Managing your block
When you live in a well managed block you're free to enjoy your home
Managing a block of flats is like managing a business. It requires specific skills and knowledge as well as commitment to the job.
As a leaseholder, you should take a keen interest in how your building is being managed and who it is being managed by. A poorly managed property can have an impact on the long-term enjoyment of your home and potentially its future value.
It's normally the landlord who is responsible for the overall management of the building. This could be an individual person, a company or a local authority. It could even be the leaseholders themselves if a residents' management company (RMC) is in place.
Some landlords may choose to manage the building themselves but it's more common for them to appoint a professional managing agent to manage and maintain the property on their behalf.
Why use a managing agent?
Managing a block of flats requires a professional approach and the time to do it. Today's managing agents need to have a good knowledge of landlord and tenant law, building construction, health and safety regulations, basic accounting and a range of other skills.
Managing agents take instructions from the landlord not the individual leaseholders. But a good managing agent will always be aware of the requirements and wishes of the flat owners. From keeping the lift working to doing the accounting; maintaining the garden to decorating the hallway the managing agent plays an important part in your life as a leaseholder and the smooth running of your building.
Whoever appoints the managing agent, as a leaseholder you pay for their services through your service charges. So its in your interests to have a professional and experienced agent who does the job well.
What you should be able to expect from your managing agent
A good managing agent will be:
- Have a full understanding of the structure and meaning of leases
- Have thorough knowledge of relevant Landlord and Tenant legislation
- Help you understand your rights and obligations
- Committed to best practice
- Committed to good customer service
- Comply with relevant standards and codes of practice
- Operate an independent complaints procedure
- Be subject to external scrutiny
- Able to provide full accounting facilities for budgeting, service charge and year-end accounting and give you access to them
- Able to support you and your fellow leaseholders in ensuring that service charge money is spent wisely
- Open about connections with other service providers and about commissions