As a landlord or leaseholder, one of the biggest most important decisions you’ll make is whether or not you should hire a block management company as a managing agent to maintain the block within which their property or properties sit. Some leaseholders might try to manage their block independently, whereas most prefer to employ a specialist block management company. This could include the maintenance of communal and concierge areas, as well as undertaking any repairs or maintenance of gates or lifts.
However, with so many block management companies to choose from, it’s vital to know what separates the good from the great. We take an indepth look at what your block management company should be doing in their day to day work to best assist you.
1. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing precautionary safety measures.
As the management of the coronavirus pandemic continues to change daily life as we know it, residents in an apartment complex, and employees and customers of businesses in commercial properties are the most at risk of coming into close contact with other people daily. With this in mind, your block management company should be undertaking tasks such as:
- Consulting CDC and Government Guidelines Daily to Monitor Changes
Legislation changes by the hour in terms of mask usage, local preventative procedures and travel sanctions. Therefore it’s best that your block management company is aware of any changing circumstances that could affect residents as well as the area your building is in.
- Frequently Ensuring the Cleaning and Sanitising of High Touch Areas or Surfaces.
High touch point areas include: Doorknobs, elevator buttons, bathroom fixtures and doors including sinks, taps and locks, lobby or waiting areas as well as main exit and fire doors.
- Staying Abreast of Legal Contractual Obligations and Concerns
If an outbreak should occur at or near your block, the block management company should ensure that it acts in accordance with all relevant guidance to compl with contractual and statutory obligations.. Similarly, if you have any concerns regarding an outbreak or local lockdown scenario, these should be addressed and the right guidance given so that you feel prepared and confident should anything happen.
2. Proactively maintaining your block.
Your block management company should be on hand for rapid response in the event of a breakdown or repair, taking the stress of researching the right person for the job away from you. For example if a lift breaks down or communal lighting stops working, a block manager should have instantaneous access to a network of fully qualified and verified tradesmen they can call on immediately to fix the problem.
They should also carry out periodic inspections to ensure the general standard of your block is being maintained throughout the length of the tenancy.
3. All accounting.
Your block management company is responsible for being in complete control of the financial obligations which come with maintaining a block and should budget and manage these obligations accordingly. These include collecting service charges, as well as all aspects of budget management to make sure there is always enough money populating the management account. Block management companies should also promptly and correctly allocate resources and make sure any account statements are prepared correctly for the shareholders of the block.
Usually, management companies will appoint trusted accountants to make sure all the financial business is carried out correctly, so it is always worth checking with your company to see their preferred method.
It is imperative that any block management company helps to make the day to day running of your block much smoother, and one way this can be achieved is through regular communication. It is vital that residents are kept informed of what is going on in their development. For example regular newsletters and information available via an online portal help to keep residents informed.
5. Handling regulations on and off site.
Block management companies should visit the property or block on a regular cycle to monitor any on-site staff, and note the condition of the common areas, grounds, and any leisure facilities. Within these surveys, block managers should record these findings for the landlords safety and protection should any legal matters be incurred.
Additionally, within these visits a block management company should be checking that the block or property meets a number of safety regulations. These include Fire Risk Assessments (FRA), electrical inspections (EICR), lift inspections and testing of water tanks.. Your block management company should give thorough, proper advice on all current safety regulations and arrange the necessary checks to be carried out to ensure that your property is fully compliant, plus coordinate any work required to resolve any issues that are found.
Choosing a block management company is a big decision and will not suit everyone, but if you are thinking of enlisting one then it is important to remember that different companies will offer different levels of service, so make sure you do your research. The right block management company should make you wonder why you ever considered managing your residential block on your own.
At Scanlan’s, we’re property management specialists with years of experience. If you need help or guidance on any part of choosing a block management company, we’d be happy to help and can impart years of wisdom to help you make the right choice. Contact us now.