Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve provided answers to questions that are commonly asked. If you can’t find the answer listed below please feel free to contact one of our friendly agents and we would be happy to help further.

It needn’t be… We would be happy to take on the management of the whole move from your present managing agent. We will endeavour to ensure the move is as seamless, fast and easy as possible.

A leaseholder has the right to ask for a set of service charge accounts that shows a summary of expenditure, under The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. This is why the annual accounts must be certified by a qualified, external, accountant. Where there are more than four leaseholders in a block, the accounts may be audited, provided the lease allows for this.

Leaseholders can obviously report a problem relating to the building or in the common areas, if they see one. We would then ensure this is dealt with in as timely a manner as possible. The Management Agreement will be between Sterling Property Management and our Client, the Landlord. The role of the Landlord could also be a freehold company, where leaseholders also own a share of the freehold. A client could also be a Right-to-Manage Company or a Residents Management Company. Therefore, as the contractual relationship is between Sterling Property Management and the Landlord, any formal instructions should effectively only come from the Landlord (and/or the Board of Directors).

Yes – and no! Sterling Property Management, as the appointed Managing Agent, works for the Landlord (whether this is a freehold company, an individual, a Residents’ Management Company or Right-to-Manage company) to ensure the appropriate responsibilities and legal obligations are carried out. Leaseholders who own a share of the freehold are shareholders of the freehold company, and it is this company and its Directors that are effectively the Landlord and our client.

Of course, whether you are our Client or a leaseholder, if you feel that work being carried out, (for instance under a regular maintenance contract such as gardening or cleaning) is not being undertaken in accordance with the agreed standard, then we would certainly appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible, so this can be put right. In addition, our regular inspections are aimed at monitoring the quality of the work carried out by contractors.

This is a requirement, under the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002, which basically states that Lessees must be formally consulted about any work, such as redecorating the outside of your building, that is going to cost more than £250 per flat. During the process, leaseholders are able to comment or to suggest a contractor from whom a quotation should be sought. If more than one alternative contractor is suggested, we would have to select one of these to add to the contractors already invited to quote, provided the nominee complies with liability insurance and health and safety requirements. Once quotes have been received from the selected contractors, and again communicated to the leaseholders, one quote would be accepted, an order would be issued, and the work would commence.

As it is a fairly involved process it can generally take about three to four months from the decision to carry out the work to when the contract can commence. If the work in question is urgent, and any delay would have a serious or detrimental effect on the building, then a dispensation can be sought from the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to bypass the Consultation process and enable the work to be carried out quickly. This, however can also be a lengthy process.

As Managing Agent, we have no legal ability to deal with matters like this. There are a number of organisations able to deal with this problem, such as the local authority’s Environmental Health Department or the Police. The first thing you could do is to knock on their door and politely inform them that they are creating too much noise or causing a nuisance. If they ignore you or you don’t feel able to do this, then you could contact these organisations, who should be able to help you. If the offending flat is rented to tenants, you could either contact the leaseholder who owns the flat to let him know about the problem, or alternatively, let us know about it and we will endeavour to contact the owner to try and help find a resolution. Whether the Landlord is able to enforce any covenants regarding noise nuisance depends on what your lease specifies. It remains an individual leaseholder’s responsibility to ensure his tenants do not cause disruption to other residents. We would advise you to keep a diary of events, which would help your case.

This is a difficult one! If there has been a history of flats in your block being rented for some years, then it will be difficult to try and enforce that particular covenant, and it does depend on what the lease says. Over the last several years, this is a covenant that has been increasingly sidelined, as more and more people buy leasehold flats in order to rent them out, generally on Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements. Contact the Leasehold Advisory Service for more advice.
It may also be possible that a flat can be rented out, but that the lease stipulates a Licence to Sublet must be sought, and obtained, before doing so. In this regard, please contact us for further information.

Sterling Property Management

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