Block Management- what is typical cost?

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    Block Management- what is typical cost?

    Firstly, I hope this is the correct forum to post this on - couldn't see a more appropriate section!

    I am interested to know, what people pay, and how they pay a block management company to manage the communal areas and external parts of a property.

    I am more interested in smaller blocks of flats, rather than massive blocks with a defined service charge by a larger company.

    As landlords, I would also be interested in what you would like, or dislike in a block management company.

    I love numbers if anyone is willing to share them!

    Kind regards,

    John

    #2
    Long leasehold section it is!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by MaverickPropertyManagemen View Post
      what people pay, and how they pay to manage the communal areas and external parts of a property.Smaller blocks of flats,what you would like, or dislike in a block management company.
      Now I know why I have sacked 2 management companies ( No offence to you MaverickPropertyManagement ) But at least you HAVE asked, so as to give a better service, good for you, as others just didn't have a clue.

      Cost "oop north" -- £ 11.50 to £ 16 per flat per month.

      You manage it as though you owned the property, become company secretary, read all the leases, and ensure you do everything by the lease when leases are re-assigned, flats sold / rented etc etc ( was a big problem with us, solicitors and agents just ignored the lease to ask all directors to approve new owners )

      Transfer bank account to a sub division of your bank account. Take your fees from maintenance fund, but telling resident your fees of - say £ 14 per month need their standing orders increasing from current amount to current + £ 14, and standing orders changed to pay into your bank acount.

      You MUST view property every 2 / 3 months, don't just let the gardener do his own thing, as I have just had to remove 240,- 2 inch ( 50mm ) new tree shoots from the grounds, walls, paths.

      Don't park in peoples parking spaces with your car, - park outside, and make sure workmen parkoutside ( workmen have bad backs and legs and can't walk 5 extra paces from the road.)

      Force lettings agents to talk to you, if flats are rented out by owners, as their contract is between the owner of the flat and the letting agent, and not you. Owners and even tenants ( renters ) WANT to know who is about to live there, and want to know when they leave, as letting agents only inspect the flat, and have no idea if there are any unresolved issues with other residents.

      We had one managing agent Refuse to manage as there were more flats rented out than owners in residence, so they knew the problems with letting agents and it's too much trouble for most.

      Make sure you know if assisted collection is required for rubbish collection etc etc etc. Make sure you know if only upstairs flats are responsible only for internal stairs decoration ( plaster / repairs ) and not those who don't use the stairs.

      Here, we KNOW how many people live here, own and rent, who have girlfriends / boyfriends living with them who are not on the lease or AST, and how many cars owned by each flat - something Managing agents just don't want to know about.

      One managing agent said to us, we are not concerned with renters, - we only look after the owners, so they had no idea how many people were at the property, so didn't have a clue who you were talking about if you mentioned a renter by name, and could not enforce parking spaces as they did not know who lived at the property.

      Treat as your own property, as if you lived there, and you will know what has to be done. And to show concern, talk to each property owner AND tenant. It's the little things that are important, which you can never find out by sitting behind a desk.

      Forget your qualifications, it's your enthusiasm to manage effectivley that works.

      Lots more i could say, but will bore you all.

      Comment


        #4
        Main things are to comply with:
        a. s.18-s.30 of LTA 1985; and
        b. the Lease. Ensure compliance by everyone (inc. you) so that no-one then has any grounds to argue: but they will!

        If absolutely necessary, explain that ALL the leases can be revised provided that:
        a. 100% of lessees agree the revision; and
        b. they collectively instruct a solicitor familiar with these technical issues, not just someone's mate or a £99.99 + VAT cheapo.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          My mrs works for a block management company. I will ask her to post you

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you both for the informative reply, and it's certainly not boring me!

            As a LA I see block management companies get sacked a fair bit, and to be honest loads of them do an awful job and seem to get a lot of money for doing nothing.

            Most of my experience of seeing management companies has been on a much larger scales with big complexes being managed, which is a little over on what I am researching!

            In this particular case, I have been asked to manage the whole building by one of the owners, who I happen to manage his flat in the building. My initial concern is producing some fair pricing for the residents, although I appreciate I have some reading of Acts to do too.

            Interestingly, Ram, your major gripe with previous management agencies seem to be on what should be relatively obvious things I would have thought, rather than more complex things.

            In this specific scenario, I think it is a little different as the owners have a shared freehold rather than a leasehold, which after I have done a little reading I predict will make a little difference.

            Once again, many thanks,

            John

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by MaverickPropertyManagemen View Post
              Thank you both
              Have added a few more sentences since you read my post ( or should i say complaints ).

              gripe with previous management agencies seem to be on what should be relatively obvious , you say. -- But that's my experience, and others too.

              Good luck, but you seem to be concerned, so you should have no problem with managing the whole building you mention, but be prepared for headaches with tenants ( renters )

              R-a-M

              Comment


                #8
                I would say try and keep in touch with your leaseholders as much as possible. If they don't know what your doing for your money then they will start to grumble.

                Major problem I find is the management company not knowing who the owner of each property is and if there rented out. Nothing worse than getting bills in the wrong name to the property or sending the bills to the tenants and then claiming the maintenance charge hasn't been paid. Only takes 3 quid to find out who the owner is and where to send the bill!

                Not a massive problem but one that gets on my wick!
                My views and posts are based on my opinion and any advice given is just that, advice. If you decide to act on any advice given it is with the full knowledge that I am not perfect and anything I say could be wrong!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Here, we KNOW how many people live here, own and rent, who have girlfriends / boyfriends living with them who are not on the lease or AST, and how many cars owned by each flat - something Managing agents just don't want to know about.

