Sometimes referred to as estate management, property management, or leasehold management, it is when a company is hired to take care of the various communal areas of a residential property. These are aspects of a block of flats or another property type that demands care from someone other than the tenants.
In simple terms, block management is when you hire a company to provide management services to a residential block or property. This means all duties of care, refurbishment, general maintenance and cleaning expected from a landlord or property owner are outsourced to another company. This is a great option for a property that might be too much work to run alone, if the property is far away from where you are based, or if you simply own multiple properties.
How does block management work?
Once you find a reliable company to oversee the block management services, they will handle the financial, legal, and maintenance aspects of the property. They will make sure the building meets all current health and safety standards and will inform you of anything needing your approval or attention.
Block management allows you to have multiple properties and oversee large-scale property management as the time-consuming details of individual block management are outsourced to a company.
What does a block management company do?
A block management company deals with maintaining communal areas, such as lifts, stairways, shared bins, carparks, and other areas that do not fall under the care of the residents. All the services they handle aim to keep the building in good condition.
A residential management company can handle the financial aspects such as rent, they can handle complaints and callouts for repairs, they can carry out routine inspections and meter readings, and other common needs of a residential block.
Obviously, they themselves have a service charge, and a residential management company can be an expense. However, the benefit of not running a block by yourself means you have less to worry about and your time can be better spent on other things.
What are the responsibilities of a managing agent?
Once you find the company you wish to work with, you will then have a designated manager for that property. The managing agent, be that an individual or company assigned to that property will act as the point of call for residents and owners for any building-related issues.
A managing agent plays an important role for both the owner and the resident. Some of their duties can include:
- collecting rent
- Ensuring health and safety regulations are met
- carrying out an independent complaints procedure for the residents
- General maintenance and repairs of the building
- Sourcing contractors when necessary
A resident management company should also have a thorough knowledge of the building and what it needs as well as be up to date on relevant laws concerning the management of residential properties.
Do managing agents have a duty of care?
Agents have a duty of care towards tenants in the sense they are expected to keep the building up to a standard that meets health and safety requirements. A good managing agent should have a thorough understanding of what is required from a housing block or other property type and ensure those requirements are met.
This saves you from facing any possible legal issues or fines; hence, you should always check that your manager is up-to-date with recent changes in, and knowledge of, property law.
Who is responsible, landlord or letting agent?
Technically, all liability falls on the landlord, as it is their property. For this reason, choosing the correct block management team is essential. A professional and experienced agent will know about the required regulations attached to block management. It is important to make sure the team you are choosing are experienced, knowledgeable, and capable as a block manager needs excellent, up-to-date knowledge of what the landlord should be supplied for the building.
Here at Sheldon Bosley Knight, we have extensive experience with block management services, and we have, for many years, offered a block management service that has been trusted and successful for our clients. We also offer excellent customer service, so ring us today to discuss how we can help you.
How to choose a management company?
Here are 5 tips for choosing a management company:
5 Expert Tips on How to Choose an Excellent Property Management
Look for a specialised experience
Look for a company that has extensive and up to date experience with the type of property you are looking to get managed. Have they handled clients with the same requirements as you before? How did they do? Do they have a portfolio of properties they manage? Does the portfolio include buildings of the type you are trying to get managed?
If so, then they could have the necessary skills and experience to run your property.
Verify professional licenses and certifications
Check if they have all the required documentation to do this job. Are you happy with what they can provide you with? Always check this as they need all their licenses, certificates and other documentation to be relevant and up-to-date.
Check reviews and references
Find out what others have said about them, maybe even ask peers directly who they have used and what they think of them. If you see a lot of favourable reviews, and get good feedback, then have a chat with them and see if you feel like they would be a good fit.
Examine the property management agreement
Again, check all the necessary documentation is right, and you are happy with what they offer in their agreement.
Make sure they have the appropriate insurance
This is very important. Always make sure they have the right insurance and never sign up for anything without checking this.