What is block management?

Block management refers specifically to the overall management of various amenities within a multi-property structure, such as a flat complex where there are communal areas associated with the residential properties or mix tenure structures like flats on top of retail/office buildings.

Block management should not be confused with property management which is typically used to refer to the management of single tenanted properties. They may share similar names but they each refer to very different things. To clarify:

  • A Block Management company overseas the overall operation of a multi-property structure.
  • A Property Management team focuses on single tenanted properties.

What is a Block Management Agent responsible for?

In multi-property structures, services are provided by the Resident’s Management Company (RMC) or property freeholder in accordance with the lease in exchange for services charges due from the leaseholders. Typically, the RMC or property freeholder, will employ a specialist managing agent to take responsibility for a building’s communal tasks such as the maintenance of shared areas, insurance, service charge collection, ground rent collection, budget prep, and legislation adherence. The block management agent will provide the services and collect the service charges on their behalf.

The type and amount of work conducted by a Block Management company will depend on what is stipulated in the lease. Despite the lease relates to the residential block, each individual lease will be unique, often stating different clauses within a lease.

What is a Leasehold and why is it different to a Freehold?

When buying a property in England or Wales there are two main types – freehold and leasehold. Let us take a look at the differences between them…

Freehold

Freehold means you will own the freehold of a property – the property and the land it stands on, for an unlimited period. You will also ‘own’ and have rights to the space above your property up to about 500 feet.

Leasehold

If a property is purchased as a leasehold, you own the property (you are the leaseholder), but the structure and common parts of the building, as well as the land it sits on are usually owned by the freeholder of the property (technically you own a lease, which permits you to occupy the property, but essentially you are renting from the freeholder). It is also for a set period, which can be several years, decades, or centuries, depending on the length of your lease. When a freeholder grants a lease, they technically become a landlord. So, if your lease expires, ownership of your property technically passes back to them.

What are service charges?

Service charges are charges payable by the leaseholders in exchange for the services conducted by the freeholder under the terms of the lease. The amount typically varies from year to year depending on the services conducted and the cost the freeholder incurs. The charges are usually split between all leaseholders according to the lease terms. Example service charges can include maintenance and repair to the exterior, structure, roof, foundation, window frames, guttering, communal drains and pipes and common areas (such as the garden) of the building.  Charges will also include things like the insurance of the building and the cost of management. Full details of service charges will be outlined in your lease.

How will our block management services take care of your building?

As resolute Block and Estate Management specialists with over 40 years professional residential Block Management experience under our belts, you can rest assured that your building(s) will be well cared for.

We can offer a bespoke service tailored to your needs, whether you are the Freeholder of a small block of flats or a Director of a large estate. We can take away the strain involved in managing blocks and although this is not an exhaustive list, the following are some of the tasks we can manage for you:

  • General maintenance. We can manage general cleaning and routine maintenance obligations for community facilities, such as gardening, painting, and decorating as well as any necessary repairs to the exterior or communal parts of a building.
  • Health & safety compliance. We will verify that all property components comply with current UK construction law. All routine safety inspections, such as lift maintenance, asbestos testing, and fire safety inspections can be coordinated by our team.
  • Administrative support. We consult with all relevant contracts and ensure they are paid in full and on time. We will keep accurate records of inspections, contracts, and on-site building plans etc.
  • Budgeting. Effective budgeting helps us ensure that the management account has the necessary funds for emergency repairs. Budgeting responsibilities include reviewing contracts for any significant work to make sure additional fees are not added and that expensed are spent appropriately.
  • Insurance. We are responsible for collecting service charges, which go toward the general building insurance of the property. We will also supply information to insurance firms regarding the building’s occupants.

We are committed to recommending local independent contractors for works, repairs, and maintenance because community is important to us. Plus, we do not add any hidden charges to our fees. The cost of our block and estate management services are usually quoted as a fixed fee per flat per annum.

If you need a specialist to remove the hassle of managing your block, look no further. We would be happy to help – simply call our team on 020 3598 9665.