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A day in the Life of a Property Manager: Luke Gilbey

Luke Gilbey is a driving force behind our Property Management team. He joined Henry & James after managing properties throughout South London for five years. His philosophy for property management is simple: when something goes wrong, tenants and landlords don’t want to wait days to have the problem fixed. They want action now.

We asked Luke to describe “a day in the life of a Property Manager”. No two days are the same: he may be trouble-shooting one moment or staying up-to-date with the latest lettings’ legislation the next. It is a life full of variety.

Q: What time do you start?

A: Well, I usually start at 8.45am and finish around 6pm. It is an exciting job, managing properties in Belgravia. I manage about forty-five homes, a mixture of houses and apartments. They are mainly period properties, although there are a few new-builds.

Q: What might the typical day in the life of a Belgravia property manager involve? Or is every day different?

A: No two days are the same, although I generally spend about half my day in the office and the other half out and about, checking on properties and making sure both tenants and landlords are happy. There are also certain recurring jobs which I help with most weeks.

Q: What do these include?

A: I am regularly asked to help tenants replace batteries in smoke alarms, and replace tricky spotlights.  I enjoy helping, whether the job is big or small. Good property managers go the extra mile. At the other end of the scale, unauthorised sub-lettings have become increasingly common, with tenants sub-letting properties for short periods, without the consent of the landlord. I need to stay vigilant and intervene when appropriate.

Q: Are you expected to be on call 24/7?

A: In theory, yes, owners and tenants have my contact details. Yet it would be unusual to be asked to do anything at the weekend, unless there was an emergency of some kind. However, if an emergency occurs, then I am ready to assist.

Q: What services does Henry & James offer on the property management side?

A: We offer a wide range of services: from the management of properties and quarterly inspections including inventory reports

to drawing up tenancy agreements and property repairs. Some properties might just need a finishing touch to help them let. That’s where the property management team help.

Q: Presumably you have an extensive local network of plumbers, electricians etc, whose services you can call on at short notice?

A: Absolutely. And when contractors are called in to do minor or major repair work, it is important to reassure tenants by showing up at the property for a short time. Not to supervise the work, but to avoid a situation where tenants are suddenly faced with workmen they have never met before. Property management is all about relationships. It’s important to have a good relationship with tenants, landlords and contractors.

Q: Any embarrassing or hilarious encounters yet?

A: Well, it’s my first year at Henry & James, so I have not been left red-faced after an embarrassing moment yet. It’s probably just a matter of time!

  • The property management team are friendly, reliable and professional. They work alongside the lettings department to provide a one-stop service for all your property requirements. For more information, call 44 (0) 20 7581 5858, email or drop into the Belgravia office (1 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JX).