What does a leasehold property manager do?

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By Alan Draper | Jun 2022

“You charge a lot to sort out the cleaners and gardeners”

That is the misperception us residential leasehold property managers face on a daily basis yet the skill set required to do the job well is immense. Building knowledge (design, maintenance requirements, systems, Health and safety) is a given but the focus of this article is to highlight the high level skills that leaseholders don’t always consider.

Firstly, we are managing multiple properties and hence, multiple people all with their own views on the way a development should be managed. Politics is defined as “the way that people living in groups make decisions” so an effective leasehold property manager is a good politician.

As if to highlight this link to the world of politics, the fact that we also issue service charges to each of our leaseholders also makes us a form of taxman and accountant. The setting of the budget and understanding of the finances of the estates we manage, also means we need to be numerate and have a good understanding of accounting. You’ll need to know your accruals from your apportionments and woe betide the leasehold property manager that can’t read a balance sheet.

Unfortunately, us property managers often have to say “no” as often as we say “yes”. How dare you, I hear you say, it’s our property and you can’t tell us what we can and can’t do. Actually, as a leaseholder you don’t own bricks and mortar but rather a long-term lease agreement. For many a leasehold property manager, that is often the first point of law that many of us learn, but, by no means the last. The lease, a legal document, underpins everything that we do but our legal knowledge has to extend way beyond this to include understanding of statute, case law and its application………and trust me, there is a lot of law to inwardly digest.

So a good property leasehold property manager needs to be part politician, part lawyer and part accountant.

That’s quite a skill set and is why you need to be graduate level to be considered for a property management role at Common Ground.

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