Should new Freeholders self-manage freehold or engage a managing agent?

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  • SouthernDave
    replied
    Originally posted by PascoeTeam View Post

    I'd really appreciate their details as a starting point, thank you.
    Have DM’d you

    Leave a comment:


  • PascoeTeam
    replied
    Originally posted by SouthernDave View Post
    I can recommend one from Kent? She manages a few blocks Where I have property. She is very good.
    I'd really appreciate their details as a starting point, thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • SouthernDave
    replied
    I can recommend one from Kent? She manages a few blocks Where I have property. She is very good.

    Leave a comment:


  • PascoeTeam
    replied
    Originally posted by Hansi View Post
    Thanks for all the brilliant advice!

    I will look into finding a trustworthy agent. Does anyone have any recommendations on companies? In London preferably.

    Thanks again
    I second all this wonderful advice and thank you all. Can I ask how your journey towards finding a good managing agent in London has gone? All I get are 'don't use these people' when I ask for recommendations on local forums.

    Alternatively, does anyone know of a London based or operating team that support self managed blocks? I found one but they are based in Bristol (Adam Church) but it looks like they might otherwise be a good option for us. We are 8 leaseholders and have been muddling through ourselves for 14 years but have found all the issues stated on this thread absolutely pertinent. And I'm keen to find a supported or managed option to propose to the company.

    Thank you all for any further advice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hansi
    replied
    Thanks for all the brilliant advice!

    I will look into finding a trustworthy agent. Does anyone have any recommendations on companies? In London preferably.

    Thanks again

    Leave a comment:


  • Gordon999
    replied
    Better have a managing agent for first year for interested leaseholders to learn the job. Some participating leaseholders think there is no need to pay service charge after the freehold has been bought.

    Leave a comment:


  • scot22
    replied
    Yes, volunteers can only take so much. Occasionally some empty thanks but the moment there is a problem...........!Nearly all absentees, and some permanent just seem to want to spend as little as possible.

    Leave a comment:


  • flyingfreehold
    replied
    Eventually most (sane) leaseholders groups give the work to a managing agent

    Leave a comment:


  • Jericho
    replied
    Originally posted by sgclacy View Post

    You can save management fees if somebody can do it for no remuneration

    the problem with that is that in the end resentment builds as there will be no thanks and the person who is doing it for nothing ends up dealing with all the bickering and squabbling. Some become doctoral and act as if they were the freeholder - supporting their stance on the justification that they do all the work

    if they don’t charge its very difficult to lodge a complaint

    it is better to pay that person a fee so you can hold them accountable
    Our RMC owns the freehold and has a number of directors who share the workload to an extent. There will always be some leaseholders (who are also RMC shareholders) who contribute little and easily find fault. That's just the way of the world. It's no picnic but many do appreciate the work put in by the board FoC, especially those who are ex-directors and know exactly what's involved.

    If the directors are not doing a good job they can be replaced by the shareholders.

    You pays your money ...

    Leave a comment:


  • sgclacy
    replied
    Originally posted by Jericho View Post
    I've been on the board of a RMC who self manage a property of 30 flats for two years. The main benefits are financial of course as you are not paying management fees.
    You can save management fees if somebody can do it for no remuneration

    the problem with that is that in the end resentment builds as there will be no thanks and the person who is doing it for nothing ends up dealing with all the bickering and squabbling. Some become doctoral and act as if they were the freeholder - supporting their stance on the justification that they do all the work

    if they don’t charge its very difficult to lodge a complaint

    it is better to pay that person a fee so you can hold them accountable

    Leave a comment:


  • scot22
    replied
    Absolutely perfect summary Jericho.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jericho
    replied
    I've been on the board of a RMC who self manage a property of 30 flats for two years. The main benefits are financial of course as you are not paying management fees. Also you avoid the risk of picking a sub-standard MA of which I'm sure there are many.

    However you need people with the skills, knowledge and time (unpaid) within the RMC to understand how to run the property to the same level as a MA. This is a considerable challenge that shouldn't be underestimated and has to be sustained over the churn of leaseholders. There are loads of internet resources these days to support RMCs (including this forum) but even so it takes time to build up knowledge of the relevant laws and processes. You need to understand the lease inside out which can be easier said than done for old leases.

    As you say you are going to have to engage an accountant to do the annual accounts which isn't a big issue given the relative simplicity of the business.

    Finding good contractors for repairs and services is also very time-consuming especially getting people to turn up and provide written quotations. This gets easier once you build up a body of contacts.

    Some of the leaseholders not living at the property complicates things somewhat. In my experience these are the ones most likely to need chasing up for arrears, although luckily rare to date. Chasing money owed is not the nicest thing to do but is essential for fairness to other leaseholders who would fully back up the process. Needs to be done in a considered and unemotional manner of course.