                  One managing agent said to us, we are not concerned with renters, - we only look after the owners, so they had no idea how many people were at the property, so didn't have a clue who you were talking about if you mentioned a renter by name, and could not enforce parking spaces as they did not know who lived at the property.
                  You have unreasonable expectations of managing agents. Their responsibilities are those of the landlord or resident management company as defined in the lease. Unless the lease stipulates that that lessees give the management company / landlord full details of their tenants there is no requirement for them to do so. Also, regardless of who lives at the property it is the lessee's responsibility to ensure that there is no breach of the lease. If a tenant causes the breach the agent must go to the lessee, since it is the lessee who is bound by the contract (lease). The tenant will most likely be in breach of his tenancy agreement, but that is not a matter for the agent.

                  Only takes 3 quid to find out who the owner is and where to send the bill!
                  The agent will know who the owner is if the solicitors have done their job on purchase but will rarely have anything more than a good guess as to where to send the bill. Flats are often registered at Land Reg with the address of the flat as the owners address. Also, many people buy a flat, live in it for a while then move on and rent it out. They don't bother to change the address at Land Reg. Agents aren't psychic, why can't lessees who want their bills sent to alternative addresses just ask?

                  Maverick, organising maintenance is the only thing common to both the work of a letting agent and the work of a block managing agent. It is also only a fraction of the job that block management agents do. Do not make the mistake of thinking that your experience as a letting agent means that you can undertake block management, there is a whole raft of different legislation involved. For example, your statement: "I think it is a little different as the owners have a shared freehold rather than a leasehold" tells me that you have an awful lot to learn.

                  Be careful, the pitfalls of getting it wrong can be disasterous.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Stillere
                    You ( R-a-M ) have unreasonable expectations of managing agents. Their responsibilities are those of the landlord or resident management company as defined in the lease.

                    First, when I mention "Tenant", substitute "sub tenant" who is renting from the owner through a Letting agent, who is not the Managing agent representing the Managing Company.

                    Sorry, but Managing agents are employees of the Managing Company, and if they can only do half the job the Managing company can do, then they have no right to say they can manage the property for the good of the owners, residents or tenants.

                    Also, regardless of who lives at the property it is the lessee's responsibility to ensure that there is no breach of the lease.

                    Correct,

                    Info- If you ask any incoming AST tenants who the Managing company or Managing agent is, they say, "havent got a clue", I rent from xxx letting agent/ estate agents.
                    Ask them who the other tenants rent off, it's the same answer.

                    If a tenant causes the breach the agent must go to the lessee, since it is the lessee who is bound by the contract (lease). The tenant will most likely be in breach of his tenancy agreement, but that is not a matter for the agent.

                    Sorry ..... if anyone who lives on the property violates the lease, ( violations of the Headlease, which most AST's cover, as seperate items that are the similar as the headlease, or specificaly mentioned to observe headlease as well ) it IS the duty of the Managing agent to intervene.

                    You can get a situation where one rented flat(1) complains about another rented flat (2), and as you say "If in breach of his tenancy agreement, ( we are talking parking, rubbish, noise etc here ) is not a matter for the agent"

                    The letting agent of flat 1 will have no idea who the letting agents are for flat 2, so who do letting agents of flat 1 complain to ?, they wont know who the owner of flat 2 is either. If you are very lucky, letting agents may have been told who the managing agents are ! but usualy they are not told.

                    The agent will know who the owner is.
                    Correct, because you make sure they know, or insist they know.
                    Why can't lessees who want their bills sent to alternative addresses just ask?

                    And they probably do, but they don't redirect mail going to the owner of the flat they are renting out, the tenants don't usualy know the landlords name, so mail piles up.

                    Anyway, problems that -can- be encountered when "Managing" a property are shown in -all- these posts.
                    Each person gives their points, be it arguments / discussions / disagreements etc which shows that Managing properties can be complicated, heated, and difficult to please all of the people / residents - all of the time.

                    .
                    ......................

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you all for your posts and sorry for the delay in replying to them all.

                      RAM - I am sure your experiences are the norm, and whilst I maintain after reading them that they seem relatively obvious, it does not necessarily equate that they are normally rectified!

                      Stillere - I do not think, for that second that my experience of managing properties will equate to knowing how to manage a block. However, I do believe that it is possible to learn new skills, and indeed new legislation and regulations. Before I started a LA, I was unaware what an AST was, but this knowledge, at least at a basic level can be done.

                      I hope, that by finding out what people want from a management company that it will be possible to offer a better service, than someone who just learnt some rules and regs, because again, without sounding blasse, I am sure that this is the relatively easy part.

                      I must agree with RAM's final point, in just about everything I seem to encounter - it is hard to please everyone all the time!

                      Kind regards,

                      John

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi all..I just wanted to find out who decides which property management company manages our block.
                        As far as I know everyone else in our block (like myself) all have a share of the freehold. Does this help?
                        Where do I start to try get a new management company?
                        Not particularly thrilled with the current company....

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Arthur Bennett View Post
                          Not particularly thrilled with the current company....
                          Join the crowd :-) I think dissatisfaction with managing agents is high, possibly because tenants pay for the agent who actually works for the management. And many agents are just plain poor!

                          In theory, your management should consult with you. S20 requires consultation on any long term contract that costs more than £100 per tenant.
                          I am not a solicitor, I am a lessee/shareholder in conflict with the management. Please seek your own legal advice before relying on my comments in this forum!

                          Comment

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