Block management responsibilities | Top 10 things you need to know
Block management responsibilities; the management of blocks of flats and apartment where the various flats and apartment leaseholders are held generally by individuals on long leaseholds. Someone has to organise the maintenance, calculate, collect and manage the service charges, looking after the various communal areas both inside and outside. With leases and legislation to comply with and there are numerous important legal responsibilities. With the market value and the number of apartments in these complex buildings there is a lot to consider and deal with.
Why do Resident Management Companies employ block management agents?
- Know the lease. The lease forms the basis of what is and what isn’t allowed and who is responsible for what. Refer to the leases and ensure that the terms are followed.
- Enforce the lease terms. Breaches of lease terms need to be dealt with and should not be ignored. They are there for everyone’s benefit.
- Know your property, how it is used and ensure that the insurance is appropriate, to the right level of value and the premium is duly apportioned throughout the owners.
- Health & safety. There is a responsibility to ensure the building complies with all aspects of health and safety law and all maintenance is carried out by approved contractors in an appropriate manner.
- Fire safety.There is a legal obligation to have a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA). Someone is the Responsible Person, likely to be the directors. The FRA will highlight issues and offer advice as to solutions. These must be followed to ensure safety of the residents, visitors and buildings. The responsibility is significant.
- Regular inspections.Regular inspections of the communal areas, should be made, both inside and outside, to ensure the building remains in good condition and there are no contraventions of lease terms.
- Keep detailed records.Good records are essential of all aspects of the management process.
- Accounts. The management of the company’s finances is key. This might include (but not exhaustive)
- Reserves. The calculation, management and collection of the service charges and the collection of the ground rent. The appropriate management of Reserve funds.
- Budgets. Annual ongoing budget management. The figures can be significant.
- Section 20 Consultation.This can be an involved and protracted process but is a legal requirement. If major works are required and the cost to each individual leaseholder will be more than £250 a three-stage consultation process must be strictly followed. If not followed, the management company itself could be liable for the cost over £250 per leaseholder, which cannot be reclaimed through the service charge.
- Legal responsibilities. Legislation and regulations are varied, compliance is essential as is the need monitor and changes in law or circumstances.
The directors’ responsibilities are significant as are the tasks to organise. This is why many choose to employ the services of a specialist block management agency.