· Question: What is a Freeholder?
· Answer: A freeholder is the owner of the land that a property is built on.
· Question: What is ground rent?
· Answer: The owner of the land the “freeholder” of which the property is built on will allow the use of the land based on there being a long lease. In turn, they can charge a fee for ground rent.
· Question: What is a Management Company?
· Answer: A management company or RMC (Residential Management Company) is a company made up of people who own the flats or apartments that make up the whole development. Directors are then usually elected from amongst the residents who in turn then employ a managing agent to manage the block they live in.
· Question: What is a Managing Agent?
· Answer: We are the managing agent, we are employed to look after the day to day administration for your building.
· Question: What is a service charge?
· Answer: A service charge is a fee payable by all owners of the flats/apartments that make up your development. This charge is required to cover the maintenance, insurance and any other prescriptions within the lease for the communal areas of your block.
· Question: What are reserve funds?
· Answer: A reserve fund is a fee payable by the owners of each property to ensure there is sufficient money available for future scheduled major and cyclical works, such as lift replacement, or internal/external decoration. Contributions to the reserve fund are not repayable to the owner of the flat once it is sold.
· Question: How is the building insured?
· Answer: The whole block of flats has “a block policy”. The insurance premium is then split between each flat. Claims are processed with the insurance broker via ourselves.
While we start getting used to writing "2017", it gives us an opportunity to reflect on what an incredible year 2016 has been.
looking back across the last 12 months, we are delighted to have won the management of a significant number of developments in areas such as Croydon, Blackheath, Enfield, Dartford and Sidcup, which included two blocks that came on board via recommendation (our favourite type of advertising).
During last year we also continued to expand, adding another experienced member to our accounts team (Matthew Evans). Matthew has quickly settled in and has become a key member of staff dealing with purchase and sale information and providing support to the Head of accounts. As Matthew has shown a keen eye for detail and an impressive ability to problem solve, he now looks after a small portfolio of properties as well. Directors and Leaseholders on the developments that he manages have commented on his professional and helpful manner. We look forward to Matthew continuing to expand his skill set into 2017.
2016 also saw us become "Regulated by RICS". Being regulated by the Royal Association of Chartered Surveyors is something we are very proud of. It continues to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to offering our clients the very highest levels of service in a transparent and professional way.
for 2017 we look forward to building on our ongoing success, working tirelessly to ensure our clients are satisfied with the service that we provide and supporting the wonderful staff that make this all possible.
We are very proud to have been nominated for the 2015 News on the Block Property Management Awards in three categories: London Property Management Company of the Year, Regional Property Management Company of the Year and Best Managing Agent of an RMC/RTM Block.
Being nominated is a testament to the hard work and unsurpassed levels of service that all of the staff provide and we would like to take this opportunity to thank our Clients and wish everyone that has been nominated all the best for the Awards Ceremony.
If you would like to know more about the Property Management Awards, you can visit the website: http://propertymanagementawards.co.uk/
You can find out more about News on the Block and how they assist flat owners at their website: http://www.newsontheblock.com/
We have been providing Property Management in Kent and the surrounding areas for the last 13 years. We have seen some major changes in that time, both in the leasehold sector and in the area that we live and work. Major new developments continue to be built, many with a sympathetic nod to Kent's tagline "The Garden of England". This has enabled Kent to continue to be characterful and largely unspoilt, thus retaining it's charm.
For us at PMUK we are proud to have been able to build our Company here and we often reflect on our surroundings and what we have achieved.
If you are looking for a new property management company and are located in Kent, London, Essex or Surrey, why not contact us for a no obligation discussion and allow us to appraise your development (without charge).
If you live outside the area, why not see what "The Garden of England" has to offer. Go to www.visitkent.co.uk
There is no doubt that the best form of advertisement for a company is by way of recommendation. We are delighted to announce that we have taken on a seventh development on the basis of being highly recommended by other estates that we manage locally. We have found that by being referred in such a positive way, engenders confidence in residents so that they can see evidence of other well managed estates and that it directly relates to how their property will be looked after.
This is a real boost for the PM-UK team as they can see their professionalism and commitment to our client base paying off.
For a family run company that started with humble beginnings this has meant we have seen rapid growth without the need to boost advertising.
With the property management industry being so complex and with ever evolving legislation, we are proud that blocks and estates in Kent, London, Essex and Surrey are continuing to choose us to represent them as their managing agent and we are excited to see the growth continue.
If you would like more information on the services we provide, or would like an informal discussion on the needs of your development, contact us at email@example.com or call 01322 314990.
