In case you missed it see what’s in this section
Modern residential blocks to Grade II listed buildings - We manage them all!
From modern residential blocks to Grade II listed buildings we manage them all.
That’s one of the reasons as professional Block Managers we have the best job - the work is so varied; no day is ever the same and no property is ever the same.
What is a block management company responsible for?
Block management companies are typically engaged by the Freeholder, a Residents Management Company, a Right to Manage Company or a similar party.
A block manager is responsible for the provision of services under the terms of the Lease.
There is no generic list of services that can be applied to every building in the UK however, if we look at the Lease it will detail the services the ‘Landlord’ is responsible for and therefore subsequently the block management company.
Typical block management services will include the placing of building insurance, ensuring contracts such as cleaning are in place and value for money, ongoing day to day repairs and maintenance and so on. Block management companies require a diverse range of knowledge in areas such as accounting, health and safety, law, insurance and construction.
At Fraser Allen there is no ‘standard service’ that we provide, instead we tailor our services to every individual client.
- A dedicated Property Manager
- Coming really soon - your own online portal
- Real-time status updates
What makes us different from other managing agents is our outstanding customer service, on a local scale.
The sort of work we look after is a varied list and changes from block to block. The specifics of property management vary depending on the individual properties or developments, but will typically include overseeing the maintenance of the obvious tasks for the development:
- Internal cleaning of communal spaces
- External cleaning
- Window cleaning
- Gardening and landscaping
- Tree care
- Emergency repair works such as plumbing and electricians
- Facilities management such as fire alarms, door entry, vehicle gates and lifts
- Roof Repairs
- Internal and External Painting and decorating
Then there’s the more complex tasks:
- Collecting the Service Charge and dealing with arrears if necessary
- Paying Contractors accounts and any professional advisors such as Accountants etc
- Maintaining proper and detailed Accounts of all income and expenditure on our fully computerised accounting system
- Liaising with Accountants and ensuring that all statutory liabilities as a Management Company are fulfilled
- Dealing with Insurance claims on the Buildings Insurance Policy on behalf of the Management Company
- Ensuring that a sinking fund is accumulated for future capital expenditure
- Liaising with Solicitors in the transfer of ownership of a Flat
- Drawing up annual budget statements and proposing the level of future Service Charge requirements in conjunction with your Management Committee
- Attending Annual General Meetings and Directors Meetings as required
- Dealing with general enquiries from Flat Owner
- An initial audit of the building's condition, contracts, insurances and outgoings.
- Ongoing legal, compliance and tenant issues
- Risk assessments
- Fire risk assessments
- Health and safety management
- Create and administer separate client trust bank accounts for the service charges
- All financial reports and accounting services including preparation of annual service budgets for client to approve
- Advising on various relevant legislations i.e. leasehold, Landlord and Tenant Act, Section 20 Notices and related lease restrictions and covenant issues
- Submission of compliant service charge demands to residents
- Maintenance of financial and legal records
- Arranging and managing all block insurance, including claims
- Preparing for and attending AGMs and all client meetings; liaising with Directors and Freeholders.
- Dealing with solicitors' pre-contract sale enquiries
- All major internal and external works supervision and Section 20 procedures (consultation with residents on major works over the threshold)
- Management of service contracts
- Procuring and managing on-site staff
- Right to Manage issues and handovers
- Communicate news of your building to residents through regular newsletter, where required.
- Company Secretarial services
- Quarterly inspections
It’s a pretty long list… but the thing that all the different types of properties have got in common is this list!
When we searched the different types of properties, we found hundreds listed, but what we’ve found is that when we’re managing a block, then can be identified into four main types of property:
Listed building, or listed structure
This is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England[a] in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.
A listed building may not be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from the local planning authority, which typically consults the relevant central government agency, particularly for significant alterations to the more notable listed buildings.
Personally, we love working with an older property, the history, the life it has experienced... Some of them are old churches, orphanages, universities and hospitals. Some of them have a significant place in our history books, they were built to last and working with them in a respectful and sympathetic way just makes our role even more interesting.
We manage a number of listed properties and whilst the work is so interesting working with English Heritage and the local planning departments everything just takes longer. This is where our experience and stakeholder management skills come into play. Working through lockdown was challenging to everyone’s patience, and usually what we find is, we have to allow 2 - 4 weeks longer than a non-listed property to allow for the right people to be consulted and for them to agree and sign off on what we want to do.
New Build to Look Old
These are usually situated close to other buildings that are listed, or in a conservation area. The owners like the look and feel of the older property but like the convenience, and lower cost of the modern build.
1980s Red Brick Design
There are so many of these, built during the property boom in the 1980s, built at pace by large scale developers. They would have been covered by the 10 year NHBC cover, which has now elapsed and major works such as roofs are likely to need attention.
Depending on the build and the quality of the work it’s likely that 40 years on the roof will need attention - and that’s a costly major work, that in most cases owners have not considered as it is still regarded as a fairly modern property.
There’s a new legal term that is “freeholders on private estates” - look out for it if you are tempted to buy a new home.
Most people know about freehold and leasehold, but this new approach has crept in over the past 10 years or so has become the industry standard.
These problems facing freeholders are estimated to affect at least half a million homes in the UK and are growing.
Also check the guarantees. Does the property have the benefit of the NHBC guarantee? Is it a Premier Guarantee? You need to check it and check the excess….
Is the developer still in business, what about the freeholder? Who has the responsibility and who can you get hold of?
You can see no day is ever the same as a professional block manager – we love all the types of properties we manage from the modern residential blocks to Grade II listed buildings we manage them all!
If you like the sound of the way we work at Fraser Allen and you’d like your property to be in safe hands, then let’s see how we can support you.
If you are self-managing your block and you'd like some expert help and guidance drop us a
message or call the office - we'd love to help!
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