Block management is a service where a licensed agent manages the building on behalf of the owners-occupiers; this includes the financial and operational aspects and the building’s gardens, hallways, and exterior.
Block management is also referred to as leasehold management, property management, and estate management.
What is Block Management?
In residential properties, block management is managing communal areas through service charges. It takes dedication, time, and professionalism to manage a block of flats.
Managing a block involves communicating with various contractors to discuss and arrange necessary repairs and maintenance. This can include central heating, lifts, porterage, landscaping, property management, lighting, and cleaning of common areas.
A good understanding of legislation and leasehold matters is a crucial part of the role. Block management also encompasses preparing annual budgets and conducting routine inspections to ensure the property is well maintained.
An essential aspect of block management is ensuring that the landlord receives value for their service charge payments and maintaining the building according to its lease.
How is the managing agent linked to block management?
The managing agent receives instructions from the landlord, not individual leaseholders. Nevertheless, an excellent managing agent will always be aware of the needs and wishes of the flat owners. The managing agent plays a vital role in every aspect of your building, from keeping the lift working to handling the paperwork and from maintaining the garden to decorating the hallways.
The leaseholder who appoints the managing agent pays for their services through your service charges. In other words, it’s in your interest to have an experienced and professional real estate agent.
What is a leasehold?
Depending on the location, a leasehold flat can be located in a purpose-built building, in a converted house, or above a commercial or retail establishment.
For centuries, a leasehold property has been rented by the freeholder from its owner. Upon developing a lease, a freeholder becomes the “landlord.”
A flat’s leasehold ownership usually covers everything inside the four walls, from the floorboards to the plaster and even the ceiling.
The freeholders are generally responsible for the maintenance of the building and the land on which the building is located. As a result, the leaseholders are charged service fees for recovering the costs associated with doing so.
A managing agent is usually appointed by the freeholder or resident management company to take care of the block.
What is a service charge?
In service charges, the landlord is paid for all of the services he provides by leaseholders. The lease will detail what can (and cannot) be charged and what proportion of the amount each tenant must pay.
Why use a managing agent to manage your block?
The management of a block of flats requires both professionalism and time. In today’s market, managing agents must be knowledgeable about landlord-tenant law, construction, health and safety regulations, basic accounting, and a host of other skills.
As a leaseholder, it is your responsibility to know how your building is being taken care of and by whom. Property management issues can negatively affect your home’s long-term enjoyment and value.
What should you expect from your managing agent?
A successful managing agent will be:
- a complete understanding of the structure and meaning of leases
- thorough knowledge of relevant landlord and tenant legislation
- they help you understand your rights and obligations
- committed to best practice
- 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 commissions