|March 30, 2020||No Comments|
Residential block management applies where the freehold owner, or landlord, allows tenants to become leaseholders of their own flat within the property. However, there are several areas which the owner or landlord is still legally responsible for.
Here, Maunder Taylor, specialists in residential block management in Hertfordshire and North London, outline some of the key areas which owners are required to maintain – and what is the responsibility of the leaseholders.
While leaseholders are responsible for the maintenance of their individual flat, the block manager must ensure safe and secure access to and from the flat. This means making sure the stairs are well-maintained, and if there is a lift, that it is in safe, working order. Any hallways or corridors need to be well lit. And if the block has a car park, then it needs to be maintained in a good state of repair.
Anything which can be classified as being of communal use for all the residents will still be the responsibility of the block manager. So, whether it’s a foyer or entrance lobby, a communal lounge or kitchen, or – as in the case of some high-end blocks – a gym, then these areas must be well looked after.
Leaseholders need contents cover for their own possessions. However, the manager is still responsible for the main structure of the building, so buildings insurance to cover for any fire or flood damage to the property, and other associated risks, is essential.
If leaseholders form their own management company to carry out the management services, then directors’ and officers’ liability insurance is one of the extra costs which will have to be taken on board.
The cost of maintaining all of these areas can be considerable, as different people will need to be employed – including gardeners, electricians, decorators, surveyors and accountants – to meet legal responsibilities. The costs of these service suppliers are usually recovered through a service charge to the leaseholders.
The responsibility of the tenant will vary, but generally anything within the confines of an individual flat is down to the leaseholder – including problems with the plumbing, pipework and the electrics. It’s important that landlords and tenants are both fully aware of the provisions of the lease so that no disputes arise.
All of this means that there is a lot for landlords to take on board – so many opt to place it in the hands of the professional managing agent like Maunder Taylor. We can look after residential blocks for all types of clients, including Residents’ Management Companies, Right to Manage Companies, investor landlords and leaseholder-controlled freehold companies.
We focus on building relationships between the landlord and the tenants, acting as a central point of contact and delivering a quality service for both parties. We are accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and are also members of the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), and our property managers belong to the Institute of Residential Property Managers (IRPM).
If you would like to know more about our residential block management services in Hertfordshire and London, follow this link. As an independent firm of Chartered Surveyors, we can also offer a range of other services, including commercial property management, rent reviews and lease renewals, valuations, and property insurance.