We are delighted to introduce a new Property Manager to our team, Justin Vasey. Justin joined us in January after working and gaining experience within a well respected Surveying and Property Management Practice in Kent.
With an excellent attitude and work ethic, Justin is quickly settling in and clients are remarking on his friendly and professional attitude.
Justin is currently studying for a qualification in building surveying which will further add to his skillset.
As our client base continues to grow, it is imperative that we ensure we have the right people so that we maintain our high levels of service.
We would like to take this opportunity to welcome him and look forward to having Justin work on some of our exciting new projects planned for 2015.
It's certainly been a productive year for us so far. We have successfully taken over the management of six large developments in Kent and are looking forward to welcoming Venture Court (pictured) from the 1st July 2014.
Following a rigorous tender process carried out by the Management Company's Directors, we were delighted to be unanimously chosen as the new Managing Agent.
As a property set in the heart of the marina, the block enjoys wonderful views of the river Thames as well as the canal boats and ships that use the waterways.
We are very much looking forward to tackling some of the longstanding issues and enhancing the residents enjoyment of this prestigious development.
It’s that time of year where leaseholders find a service charge demand landing on their doormat, obliging them to pay their share of the costs of providing services to their block. Payment of those services charges is crucial.
But what are they for? And what do leaseholders get for their money?
Flats are owned on long leases. Generally speaking, everything within those four walls of the flat belongs to the leaseholder. Everything else (including the main structure of the building, the land it sits in and the common parts) is owned by the landlord.
The lease will set out what services need to be provided for the block by the landlord. Sometimes, this obligation passes to a Residents Management Company.
It can be a range of services that are provided, but these include insuring the building, cleaning and lighting the common areas and grounds, maintenance of equipment such as lifts, professional charges and many more. These are essential services and without them, a block of flats just wouldn’t function.
The only way that those services can be funded is through the payment of service charge. That’s why it’s so important that service charges are paid in full and on time. Without them, the whole block suffers.
Why is payment needed in advance?
The answer is simple. Service charges are payments so that services can be provided.
Cash flow is king. It’s fundamental to any block. If there are delayed payments (or worse still no payments) then this has a massive impact on the services that can be provided. It’s necessary to pay in advance for this very reason.
Leaseholders want to live in blocks that are well-maintained and well-managed. This can only happen if there is co-operation. A leaseholder keeps their end of the bargain by paying their service charges in full and on time.
What happens if service charges aren’t paid?
If there’s no money from the service charges, then services can’t be provided. This impacts on the block, and also on the individual leaseholder who hasn’t paid.
Legal action can be taken against the leaseholder for the arrears. They can be ordered to pay interest on the arrears together with legal fees. County Court action can be taken (which could result in a CCJ) and ultimately a landlord can forfeit the lease and regain possession of the flat. These are serious consequences for the leaseholder concerned.
In my opinion, it’s in the interests of everyone involved in the block that service charges are paid promptly. These funds are the lifeblood of any block, and they are essential to a well-managed and well-maintained building. And after all, that’s what everyone wants.
BY Cassandra Zanelli, a partner specialising in property management at Lexcel accredited solicitors, Taylor&Emmet LLP.
Cassandra has a wealth of litigation experience and regularly presents seminars and courses for industry professionals. She is a member of the Institute of Residential Property Management and the Property Litigation Association. Email: Cassandra.firstname.lastname@example.org
Returning home to find your property damaged can leave residents feeling vulnerable and unsure of what action to take.
For many leaseholders it is the realisation of their worst fear, what to do in the case of an emergency (fire, flood etc), especially when the managing agent is not contactable.
Managing agents therefore have a responsibility to ensure that each development they look after are aware of who to contact and how the emergency lines are operated out of office hours.
It can also be beneficial for the managing agent to explain to clients, what constitutes an emergency. Just because a resident is desperate to speak to their managing agent about their arrears, this does not mean they should expect to be able discuss these after hours. It would also be prudent to ensure that in the case of something like a fire, the first call should be made to the emergency services, as they will likely need to attend.
If another property/flat has caused the damage, you may be able to make a claim on the block buildings insurance. This can usually be arranged through your managing agent.
The key points to remember in an emergency are;
- Ensure the safety of yourself and those around you. Do not put yourself at risk to check your property or secure your belongings.
- Call the emergency services first (if necessary).
- If another property is impacting on your own, i.e. water ingress from their property into yours, alert them so the leak can be stopped.
- Inform the managing agent, who can contact other leaseholders and let the insurers know (if required)
- Take photographs of the damage and write down any information about the incident that you feel would be beneficial for the managing agent or insurers to know.
Check this page regularly to see all the latest news and views on the property management sector.