    If the RMC is run in an amateur way the pitfalls can be very large in deed. Unfortunate examples I have witnessed include not planning long-term for major maintenance works leading to big bills for the leaseholders and also not being aware of the risk assessments required when running a building including fire safety.

    The rewards of managing the property yourself can be worthwhile providing you are willing to give the considerable commitment required. If I was choosing a MA I would want them to provide a couple of local references which I'd chase up.

    Hope that helps and wasn't too grim

    Leave a comment:


  • Section20z
    replied
    With 8 flats you need a managing agent to work for you, you don't want to be chasing your neighbours for money...

    Leave a comment:


  • Gordon999
    replied
    I recommend you buy a copy of the RICS Residential Management Code v. 3 which is the operating guide for managing agents and recognised by the FTT. You may find a copy to view online.

    When you interview some local managing agents, you ask for one year fixed contract and continue with option of ninety days notice to terminate by either side and service standard shall be to RICS Management Code. The service charge money shall be held in a separate "client " bank account. The annual service charge accounts shall be audited by a professional accountant and made available 6 months after the end of service charge year.

    The freehold company has to file annual returns to Companies House and simpler if you can file dormant accounts for a non profit company and the Tax office will not chase your company for tax return. The one flat still paying ground rent is a problem because the freehold company cannot claim to be dormant.

    Leave a comment:


  • scot22
    replied
    Being a Company you must have directors who run the Company which is the Freeholder. Having experienced being run by volunteers and by a Property Manager I have almost complete confidence in recommending employing a professional. The only issue is making sure you get a good one. The manager acts on the instructions of the Company and there is no loss of control there are many legal responsibilities involved which are generally better delegated to a professional. One volunteer treasurer decided as he wrote the cheques he decided how money would be spent !
    although there is a cost everyone contributes. The workload when run by volunteers is usually not shared fairly and there are a lot of freeloaders.

    Leave a comment:

Latest Activity

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  • Section 20
    by Anna1985
    So the lease allows for the property to be kept in good condition.
    Thus, the shared hall could be spruced up no problem, but there is an issue with driveway - partially it belongs to the freeholder, partially to the ground floor leaseholder - it is made out of the old paving stones, it looks...
    22-05-2022, 21:03 PM
  • Reply to Section 20
    by vmart
    Hi Anna
    How many flats are there? I am not sure what you mean by the driveway partially belongs to the freeholder and partially to the ground floor leaseholder. Can you please explain. Presumably the freeholder is the freeholder for the entire plot and would be responsible for initiating a section...
    23-05-2022, 08:26 AM
  • Reply to Section 20
    by scot22
    There is a fine line between repair and improvement. If it is replacing like for like it could be considered economical, in the long run, repair.
    Enforcing obligations could be costly. Is it feasible for those who do care to voluntarily pay to have it replaced.
    23-05-2022, 06:56 AM
  • Reply to collective enfranchisement
    by sgclacy
    I think I have found the answer:-

    Hague - Leasehold Enfranchisement (seventh edition) at 24-01

    It is considered that to be a participating tenant, the lessee must be registered at the HM Land Registry as proprietor of the lease at the relevant date

    The note...
    22-05-2022, 21:37 PM
  • collective enfranchisement
    by flyingfreehold
    Does a leaseholder have to be a registered proprietor to join a collective? Or is it sufficient for her/his/it to be a transferee whose interest is not yet registered?
    21-05-2022, 18:51 PM
  • Reply to Old managing agents accounts
    by jazzythumper
    Thanks, how would I do that, what evidence would I need to provide?...
    22-05-2022, 20:10 PM
  • Old managing agents accounts
    by jazzythumper
    Since obtaining the RTM and changing the managing agent, we have never been given full accounts / receipts for the previous year(s). We believe that as the old freeholder and leaser holder of one of the flats were represented by the same solicitor that prior to the sale of the freehold, we were subsidising...
    20-05-2022, 11:21 AM
  • Reply to Building works & S20 process
    by scot22
    What if something goes wrong ? You need a surveyor to safeguard your interests. There are some untrustworthy roofers, and other trades.
    It is better to follow standard procedures. From experience I would not follow informal routes. O.K when everyone reasonable and cooperative but things can...
    22-05-2022, 19:39 PM
  • Building works & S20 process
    by RichA
    Hi. I have a freehold after selling a leasehold flat in a block of 4 flats. We don't currently have a managing agent, so these duties currently fall to me (I am holding off appointing a managing agent whilst the leaseholders consider whether they want to RTM).

    The block needs some maintenance...
    21-05-2022, 17:20 PM
  • Reply to Building works & S20 process
    by RichA
    If the work is 'contracted' by the leaseholders rather than the freeholder does that remove the requirement for a S20?

    eg if the 4x leaseholders wish to accept a quote and get the works done (including making payment) does this avoid S20 consultation?
    22-05-2022, 18:51 PM
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