Darren Bagnall from Manage Your Block looks at some of the challenges of managing leasehold apartments.
If you are a leasehold apartment resident, the prospect of taking control of the affairs of your block by exercising your Right to Manage can be daunting. What professionally approved assistance is available to those undertaking the management of leasehold apartments for the first time?
All the land which makes up the British Isles is owned by someone, and the owner of each parcel of land is known as the freeholder. Freeholders can use their land as they see fit, within certain limits, including letting others use it in return for rent. Undeveloped land can be let for farming or other purposes, but the same land can often make more money for the freeholder if they build homes and infrastructure upon it. Houses and flats built by the landowner or their agents are rented by individuals and families as homes, under leasehold agreements.
Leasehold ownership can therefore be thought of as renting the property for the period of the lease. This is quite a straightforward arrangement in the case of houses, but when it comes to flats, the shared structure and infrastructure can make leaseholds a complex proposition. It is thought that around 98% of flats currently on the market fall into this category, so it’s clear to see that the issues to be discussed affect tens of thousands of people across the nation. In many cases, apartment block residents have formed Residents’ Management Companies, Right to Manage Companies and Residents Associations, in order to take control of how the buildings they live in are cared for. Under these arrangements, while outright ownership of the land and building remain with the freeholder, the day-to-day running of the site becomes the responsibility of the residents.
What are some of the challenges facing those who wish to manage leasehold apartments? Here are just a few examples:
- Keeping up with the maintenance and repairs of the structure or the building.
- Cleaning and decorating the grounds and communal areas.
- Maintaining services and utilities, such as electricity, gas, water, and drainage.
- Arranging insurance for the building.
- Collection of service charges from all residents.
- Compliance with health and safety law, and other legal and contractual requirements.
- Accounting and documenting for all the above activities.
Clearly, the tasks associated with administrating a block of flats require a high degree of organization. Without prior experience, how can a resident hope to manage leasehold flats without becoming overwhelmed? Where can one find a leasehold apartments management system which is designed to enable ordinary residents to run a management company effectively?
Manage Your Block is a flat leasehold management software package designed by industry experts to assist Residents’ Management Companies and Associations in fulfilling their responsibilities and achieving their goals. Effectively acting as a virtual secretary, Manage Your Block can keep records, issue reports, and generally provide a detailed plan for the activities of the company. And to make it easy for anyone to use, this leasehold management software comes with its own detailed tutorial videos to help you to get the most out of the system.