• Searches in London for ‘building inspections’ and ‘building maintenance’ have soared by an average annual rate of around 20% over the last three years.

  • Interest in tenant screening services climbed by an average year-on-year rate of 13% in the capital during the same period.

  • Major works and fire safety compliance also had considerable increases in interest.

Property experts at SBA Property Management have revealed the five property management service areas that will be in highest demand in London this year.

With more private landlords, office managers and Residents Management Companies (RMCs) springing up in London, there’s plenty of opportunity for businesses operating in the capital – but also a great deal of competition.

Research has found that building inspections, building maintenance and tenant screening works are all set to be the most in-demand property management services, followed by major works and fire safety.

Tim Darwall-Smith, Director at SBA Property Management, said: “The property management industry is fast-moving, with constant shifts in demand from customers. Recent updates to safety regulations have led to increased demand for site inspections and repair work, so it’s no surprise to see these being two of the most highly sought-after services in 2024.

“Strong rental demand in London looks set to drive an increase in demand for tenant screening services, while the recovery of the construction industry and high demand for fire safety remediation work will continue to have a big impact on the industry this year.

“To gain a competitive edge and continue to grow their portfolios, property managers must keep their service offering relevant and flexible this year.”

Here are the five most in-demand property management services in London in 2024:

Building inspections

One consequence of wider reforms to building health and safety is the recommendation for landlords, RMCs and other ‘responsible persons’ to conduct more regular inspections of their properties.

Over the previous three years, searches for ‘building inspections’ in London rose by an average rate of 19.67% year on year, making this service area the most in-demand in the capital.

Where landlords manage multiple properties or lack easy access to their property, it is often easier to engage a property manager to take care of building inspections and carry out any required follow-up works.

Maintenance and repairs

An essential part of property management, irrespective of market factors and external trends, is the everyday maintenance and repair work that keeps a building running smoothly.

In London, demand for these services is markedly on the rise, with searches for ‘building maintenance’ up by an average of 19.33% year on year between 2020 and 2023, making it the second fastest-growing service area for searches.

Maintenance is distinguished from major works in that it refers to smaller-scale tasks like landscaping, communal cleaning and corrective repairs for things like boilers and plumbing systems. In a market as competitive as London’s, high-quality maintenance work is key to client retention and can help property managers stand out among the competition.

Tenant screening

London’s rental market has recently been characterised by a shortage of options for would-be tenants and considerable increases in rent, two factors that may be behind an apparent rise in demand for tenant screening services.

Over the last three years, searches for ‘tenant screening’ had an average year-on-year growth of 13% in London, putting the service area as the third fastest-growing within the property management field.

With London rental prices expected to continue rising in 2024, it seems more landlords will be turning to tenant screening services to reduce the risk of late payments and ensure their properties deliver the best returns.

Major works

Large-scale construction projects are predicted to be one of the top service areas for 2024, following the bounce back of the construction industry after the pandemic and the introduction of the 2022 Building Safety Act.

Data shows that searches in London for major works grew by an average year-on-year rate of 7.33% between 2020 and 2023, making it the fourth fastest-growing service area.

Following recent updates to UK fire safety regulations for high-rise buildings, many commercial and residential buildings in London now require urgent remedial work to remove combustible materials from external wall systems and balconies.

It can be challenging for private landlords lacking specialist knowledge to understand their responsibilities, leading many to consult a property management company on the necessary steps for improving health and safety in line with the new regulations.

Fire safety compliance

With landlords and RMCs now facing the additional responsibility of ensuring properties are safe for occupiers following the introduction of the 2022 Building Safety Act, fire safety compliance is a key service area for property managers.

In London, searches for the term ‘building fire safety’ grew 5.67% year on year over the past three years. This makes fire safety compliance the fifth fastest-growing service area for searches in the capital.

With many of the changes coming into effect in 2023, property management companies should consider putting fire safety compliance at the core of their service offering for the year ahead.

Looking for specialist support with any of these property management services? With decades of experience managing commercial and residential properties in London, SBA Property Management is well-placed to help you get the most out of your properties in 2024.