A Landlords Ultimate Guide
Property Hawk is a website that helps landlords to manage their properties. Users can acquire help and advice, download free documents, access landlord software and keep up to date with the latest news. It is a portal to a wealth of information guaranteed to be of interest to any landlord, whether experienced or just starting out.
The website has many features, we will review the key ones below:
Property Hawk offers users access to their own landlord software called ‘Property Manager 3S’. This software is cloud-based meaning it can be accessed anywhere, anytime and it is free to use. This is a massive draw as many systems charge a subscription fee.
You are required to sign up to access the software which is done in a few minutes. Once you are signed in you are taken straight to the software. There is an introduction page which clearly explains what each function does, we found this very useful when first using the software.
On the software, you can: add tenants, create, and edit forms, set up inventories, monitor rent, add expenses, set reminders, and assess tax. This is a great array of functions allowing you to manage your properties all in one place.
We especially favoured the inventory function which allows landlords to create inventories for each property. This is extremely useful as it means the condition of each property can be constantly monitored. Inventories were quickly created and allowed detailed descriptions of each room and its fixtures.
We found this software to be brilliant for managing tenancies. Landlords can use the software daily to store all their information and there is also an app version available.
All users can create and save Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements for free. With one click you are taken to a page to fill in essential details (landlord name, tenant name, tenancy start date etc.) and then your document will be created and sent to your email. This makes tenancy agreements very easy to create and stress free. Property Hawk also states that solicitors prepare the agreement to give you peace of mind.
The website provides a variety of forms which are free to create and download. On the ‘landlord forms’ page, you select which form you require from a drop-down box at the top. We found this box could be easily missed and it took us a while to notice it hidden within the rest of the information that was on the page. When we selected a form, creation was simple and the form was then sent to our email address.
The free forms are highly beneficial however we think the drop down menu needs to be more detectable as users may struggle to find it.
The landlord bible is an online resource produced to help landlords buy, manage, and let properties. On the left-hand side of the page there are links to different topics which are divided into categories. Landlords have access to a wealth of extremely useful information here at no cost at all. There is also an option to add comments on each page if you have any questions about the topic.
Ease of Use
The user interface is something that lets this website down. We found navigation to different categories to be easy as they are all at the top of the page. However, navigation on each page can be difficult due to the amount of text and adverts. It can be slightly over facing, especially for a new user. The pages are not visually appealing as they are text heavy with few images, adding more images and larger text would largely improve this.
We also found the home page to be confusing if new to the website, as it does not define or explain what the website is. There are links to different sections such as insurance, tenancy agreements and landlord software but a lack of direct information about the website. A short summary paragraph telling users about the website would be useful here.
We do note however that the user interface on the landlord software is simple and easy to use.
Property Hawk is a fantastic website for landlords which provides a collection of extremely useful information (forms, documents, news, forums and more). The fact that everything is free, including the property management software, is a massive bonus for users.
We like that users do not need to sign up to access most information, apart from the landlord software. This makes access quick and easy, just simply click on the website and you are free to browse.
If you do use the landlord software they also have an app available which could be convenient for when you are on the go.
Some problems are that the website is basic and text heavy so can be hard to navigate. Adverts on some pages can also be distracting, although we understand the need to have these to fund the site.
Overall the website provides great support for landlords both new and experienced in managing their properties. It may not be the easiest site to use but once you get to grips with it the resources available are excellent.