Resident Management Companies and Right To Manage Companies

We act for many Resident Management Companies and Right to Manage Companies, working closely with them to ensure that their properties are managed in accordance with their direction, whilst also ensuring compliance with legislation and best practice.  Please read on below to find out more about how we will work with you on the management of your property.

financial-1800x200

Financial

Our dedicated accounts team are experienced in the management of service charges and, using our specialist property management accounting software, they readily track and report all income and expenditure for your service charges.

Accounts

We maintain detailed records of all income and expenditure at each property and the sums received from each flat for service charges, ground rent and insurance premiums. Our in-house accounts team manage the day to day ledger using our block management software and each bank account is reconciled monthly in line with the recommendations of our professional trade body.

At the end of each financial accounting year the block’s financial records are audited by an independent accountant and a copy of these accounts are provided to each leaseholder and the freeholder by way of the online portal or by post. This then forms the basis for the budget for the forthcoming year taking into account any rises in costs such as electricity, suppliers and VAT.

Bank Accounts

Each property under our management has its own dedicated Client bank account. These accounts are held at Natwest and the Directors of SPL are the sole signatories to all accounts. All monies are held in trust for the leaseholders of the property and the accounts earn their own interest and carry no bank charges.

Each account is reconciled against our management software monthly and copies of these reconciliations can be provided to a nominated Director for clarity.

Budgeting

Preparing a budget for each block takes time and an experience of the industry is vitally important. We carefully analyse the previous year’s expenditure and take into account any short, mid and long-term maintenance plans proposed in the condition reports.

We also review what funds are being collected to provide a sinking fund and this would then form the basis of the budget. If the budget is poorly prepared then the block can run out of funds before the end of the financial year leaving essential services difficult to maintain. Likewise, future unforeseen works can then be costly.

Ground Rent Collection

Where we are instructed Ground Rent is collected on behalf of our freeholders and notices served to comply with the Commonhold Leasehold Reform Act 2002, section 166.

Some freeholders opt to collect this Ground Rent themselves and will contact you directly regarding this.

Arrears Collection

Managing the finances of each block is made very difficult when leaseholders do not pay their service charges. The day to day, month to month budget is calculated on the basis that all have contributed and in good time and this is essential to maintaining good housekeeping. We try where possible to assist where people are in financial difficulty by allowing instalments but we reserve the right to make an additional charge for this due to the extra administration time.

We issue a free first reminder letter but subsequent reminder letters carry a charge again due to the additional administration time.

Persistent non-payers are then passed to our legal representatives who will make contact with their lender/mortgage provider if the property is mortgaged as the lenders security is at risk.

As a last resort steps can be taken to enforce the forfeiture clause in the lease.

Our robust procedure does mean that arrears at our properties are not significant, whilst also allowing us to work with those leaseholders who may be in financial difficulty.

legal-1800x200

Legal

There is a raft of legislation in relation to the management of leasehold property and this is continually changing and being reviewed as a result of tribunal decisions. Our staff are trained to understand this legislation and to advise our Clients accordingly.

Pre-Contract Sales Enquiries

Where we are asked to provide responses to pre-contract enquiries, such as LPE1 forms, any charges are passed on to the enquiring leaseholders and we work to a 3 day turnaround to ensure that sales are not un-necessarily delayed. We will complete these enquiries with all relevant details about the property in question and report to the solicitor acting for the seller on the same.

We ask that any potential purchasers of properties make enquiries through the estate agent acting or their own solicitor.

Company Secretarial

We are able to act as your Corporate Company Secretary and carry out the administration work involved in your Limited Company. This will include: lodgment of any documents or forms with Companies House; calling, chairing and minuting your Annual General Meeting (within working hours); and providing general advice to the Company over its operation and responsibilities.

Our staff will review your Articles of Association and relevant Companies Act to be able to advise you on compliance. However, some more complex Company Law issues may require specialist legal opinion and we will be able to advise you where this may be the case.

