrations that can further increase your sustainability and lower your business’s carbon footprint.
Features such as digital documents and e-signatures can increase sustainability. E-signatures maximise sustainability as there is no need for physical travel, paper documents or storing the documents physically. CO2 emissions will be reduced, paper usage will be minimised and any costs associated with inefficient document storage or human error will be saved.
Digital documents reduce paper usage and reduce paper costs. Documents often need to be modified and updated which leads to a lot of wasted paper, consequently wasting your business’ valuable time and money. If they are stored electronically, however, they can be swiftly modified for the specific person digitally.
Lower amounts of emissions will help your agency to meet net-zero goals and become compliant with government rules and regulations that need to be met.
Credit checks and tenant referencing
It is your agency’s responsibility to find suitable tenants that have all been screened to be sure that they are a good fit for the property. Selecting the wrong tenant can cause legal issues between your agency and landlords, which may result in a breach of compliance rules. Using software such as Advanced Tenant Referencing or Homeppl will ensure that tenants are selected carefully and fairly and will give your landlords confidence in your agency.
Property management software that has proper integrations with these softwares will allow your agency to check potential tenants’ credit scores, income level, current job, and verify the credibility of the references they have provided – therefore avoiding any compliance or legal issues.
*Disclaimer: please note this blog is only intended as a guide, and is not to be taken as legal advice*