Should I manage the block of flats myself?

by Readers Question

14:46 PM, 11th August 2015
About 3 years ago

Should I manage the block of flats myself?

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Should I manage the block of flats myself?

I am a freeholder of 5 flats in a building and would like to manage the block of flats by myself, but this is my first experience in this area of work. freehold

Is anybody able to help point me in the right direction of how to set it up, how I decide what to charge the leaseholders and the costs involved.

Many thanks

Masi



Comments

LVW4

12:01 PM, 12th August 2015
About 3 years ago

If you haven't done this before, I would recommend you employ an agent.

We managed our own block of 13 apartments, and the work of running the company was done by 2-3 owners who also had day jobs. It became too onerous and risky, especially with all the legislative requirements you need to observe. Get it wrong, and it will cost you dearly!

We decided to employ a managing agent, but wanted to stay in control of outgoings.

I don't know where your property is, but we went with GH Property Management - http://gh-propertymanagement.co.uk/block-management/ Ask for Liam O'Sullivan.

Mark Weedon

14:03 PM, 12th August 2015
About 3 years ago

It really depemds on how many flats are in the block. If it's less than 10 you may want to consider managing as you will save the mangement fees. Any more than that I would pass on to a managing agent.

There is more work than you think.

If you are near Luton I would recommend S R Wood http://www.srwood.co.uk/services/management.asp They do a good job at several blocks where we own property and at asuprisingly reasonable premium.

Mandy Thomson

20:44 PM, 12th August 2015
About 3 years ago

I agree with Lou. If you think there's maze of regulation involved in landlord and tenant law, leasehold legislation is even more complex, if only because there is much less free information and guidance around

I am currently a joint freeholder of a block of 4 flats. One of the freeholders/leaseholders was in arrears with maintainance charges. When we started looking into legal action to get these arrears back, we only found out then that the notifications requesting these charges should have been accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations, and as such we might only be able claim back part of what we were owed.

As if this wasn't bad enough, I have recently had to pay the entire cost of essential building works with the understanding that I'm either paid back at some point in the future, and/or I don't pay maintenance charges. As it would take several years to cover what I've paid at 0 interest this simply wouldn't be practical!

The freehold of another flat I own is owned by a large company who in turn use a management company. Although I've been hit by the odd charge, on the whole they are reasonable and efficient and when something has gone wrong it's a massive relief to know I can leave it with them and pay a fraction of what I pay toward the shared freehold!

In short, I'd say don't buy the freehold unless you can find a really good management company. Even if you have a good knowledge of leasehold legislation and block management, you may still struggle to get the others to agree to maintenance work or even pay their regular charges.

Khosro Montazeri

0:37 AM, 13th August 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lou Valdini" at "12/08/2015 - 12:01":

Thank you so much Lou.

Dr Monty Drawbridge

11:22 AM, 13th August 2015
About 3 years ago

I own several freeholds of blocks which I converted into flats and sold. I set them all up so that management falls to a management company owned and run by the leaseholders. Unless you are doing lots of buildings, there is too much to learn and too many pitfalls to make the reward worthwhile. I just keep it simple and collect ground rent and notice fees. This set up does put some freehold purchasers off, but has achieved 17-18x ground rent at auction.

Gary Nock

9:35 AM, 15th August 2015
About 3 years ago

I agree with all the comments above. In addition to landlord qualifications I also hold one for Block Management. Get it wrong and you cannot recover money for major works or service charge and other charges if not served properly. For example serve the Notice Charge Demand to the wrong address or in THE WRONG FONT (not less than 10) and it's not payable until it is.

Pay a decent management company to do it.


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