Tools for RTMC & Block self-management experience

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    Tools for RTMC & Block self-management experience

    1) We shall soon acquire the management function of our block (RTMC) and do not intend to appoint a managing agent. What are the simple tools available online for managing company accounts / service charges, contractors, maintenance/repairs, building docs, etc?
    2) I am also interested in the experience of individuals who are currently self-managing their block: How much time do you spend monthly? How do you share responsabilities with other director(s)/ members of the RTM? What are the hardest tasks? What takes most of your time? What advices do you have for new future RTMC director/ volunteer? Etc. I would be grateful to hear your feedback, in this thread or via direct message.
    Thanks for your help,

    Sorry to be cynical but, in one word, don't.
    There are a myriad of legal responsibilities. Search for RICS guide to property management to see the range.
    Inevitably it will end up with a few having to do all the work. Early days there will be empty promises.
    Unless you have IT skills you will not find anything simple.
    The, in my opinion, only fair way is everyone contributing to the cost of a Manager.
    Well intentioned warning.


      Some times leaseholders volunteer but don't do the work properly.


        There has been a recent thread along these lines which may be helpful:

        In terms of time spent managing a block I'm sure that very much depends on the size and complexity of the building and the level of maintenance required.

        The most time consuming aspect for our RMC is planning and managing maintenance repairs, especially major works subject to Section 20 consultation. If your building is relatively new then this may not be much of an issue although long-term maintenance planning is still required (including building up a reserve fund if your lease allows). Don't underestimate the amount of self-learning required to get up to speed with the legal aspects of managing a building even though there is a lot of information online.

        If you are very lucky you'll find a range of people willing and able to pick up the different aspects such as financials, dealing with contractors, doing the administration (board / AGM minutes, annual returns, flat sales), looking after the insurance (property and D&O), risk assessments etc. As mentioned by other posters the burden of work and time can easily fall unequally on one or two individuals either out of choice, ability or necessity.

        Other than spreadsheets the only tool we use is VT Cash Book (free download) to record payments which is straightforward to use. At year end we upload the VT file to our accountants' secure drop box for them to prepare the accounts.

        Self-managing is not for the faint hearted or those unable to fully commit the time and effort required. Do it badly and you can get in a mess and make expensive mistakes. Do it well and it can be interesting and rewarding. Also there are plenty of posts complaining about managing agents so choosing a good one is obviously not a given.


          Thank you scot22 Jericho and Gordon999 for your input.
          - I have found the RICS guide "Associate" level for residential property management. Does it align to what a RTM Ltd director need to comply with legally? The list of responsabilities seem long. Or is there a "light" version? I saw that LEASE has also some training guide. Keen to know your thought.
          - I have good IT skiils so that shouldn't be problem, if you can refer me what's available on the market (other than VT Cash book) that would be great, thank you.
          - Why are the leaseholders volunterers not doing the work properly? Lack of time, hard work, etc
          - I am setill keen to discuss with more people who succesfully manages his/her block, thank you again!


            The list is long because it is an onerous responsibility. My mantra was is everyone does a little no-one has to do a lot. Unfortunately everyone didn't.
            Remember people will move and new owners have different attitude. My experience is limited to one block but also voluntary organisations.
            Quite right to highlight problems with some managing agents but I don't think that's fair to them all.
            If you do self manage to make sure you are fully insured to cover any situation where a mistake might make you liable for consequences.
            People often seem pleased to have work done for free. But if anything goes wrong.........


              Thanks Jericho what takes most of yourtime, and how much time did you spend on block management per month?


                My previous question was unclear, apologises for this. I understand there are 3 stages under consultation 20. Could you relate your experience with it? And how much time do you spend on your block - what size - managing standard maintenance & repairs tasks ? Thank you.


                  Originally posted by stokey83 View Post

                  Thanks Jericho what takes most of yourtime, and how much time did you spend on block management per month?
                  As mentioned most time is spent on repairs but our building is relatively large (30 flats) and is over 50 years old. Unfortunately we are paying for a lack of long-term maintenance foresight and planning. It takes considerable time to find suitable contractors, organise and be around for on-site inspections, chase up getting written quotations (particularly painful!), make arrangements for work on-site and do the Section 20 consultation with residents.

                  Our RMC has a history of being driven by retired residents even if other board members are working. I've fallen somewhat early into the former category now and wouldn't have considering doing what I do now when I was working full-time, often away from home during the week.

                  It really isn't easy giving a simple answer to how much time you will need to spend. It depends on the size of your building and how many problem areas you may have to deal with. The latter can include major repairs, service charge arrears, lease issues / disputes / bad LH behaviour and poor contractor service to name a few.

                  If you have a brand new building with just a few leaseholders who always pay up on time and always behave themselves in line with a well written lease then management would be a relative breeze.


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