Finding a decent block management firm (S.West London)

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    Finding a decent block management firm (S.West London)

    Hi

    Does a good block management firm actually exist or is this an urban legend ?

    We've had the same firm managing the building since the building was built, and they are extremely bad at managing the property and ensuring best value - it's questionable whether they have financially benefitted from certain contract renewals.

    I was looking at alternative management firms, and the majority seem to have bad reviews. A firm I was interested in proposing to fellow residents which did have good reviews, and seemed good based on my interactions, I find through a friend that there block is taking legal action against the company I was considering.

    Do decent block management firms exist, is there a way to find them without trial and error ?

    Thanks,

    #2
    I recommend that you select 3 or 4 agents for interview and explain precisely what you require and precisely what you will not tolerate, Remember that the agent is nothing more than that and it should act according to your instructions, Once appointed, it is a matter of supervising the agent. Most problems seem to arise from allowing agents to act as they please, appoint their own contractors and earn commissions and receive benefits for themselves.

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      #3
      see list of MA on the leasehold knowledge website

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        #4
        Recommendation from other leaseholders is the best introduction, so I suggest that you try to contact other blocks in the area, The LKP did not use to seek references when listing agents, but it may have changed. It is worth searching the previous Tribunal decisions before appointing an agent.

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          #5
          The trouble with being a managing agent ( 33 years experience in being one) is that some people want more money spent on the property and some less. The overheads are considerable. Complying with s20 requirements means that whereas in the past we could get the local Fred Cyril or Joe to carry out all the odd jobs, more or less continuously, now the legislation is geared towards everything being scheduled out and firms tendering for work that isnt going to happen for months ahead and for which payment will be months and months away. Hence the sort of builder tendering for works sent out by Managing Agents are not as reasonable as were Fred Cyril or Joe.

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            #6
            No the trouble with managing agents is that they are greedy, they are not satisfied with a reasonable fee for managing a building, they are constantly seeking other ways of boosting their income at the expense of leaseholders. Having their own in house contractors or arranging deals with other contractors and obtaining commissions and other benefits are conflicts of interest. There is inadequate control of the sector and until that is introduced, it is up to those employing the agents to supervise them and insist on full disclosure from them.

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              #7
              eagle2

              Agreed - and all managing agents that I have had direct experience with have also shown a tendency to have very little understanding of both leasehold legislation and what lease terms mean.

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                #8
                Some of the reasons why ALL agents are so terrible and greedy
                • They take-on too many units to manage
                • They hire junior staff with very little experience
                • They only care about the bottom line and exploring ways to make money
                Looking for agents that manage properties that have <10 Units is very different to agents that manage properties with >10 units. After a lot of research and changing agents my conclusion was they are ALL RUBBISH - You have to stay on top of them.

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                  #9
                  Legend,

                  Almost true, I have finally found one that is not terrible or greedy which is why I will NEVER recommend them to anyone else.

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                    #10
                    If you have a majority of leaseholders on board go for rtm. You need the fuss y busybody owners as they may take on some of the work. I find you can manage a block much better for half the cost, but you will still get grumbles.

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                      #11
                      I suggest you contact some local letting agents and ask their accounts manager for recommendation of good managing agent.

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                        #12
                        When you look at the reviews on review sites, look at the data closely. Our building picked a company based on the reviews, and they were utterly incompetent. When I scrutinised the data, almost all of the 90%+ of positive reviews were 'invited' reviews. Basically they asked their 'friendly' clients (perhaps even non-clients, just friends) to post a positive review. Once the data was cleansed of the 'invited' reviews, the overall picture was a lot less positive. But yes, I think a great management companies are probably an urban legend.

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