The Elements of Good Property Management – Northwood Chats to Ken Bluff

Ken Bluff is an estate agent, property manager and Remax Top Associate, based in Cape Town.  With decades of experience in the real estate and property rental industry, he is passionate about delivering exceptional service to property owners and tenants alike.

In our previous blog post we outlined the benefits of using a property management company to source tenants, collect rent, and deal with maintenance on second homes – but what services should you expect as a property owner?

Northwood chatted to Ken Bluff about his approach to property management to find out what services second home owners should expect from a reputable letting company.

Selecting the right tenant

The quality of tenant you select to occupy your property can make the difference between a pleasant and profitable experience and endless headaches – Ken pays careful attention to the calibre of tenants he selects for his clients’ properties and requires each prospective tenant to fill in an application form before they are considered.

  • All prospective tenants need to provide proof of identity and employment, which are verified.
  • At the same time, a credit check is performed and the tenant’s current or previous landlords and letting agents are contacted for references.

The aim of this process is to select a tenant who pays on time, looks after the property, and is a stable, responsible person. This lays the foundation for a good tenant-owner relationship during the period of the lease.

Dealing with problem tenants

Nightmare stories about tenants who destroy rental properties, leave suddenly without paying rent, and cause problems with neighbors are all too common in the property rental industry. Ken believes that problem tenants should be dealt with in a fair but decisive way:

  • A deposit equal to two months’ rent is required from all tenants. This covers owners against the cost of doing repairs, and is an insurance against tenants who disappear without paying rent.
  • Tenants who pay late or try to “squat” in a rental property are handed over to attorneys who specialise in evictions.
  • Tenants are encouraged to report any maintenance issues as they arise – if they fail to do so, the cost of repairs is deducted from the deposit.

Most importantly, Ken believes in finding the right tenant for the property. A tenant with a clean background and a record of responsible dealings with agents and owners is not likely to behave in a way that would jeopardise the value of a rental property.

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