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All of our staff are specifically qualified for the tasks that they undertake, from Legal Secretaries to Estate Management Surveyors and Chartered Managers we pride ourselves on our professionalism and knowledge. We are aware that our industry is constantly changing and continued professional development is obligatory for our team. Because we are professionals we are able to secure Professional Indemnity Insurance giving our clients the peace of mind of an insured service.
As required by law we are registered with a property redress scheme and this is The Property Ombudsman.This provides our clients with an external body to which they can refer any complaint in relation to our dealings with them. As part of this registration we are required to implement a published complaints procedure which follows:
We are employed by the Freeholder or Management Company at your property that is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the communal areas. Our contract provides for us to maintain these areas on their behalf which includes the budgeting, collection and monitoring of the service charge fund, to enable the required works and services to be paid for, and to make provision for future works. In carrying out this function we will be governed by the terms of the leases or transfer covenants that relate to the individual properties, and legal requirements such as health and safety or landlord and tenant law.
There may be areas of our work that you are unhappy with, or do not understand the relevance of. It is important to us that any issues with our work are resolved quickly. We have set out below some of the areas of our work that may lead to dissatisfaction, together with details of what you should do, in order to set in process our complaints procedure:
SERVICE CHARGE BUDGETS
A budget of what is expected to be spent on services and works to the block during each service charge year will be issued to you, setting out an amount for each item and the cost to your flat of that item. The service charge that is demanded from you each year is based on this budget. If you do not agree with any budget item you should write to us, by post or email, detailing which items in the budget that you wish to query. We will then write to you with a schedule of the queried items, detailing the basis on which the budget item has been set at that level, and giving you the opportunity to comment. The schedule will be exchanged between us until all items are agreed.
SERVICE CHARGE ACCOUNTS
After the end of each service charge year we will prepare a summary of the service charge expenditure for the year, the cost to your property of your proportion of that expenditure, details of any deficit charge required, and any reserves brought and carried forward. This is sent to an external accountant with the expenditure receipts and other documents for certification, before being circulated to the service charge payers. When you receive this you are entitled to see the receipts and vouchers relating to this expenditure, and may do so by appointment at our offices. You can have these copied and sent to you for a small administration charge on request. If you wish to query or object to any item of expenditure you should write to us, by post or email, detailing which items you are querying or objecting to. We will then write to you with a schedule of the queried items, detailing the basis on which the item has been charged, and giving you the opportunity to comment. The schedule will be exchanged between us until all items are agreed.
If you still object to the expenditure you have the right to apply to the First Tier Property Tribunal to have any items assessed as to their reasonableness or your obligation to pay them. Details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber
SERVICE CHARGE PAYMENTS
A service charge demand will be issued to you either with the budget or expenditure certificate, showing what is being demanded and when it should be paid. The payment times on the demand will be when the payment is due under the legal covenants in your lease or transfer relating to your property. You may be given the opportunity to pay by an alternative instalment method, such as monthly in advance payments throughout the year. It is important that you do make payment of your charges, when requested by us. If you object to the payment options offered, or the timing or method of the demand, please write to us, by post or email, and we will provide you with a copy of the relevant section of your lease or covenants that relate to this. Payments will be recorded from the bank records at least monthly. Statements of account will be sent to you periodically, however if you require a statement of account please request one and this will be sent to you. Please allow at least two weeks for confirmation of any payment made by bank transfer.
OTHER CHARGES AND PAYMENTS
Our contract provides for our dealings with the communal areas of the block. There may be occasions where we will need to carry out work in relation to your property only. This may be on the sale of your property, to reply to solicitors’ enquiries, or giving consent for alterations that you wish to carry out to your property. These are called administration charges and you have the same right to challenge them in the First Tier Property Tribunal as with block service charges. If you do not agree with a charge please write to us and we will explain the basis of the charge.
You may have reason to contact us from time to time and this is always best done by post or email. If you telephone the office you may be asked to confirm some details in writing, which can be done by post or email. We try to respond to all communications promptly but have a general turnaround time of 3 working days for written communications. If you feel that our communication with you has not been dealt with efficiently. Please email us with details and we will investigate and report back to you.
Any communications on the above items, or any general complaint relating to our service, or our team, should be made in writing by post to our P O Box address as shown or email to the helpdesk email. Dependent on the type and nature of the complaint, a specific person will be allocated to deal with it for you, and you will be notified of who that person is within 7 days of receipt of your complaint. We aim to resolve all issues within a 28 day period, if after this time the matter has not been resolved we will advise the Directors at your block of the issue. We are registered with the Property Ombudsman to whom you can direct any complaint in relation to our management services, they will however expect you to have exhausted the above procedures above before contacting them.