Why Investors choose OCB

O’Connor Bowden successfully manages hundreds of furnished City Centre apartments ranging from studios to luxury penthouse apartments in some of the most sought Developments in Manchester

Our Offices are located in the heart of the Northern Quarter and our Departments provide investors with a variety of property services including property management, lettings, sales, investment advice, acquisitions and disposals, and free market appraisals.
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  • Director-lead Team with over 30 years experience in Manchester City Centre
  • Valuations and market appraisals: No underletting or valuing with O’Connor Bowden
  • Competitive letting and management fees
  • Marketing Intelligence: helping you to understand the lettings/sales markets in Manchester City Centre
  • High profile internet marketing
  • Professional Tenants and corporate lets
  • Third-party, professional tenant referencing
  • Compliant tenancy and inventory documents
  • Deposit registration and management – we register exclusively with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
  • Let Only or comprehensive property management service
  • Scheduling of responsive and planned maintenance works
  • Proven rent arrears and void control systems
  • Landlord Insurance including Rental Guarantee and Tenancy Legal Protection options
  • Furniture designed specifically for the rental market
  • Energy Performance Certificate Management (EPC)
  • Electrical and Gas Safety Inspection Management

Our City Centre Portfolio

O’Connor Bowden successfully manages in excess of 1,000 furnished apartments throughout Manchester city centre. The properties we manage are studios to penthouse apartments, let to professional and corporate tenants. Most importantly and to meet the demands of the unique city center market, we have a dedicated team specializing in providing a range of property management services to suit our client’s needs. Each member of our team is based at our Northern Quarter Office and is given the responsibility to manage their own portfolio.

Professional Property Management

We specialize in the Manchester city centre market and provide a range of property management services to suit our client’s needs. Our property management team is structured with ‘Portfolio Managers’ so you have a personal business relationship with the individual managing your property.

By using the very best property management software and operating to exacting quality control procedures, the efficiency of our property management and maintenance services is of the highest standard.

“So often we meet Landlords who have their properties let out below value, have tenants with rent arrears, tenancy problems, and rogue tenants due to poor quality referencing and, unfortunately, tenancies and properties with far worse issues! Our exacting services have been designed to avoid such issues” … Alison O’Connor, Managing Director

Professional Tenant Referencing

Only quality tenants are accepted for our properties. All tenants are professionally referenced by a specialist, independent third-party tenancy referencing company. Company Lets are subjected to a company search and references through an individually agreed referencing process. For additional financial protection, often UK guarantors are requested

Compliant Tenancy Agreements

On behalf of our clients, for each tenancy, O’Connor Bowden prepares and correctly executes an assured short-hold tenancy agreement and all associated documents and contracts relating to a tenancy agreement, compliant with the Housing Act 2004.

Property Inventories

A Statement of Condition and Inventory is prepared by O’Connor Bowden for each tenancy in both written and photographic format. The property inventories are signed by the tenant(s) as a record of the property’s condition and contents at the start of a tenancy. Exacting detail of a property inventory reduces the risks of repairs dispute at the end of the tenancy period.

Deposit Registration & Management

In accordance with the terms and conditions of the Housing Act 2004, on behalf of our landlords, O Connor Bowden registers all tenancy deposits within 10 days of receipt with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS). The deposit is held by the Deposit Protection Service and only released by them when a satisfactory agreement or arbitration is concluded.

Tenant Management

For managed properties, O’Connor Bowden will manage the tenant ‘moving in’ process and provide a home demonstration to explain the services and equipment provided and how they work. We arrange for the transfer of utility accounts to your tenants. Each month we manage the payment and reconciliation of rent; coordinate and manage repairs; periodically visit and inspect the property; enforce any tenancy breaches and resolve any contraventions such as neighborhood nuisance issues and disputes. At the end of the tenancy we arrange and conduct property inspections, manage deposit returns and reclaims, and, where applicable, manage any deposit or financial claim disputes that may arise following the end of the tenancy.

24-Hour Emergency Response

To help protect your asset and to provide a quality support service to your tenants, we provide a 24-hour emergency response to all managed properties in the event of a serious failure such as water leaks, or loss of heating and power.

Scheduling Responsive And Planned Maintenance

Our objective is to provide proactive repairs and maintenance service, preparing our clients in advance for planned maintenance works and costs. When faults expectantly occur, our clients are kept fully informed of any repair liability. Landlords are always given the opportunity to approve or reject work requests, quotations, and estimates. We frequently inspect works undertaken and keep landlords fully updated on the property’s condition. Landlords with an appropriate team of local repair contractors can choose to manage their own property repair and maintenance works.

Furniture & Furnishing Replacements

From time to time, furnishing and household equipment will require replacement. O’Connor Bowden has been a city centre furnishings specialist for over a decade. We can supply individual items for renewal and replacement or arrange full apartment installations or refits.

Rental Accounting

All rent we receive is accounted to you each month and as soon as it is received by us and by means of financial rental statements. Funds are transferred directly to your chosen bank account and deductions for operating costs will be managed for you at the source.