Lease Review

Whilst we will have a management agreement with you, the management of the property will be based in the Lease for the property. It is, therefore, imperative that your Property Manager is familiar with its content. When taking on a property, one of the first things we will do will be to conduct a review of your Lease, highlight any concerns and discuss how these could be addressed.

During our management we will continually be referring to the Lease to be able to advise you on the best course of action and identifying any potential issues with a suggested course of action.

Between our team members, we have read thousands of leases and whilst they come in differing formats, we can readily identify the relevant areas to be considered in the management of your property.

Compliance with Legislation

Legislation around the management of leasehold properties is complex and constantly changing with every new decision of the Upper Tribunal. Our team, through our professional members, are constantly kept up to date over new updates and, therefore, able to advise our Clients effectively.

We actively engage in any government consultations when legislation is due to be reviewed by government and review any changes which may be released.

We undertake team training to review changes to legislation and strive to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring that our Clients are kept appraised of any developments and how they may be affected by those changes.

health-safety-1800x200

Health & Safety

Health and Safety is a large part of a Property Manager’s role and at SPL Property Management LLP, our team are very aware of our Client’s obligations in this respect and will advise you on the best course of action to avoid, as best possible, any liability falling at our Client’s feet.

Fire Risk Assessments

The Fire Risk Assessment is an important document for any property which must be kept under review and up to date in line with the requirements of the Fire Safety Order. Since the fire at Grenfell Tower, this has become even more important and developments in legislation are only set to increase the requirements around fire safety.

At SPL Property Management, we take fire safety very seriously and we will advise you on your obligations as the party with the responsibility for the management of the property and the duty of care holder for the building. We will ensure that any obligations are made clear to you and that the relevant works/reports are carried out to ensure compliance.

Asbestos Management

There is a duty of care on the owner of every building to ensure that any asbestos within the building is properly identified and managed. Therefore, we will arrange an asbestos management survey as necessary and keep this under review. Any contractors working in areas where asbestos may be present would be advised so that necessary precautions can be taken. It is rare that asbestos needs to be removed but where this may be necessary, we would advise on the proper process and ensure that competent contractors are engaged for the works.

Health & Safety Reporting

The communal areas of a property are considered to be a workplace under the Health and Safety Act 1974 and as such, the freeholder of the property has the responsibility for the Health and Safety of any person in the communal areas. This would include residents, visitors and contractors. A Health and Safety risk assessment will identify any areas of risk and make recommendations for works to mitigate that risk. We will advise Clients where this may be necessary.

Legionella

Where there is any communal water for a property, there is a requirement on the freeholder for appropriate measures to be taken to limit the risk of any Legionnaire’s Disease being passed on to those who may use this communal water. This may include water tanks in a property but also any communal water taps.  We work with qualified risk assessors and water testers who can ensure that any risk is reduced as far as practically possible.

Contractor Management

Whilst we have a fully competent in-house maintenance team, we also have a large bank of external contractors who we work with on a regular basis. Where these contractors are working on your behalf it is essential to know that they have sufficient Public Liability insurance in place and are able to provide adequate risk assessments and method statements to comply with CDM Regulations 2015 for any works done on site.

Our list of external contractors is regularly reviewed, and we are pleased to welcome of your current contractors and work with them. We will recommend that they are able to comply with our standards to ensure that you, as our Client, are adequately protected.

insurance-1800x200

Insurance

The insurance of your property can be one of the most significant expenses in the year.  It is, therefore, important that you achieve a comprehensive policy at a reasonable premium and this is what we will seek to achieve for you.

Policies and Claims

Due to FCA rules, all block insurance policies are placed through our approved insurance brokers. We seek to obtain the most competitive premium for the insurance each year, whilst still maintaining a good level of cover. In some instances, our freeholders insure the property and then we collect each leaseholder’s premium.

We do not provide contents cover and we recommend this is taken out by each owner. We ask that all properties which will be unoccupied for more than 30 days or in instances where the property is sublet that we are informed.

In respect of insurance claims, in most cases the insurers provide a claims line where the leaseholder can deal with the claim directly. This invaluable where any leak is between flats as these incidents are not normally the responsibility of the freeholder meaning we can seldom get involved.

