Block management facts and info
When a block of flats is built, the leasehold of these properties needs to be managed. The management of blocks of purpose-built, conversions, commercial or retail premises includes maintenance, services such as postal delivery and concierges, access, and health and safety.
According to Estate Agent today, the UK is home to four million leasehold properties in private ownership. With the majority of these requiring professional management, many estate and letting agents take on the responsibility and offer estate management services. There are other specialist companies that focus solely on property and estate management; in addition, there are sole traders who may be responsible for managing individual smaller blocks.
When a person buys property as a leasehold, they buy the right to live there for a number of years from the freeholder. Everything within the four walls of the flat, including the floors and ceilings, is typically included in the lease. The structure and common parts of the building stand on land owned by the freeholder, so it is usually the freeholder who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building. They will often recover these costs from the leaseholders through a yearly service charge.
The service charge is usually outlined in the lease agreement, with the way the money collected through the service charge is spent on maintaining the structure and communal areas normally managed by an appointed block and estate management agent.
One of the primary responsibilities of a block manager is to communicate with contractors who are specialists in maintenance and repairs so that the fabric of the building, the decoration of the communal areas, the maintenance of the communal garden if there is one and access to other facilities such as a gym or parking is available at the relevant times. A great way for a block manager to keep track of all these things is by using technology including property inventory software from inventory base who have cleverly designed it in a Property Inspection app for easy use.
Managing a block of flats takes a professional approach and a good understanding of legislation, budgets and quality. As the person responsible for ensuring the landlord gets good value for the money they charge via service payments and also the person responsible for making visible and known the improvements made to the people living in the flats, they are a vital conduit between freeholder and leaseholder.