Hang on- what is block management? Block management is the running and care of a block of residential properties. As you can imagine managing an apartment block is a mammoth task, especially when each apartment has a different leaseholder. This is where block management companies come into use. They take care of the residential estate for you and as a leaseholder you have a say over who that management company is.
Such companies will often pitch themselves to the owners of developments while others are sometimes contacted by groups of leaseholders. Sometimes estate agents act as managers of an apartment block, leasing out apartments and handling all the issues that are normally the landlord’s domain. Find how such an organisation could help you:
1. Free up your own time
The most obvious advantage of outsourcing your block management to a professional service is that it means you don’t have to deal with the tasks associated with managing a block of flats. In reality very few people can take on the task themselves, even if a group of residents banded together. Even the smallest block of flats requires a significant amount of time and effort to manage, not something many people can commit to on top of their other obligations such as their day job.
2. Ensure nothing is forgotten
If you’re not a professional property developer or lack experience in managing a group of properties then block management is the most reliable way to ensure nothing is forgotten. As already mentioned, management of a group of property is not a part time job. If you chose to manage things yourself the learning curve would be steep. Any mistakes made or issues overlooked would fall on your shoulders with the weight of pressure from the other residents bearing down on you. Professional outsourcing means the benefit of previous experience and the professional handling of all routine and ad-hoc tasks.
3. Ensure compliance with health and safety regulations
Compliance with health and safety regulations is a legal obligation. Compliance is harder to achieve if you’re unfamiliar with the regulations. A block management company will be well versed in all the expected measures and have the vision to apply them to your building. Where changes have to be made a professional firm with lots of experience in compliance will be able to advise, find the best workers and the best quotes. Additionally they’ll be tasked with keeping up with any changes in regulations so you never fall short of the law.
4. Provide secure management of all money matters
The money side of things has to be managed by somebody. You could nominate a financial controller within a residents committee. However this is likely to be a full time job so unless your committee is taking over management of your block on a full time basis this is a rather impractical solution. The role also requires huge levels of trust. Insuring against mismanagement of funds should be a consideration. Ultimately the use of a block management firm will simplify the flow of money from leaseholders to services providers, tax payments and administrative fees. You’ll also benefit from contractual assurances that your money is protected and used correctly.
5. Take charge with the Right to Manage service
Apart from managing the care, maintenance and future of residential blocks, block management companies can also help people change their current building management. The Right to Manage refers to every apartment leaseholder’s right to take charge of the management of the development they live in. This can be done in order to self manage or if you want to forcibly change the management company in control of your block.
While the principle is simple and requires no negotiation with the landlord or current management company the claims process itself can be complicated and lengthy. Block management companies are extremely useful in this situation, helping you through the Right to Claim process. By engaging the services of professionals the claim process will go more smoothly, without any risk of failure.
In order to establish a claim under the Right to Manage you need the cooperation of over 50% of the other leaseholder’s in your building. Communicating the ins and outs of the claim to a large group of people is a big task in its self. By handing over management of the claim you’ll all have a central point of reference through which you can get updates or discuss concerns.