An Insurance Re-instatement Cost Assessment will be required for properties on a cyclical basis (every 3-5 years) whereby an assessor will look at the building and value the cost to re-build the property in the event of a total loss, taking into account the costs of demolition and professional costs of architects etc.  This will provide the Declared Value for which the property should be insured.

rmcs-rtms-major-works-1800x200

Major Works and Section 20 Consultation

Where major works are needed to a property, there are many matters to take into consideration.  Our experienced team have seen many major projects to completion and are able to effectively advise on the management of these projects.

Cyclical Works and Planned Maintenance

During the life of a property there are major works which will come back around time and again. Examples would include external and internal decoration, roof maintenance, lift management and refurbishment, replacement of hardstandings etc. It is important that these are programmed and considered when setting budgets and planning reserve funds.

We will advise you on planning for these repairs, obtaining necessary quotes and ensuring the full consultation with leaseholders is carried out. Full transparency over these works is important for clear and honest communication with leaseholders.

Emergency and One-off Works

There are, of course, where the best laid plans can be hampered with emergency works being required which could not have been foreseen. In these situations, we will advise you on the best way to proceed to facilitate moving forward with the necessary works, giving due regard to requirements for consultation and collection of monies. Throughout any process, communication with you, as the Client, and with all leaseholders, is paramount and we will give as much information over any works as possible.

Section 20 Consultation

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sets out the requirements for consultation with leaseholders over any major works or long-term contracts and the potential penalties should proper consultation not be completed. This has been developed in recent years with significant decisions in the courts, such as Daejan vs Benson and Phillips vs Francis. Our team are fully conversant with these consultation requirements and we will advise you on your obligations and how to comply with this complex piece of legislation.

There are additional fees for our work in relation to any Section 20 consultation and major projects but these are always discussed with you, as the Client, prior to any such fees being incurred.

SPL Property Management

General

Data Protection

We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office to hold information and personal data from clients. Our privacy policy is available on the website and we work in line with the General Data Protection Act 2016.

Under GDPR we will not be able to release any personal details of other residents or leaseholders outside of our contractual obligations. This will mean that we cannot provide you with your neighbour’s contact details but we will assist wherever possible.

Inspections

As part of our management agreement, we will agree a frequency with you for inspection of the property. We will usually carry out a non-intrusive survey of the property once a quarter, completing a checklist of general items about the property. This inspection form will be held on the file as a record and form part of the property file.

Any recommendations or actions from the inspection will be actioned by the Property Manager or discussed with the Directors as may be necessary.

Communication

A large part of effective property management is good communication between the property management team and the Directors and leaseholders of a property. At SPL Property Management, we aim to engage with our Clients and leaseholders to give efficient and clear information over the management of the property.

Our Online Portal allows e-mail notifications to any leaseholder with an e-mail address. Invoices, letters and documents can all be accessed via the portal at your own convenience and greatly facilitates our communication with leaseholders.

We receive a huge amount of correspondence, e-mails and phone calls on a daily basis and our team work hard to provide comprehensive responses to each and every enquiry.

Maintenance Works

Any reports of issues with your property can be passed to your Property Manager via e-mail, telephone, letter or by using the “report a repair” facility on our website. On receipt of any maintenance issue, the Property Manager will make an assessment of the works required and will either instruct a contractor, in line with what has been agreed previously with the Client; discuss the works with the Client to determine a course of action; or advise the leaseholder accordingly if it may be an issue which is their own responsibility or is already in hand.

Our in-house maintenance team are perfectly placed to be able to respond quickly to any maintenance issues and arrange the most appropriate solution.

Out of Hours

Should an emergency arise out of hours, our answerphone will provide the contact details for the on call member of our maintenance team who will be able to either arrange an emergency attendance, or provide some helpful information to assist in the short term. They will be an experienced member of our team and able to deal with any enquiry. Should a significant issue occur, they are able to contact our Senior Management team who will be able to provide further assistance.

Further details of actions to be taken in an out of hours emergency are on our Contact page