Residential Block Management

Sterling Property Management Ltd

We specialise in residential block management, so does not directly diversify into other disciplines such as building surveying or insurance brokerage.

We do, however, utilise the services of independent specialists in such fields, who we would be pleased to recommend to our clients.

We utilise the services of a large number of highly reputable suppliers and contractors with whom we,as individuals, have worked for many years. This way, our current, and indeed future, clients are all able to benefit from the ‘economies of scale’ that this practice provides.

A proper and full maintenance and repair program is crucial to the smooth running of a block. Any problems are dealt with as they arise and this reduces the possibility of costs spiralling out of control due to the lack of maintenance. Routine site visits and inspections are carried out on a regular basis to oversee and deal with contractor performance and identify any problems that need addressing.

Key elements of this service includes:

  • Regular property inspections.
  • Dealing promptly with day to day repairs and maintenance.
  • Advice on major contract work and the use of specialist professionals and contractors.
  • Instructing contractors and supervision of works undertaken.
  • Attending to routine enquiries from lessees and residents.
  • Advise residents regarding essential repairs, alterations, redecorations,maintenance and any other matters relating to the property.
  • Submit and administer insurance claims.
  • Advice on major works and the use of specialist professionals and contractors.
  • Ensuring that both Landlord and Lessees comply with lease terms (see section 2.)
  • Reviewing and implementing relevant Health and Safety Executive requirements (see section 3.)
  • Supervision and recruitment of on-site staff (see section 4.)
  • Arranging various insurances for buildings, contents of the common parts, Terrorism, Employers’ and Directors’ & Officers’ Liability for the Residents Management Company.
  • Attending formal and informal Directors’ meetings and reporting matters of concern.
  • Dealing with the granting and preparation of Licences to Assign, Sublet, Alter, or other matters requiring formal consent in accordance with lease terms.
  • Responding to solicitors’ and lessees’ enquiries regarding assignments and licences (costs recoverable from vendor, purchaser or solicitor).
  • Registration / receipting of Notices of Transfer / Assignment and / or Mortgage / Charge.
  • Supplementary supervision of major works (that require the preparation of a specification and the serving of relevant statutory Notices in accordance with the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, or any other, or subsequent, legislation, to include CDM regulations).
  • Instruction of, or consultation with, specialist surveyors or engineers in respect of major works.
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Relationship With Residents

A Close Relationship For Success

Sterling Property Management believes a close relationship with leaseholders/residents is crucial in the effective running and management of a property. Any queries or problems are dealt with in a friendly and efficient manner. It is the aim of the company to deal with emails and faxes within 24 hours and to respond to letters within 5 working days. If the nature of the
query is of a more complex nature and a resolution is likely to take a longer time, the leaseholder/resident is kept informed of the progress throughout.

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Lease Compliance and Enforcement of Landlord’s & Tenants’ Covenants

A Well Managed Property Starts Here

Where a contract is made to grant a lease, which is the usual practice for long leases, it is an implied term of that contract that the lease, when granted, will contain `the usual covenants’.

These are usually taken to include: i) a covenant by the tenant to pay all sums demanded from them (i.e. ground rent, and service charges), ii) a covenant by the tenant to keep the interior in good repair, iii) if the landlord has covenanted to repair, a covenant by the tenant to allow reasonable access for this purpose and iv) that the landlord has a right to re-enter if the tenant defaults on the rent.

Sterling Property Management considers that compliance with, and enforcement of, all lease covenants is an integral part of a well managed property, and takes this very seriously for the protection of both landlord and lessees.

Key elements of this service includes:

  • Regulation of the use of the flats.
  • Ensuring compliance with the terms of leases and policy agreed with the board.
  • Demanding and collecting ground rent and service charges (including recovery of arrears in accordance with procedures agreed with the client).
  • Where necessary, (subject to landlord authorisation) instructing solicitors in relation to breaches.
  • Reporting and following up any breaches of covenant (including liaising with the Company’s solicitors, and representing the Landlord at County Court level, arbitration, or Leasehold Valuation Tribunals).
  • Application of covenants against sub-letting, business use etc.
  • Enforcement of lessees rights to quiet enjoyment (peaceable occupation) in the event of disturbance by other residents.
  • Assisting with the preparation of the (A)GM / EGM notices with the company secretary and the distribution of the same.
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A Safe and Effective Strategy

Leasehold block management is a specialised service. The complexity surrounding how services should be provided and the mandatory legal notices required to enable service charge and ground rent collection, calls for greater professionalism within the sector.

The minefield of statutory obligations continues to place an increasing burden on landlords and freeholders. Our services are designed to relieve the Client (the landlord, freehold company, resident management company or right-to-manage company) of all aspects of property management, administration and upkeep.

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires that all blocks of flats must have a Risk Assessment of the common parts carried out periodically. Another piece of legislation which is an absolute requirement for all shared residential properties is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which affects buildings constructed or converted into self-contained flats prior to 1991.

Up to date Fire Risk Assessments must be available and now form part of the due diligence carried out on conveyance before a flat is sold, as mortgage lenders often require proof that a current fire risk assessment is in place. Sterling Property Management will arrange for specialist consultants to carry out any required Risk Assessments which will also, if applicable, cover other areas such as Working at Height, Electrical Equipment Safety, Legionella, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), Asbestos and other statutory bligations.

In summary, we aim to formulate a safe and effective strategy within current legislation and in accordance with current best practice.

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Staff Management

Help With Recruitment Processing

Sterling Property Management can take control of all staff employed by their client properties and will:

  • Prepare job descriptions for employees.
  • Supervise and recruit resident and non-resident staff and deal with salaries and any statutory deductions.
  • Assist in the preparation of job specifications for staff, and interviewing of prospective candidates as and when necessary.
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Accounting and Financial

Comprehensive Accounting System

Sterling Property Management is fully computerised and runs a bespoke property management and accounting system that is both fully supported and constantly updated to keep up with new legislation & requirements. The data is constantly being backed up and copies of all the backups are kept offsite for safety and security. Sterling Property Management is registered under the Data Protection Act. The system is able to generate a multitude of reports which can further be tailored to fit in with the requirements of the clients.

All client funds are held at a recognised bank and in a designated client trust account. The funds for each property are held in a separate bank account and are not mixed with funds belonging to other properties. The reserve funds are held in a separate cash book ledger to ring-fence money for future major works. Once a service charge payment is received the reserve fund element is instantly allocated and ring- fenced to the ledger.

The annual service charge budget is prepared in advance of the next financial year and takes into account any planned maintenance work likely to be carried out in the forthcoming year. The forthcoming year’s budget isn’t simply the previous year’s budget with a flat percentage increase applied, but is methodically analysed and drawn up to ensure it is as relevant as possible to forecasted costs.

The final budget is agreed with input from, and the approval of, the client. Service charge arrears are dealt with in a systematic and prompt manner to ensure that necessary costs and works are not compromised by a lack of available service charge funds due to leaseholder arrears.

Key elements of this service includes:

  • Assist in the preparation of a reserve fund plan relating to cyclical maintenance.
  • Prepare the annual service charge estimate.
  • Pay weekly / monthly wages and other invoices.
  • Regularly demand and collect service charges.
  • Provide periodic budget reports of income and expenditure and cash flow in accordance with individual client’s requirements.
  • Prepare annual draft accounts in anticipation of audit and subsequent liaison with the auditor.
  • Chase and collect arrears.
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Sterling Property Management

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