Property Inspections & Visits

We continually look after your property. Following the commencement of a tenancy, we will regularly visit your property to ensure the tenancy obligations are being fulfilled and the condition of the property remains satisfactory. Reports of our visits are shared with you and any enforcement issues will be managed efficiently. Before a tenancy ends, we will conduct a pre-termination inspection visit of the property and report our findings to both you and your tenant. A further inspection is undertaken during a tenancy check-out appointment.

Building Management Assistance

The majority of city centre homes are apartments located in large developments and buildings with communal areas. Most apartment developments have communal areas managed by Building Management companies or agents. Equally, our clients are often remote property investors who are unable to be in regular contact with a Building Management company or agent. As part of our support service, O’Connor Bowden can act on your behalf for many communal management issues including insurance claims, assessment and monitoring of services, and tenancy management issues during major repair projects.

Managed Service Or Let Only

It is estimated 40% of UK residential Landlords self-manage their properties. Amateur landlords may be at risk of not complying with the latest legislation, unable to attract and source quality tenants, being unable to offer the property management support services often demanded by tenants, and have time and skill difficulties when dealing with enforcement matters. The most common reason given by Landlords for not instructing a property management agent is concern over cost efficiency. This can often be a misguided fallacy.

If your property is correctly marketed to attract the best possible tenant and is professionally managed with a strategy to keep void periods and repairs to a minimum, your property management service will pay for itself. Whilst we pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive and value-for-money property management service, we do recognize some landlords may prefer only a let-only service. We are happy to consider a letting service that may be tailored to suit your needs.

Are You Breaking The Law?

Managing a property is fraught with legislation that Landlords must comply with and which is ever-changing. If as a landlord, you breach the terms of your Tenancy Agreement, your tenant can take legal action against you and any action for breach can be enforced by the courts. The worst case-scenario, as a landlord and breaching tenancy law, you could be criminally convicted and face jail time?

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC

We can arrange for Energy Performance Certificates to be provided by registered EPC surveyors. An Energy Performance Certificate is often referred to as an EPC. An EPC is required when a property is built, marketed for sale, or let. The EPC contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs and recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money at a property. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and it is valid for 10 years. All EPCs are issued by approved energy efficiency surveyors and inspectors. An EPC must be available for potential buyers and tenants to read before a property can be advertised or marketed for sale or to let.

Electrical Safety

We can arrange for electrical safety inspections to be completed by qualified electricians. Can you answer the following question? “What steps did you take to ensure the electrical wiring in your investment property was safe for your tenant?” A Landlord must make sure the electrical system at a property is safe (e.g. sockets and light fittings). All appliances supplied at a property by a Landlord must also be safe (e.g. cookers, kettles, etc).

Gas Safety

We manage Landlord Gas Safety Inspections on behalf of our clients.

It is mandatory for all Gas Appliances in a rented property to be serviced and checked annually.

  • All gas equipment supplied must be safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • A registered Gas Safe engineer must carry out a gas safety on each appliance and flue annually
  • A tenant must be provided with a copy of the gas safety check record before they move in or within 28 days of an inspection

Deposit Registration & Management

We register and protect tenancy deposits for our Landlords. Private landlords and letting agents taking deposits for assured short-hold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales are required to safeguard them with a government-authorized tenancy deposit protection scheme. O’Connor Bowden registers all tenancy deposits within 10 days of receipt with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) custodial scheme. The deposit is held by the DPS and only released by the DPS when a satisfactory agreement or arbitration is concluded.

Selective Licences

O’Connor Bowden can help with your Selective License application and be a responsible party to your license, subject to the agreed terms.  Selective Licensing applies when a local authority designates an area where all rented accommodation must be licensed with the local authority under a ‘Selective Licensing scheme’. The designation of Selective Licensing is made by individual local authorities, which may include the whole of or part of their district. An area may be designated for selective licensing if the area is an area of low housing demand or if the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti-social behavior. A Selective License will only be granted to a ‘fit and proper person’.

Do you have Landlord’s insurance?

The Majority of Landlords are exposed to uninsured risks because they do not have adequate insurance. Many Landlords with flats and apartments rely on the ‘Building Insurance’ set up by building management companies to cover all eventualities. We can make recommendations and can also arrange contents/additional damage insurance on your behalf.

Rental Guarantee

By means of additional support, through our professional referencing companies, we have the facilities to include or offer rent guarantee insurance, including tenancy legal protection cover, subject to contract terms and conditions.

Proven Track Record

O’Connor Bowden has a proven record of ensuring you receive your rent in a timely manner.  We seek only the best possible quality tenants, with the financial means to support the rent and household living expenses. Our third-party professional tenant referencing process eliminates rogue tenant applications and our robust rent collection system, coupled with a ‘zero tolerance’ on rent arrears, helps us to pay your rent on time and you to manage your cash flow effectively.

Void Control

Void control is a key performance part of any rental property. When a current tenancy is nearing its end, your property is marketed at least six weeks before the tenancy end date. This maximizes interest from new tenants and where possible allow us to arrange for a ‘back-to-back’ re-let. We also provide robust advice on the rental market at any given time. Our aim is to achieve maximum rental value on your investment at all times.