What is block management?
Block management can often be confused with AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) for individual flats. The former is a highly specialised and regulated area whereby the 'managing agent' is appointed by residents or developers to undertake the duties of managing he fabrick, facilities, amenities of a block of flates or estate funded by the payment of service charge by the occupants. There is of course a vast range of services this includes and managing agents will have this list available on their website. A recommendation for those looking to appoint managing agents would be to ensure they are regulated by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surevyors (RICS) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as they are entrusted with 3rd party monies and have a duty of care to ensure the highest standards of Health and Safety in all aspects of building management.
A block management company is ultimately responsible for the maintainance of all communal areas of the block, whether that may be replacing light bulbs down to maintaining broken lifts or improving cleaning and garden areas.
You really must choose a block management company with pro-active response levels and ensure they have vetted contractors are deployed to carry out any work required.
The majority of work will be routine and non-urgent, very often there will be emergency works that are required under health and safety law. You need to ensure that a block management company has the required round the clock cover provisions should you need them at any time.
Insurance and Claims
Block insurance policies need to be scrutinised by the residnets to ensure the market has been researched and value for money obtained be it it's contents or more importantly the fabric of the building. The block management company or managing agent must ensure it's clients are fully protected and your cover is renewed on a timely basis to allow for multiple quotes to be obtained.
Site visits are an essential part of the duties of managing agents to ensure the block is compliant and up to date with all Health & Safety regulation. A block management company will regularly send qualified inspectors to ensure that all comunal areas, such as the grounds or leisure facilities, are in good working order and maintenance regimes are in place.
Accounts and Support Services
Accounting services provided by managing agents are crucial to ensure client monies are correctly allocated, spent, reconciled and audited on at least a monthly basis. Do ensure your chosen agent is FCA regulated to guarantee transparency and protection against fraud.
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