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Slide Our Block Management Service BIG Block management is a professional family business which offers Facilities Management services to local Leaseholders, and Right to Manage (RTM) for companies of small to large sized residential developments, including purpose build residential blocks, and converted houses located in Dorset and Hampshire.

We aim to provide a professional service which results in a transparent and cost- effective outcome for Residents, Lessees and Freeholders.

We also aim to reduce service charge costs without compromising the level of service. Our fixed management fee is competitively priced with no hidden costs.

Our service can be tailored exclusively to meet your requirements. This can range from offering service charge collections, to a complete residential block management service. Whatever your requirements may be, we ensure the highest level of service, whilst proving to be cost effective.

We pride ourselves in our commitment to our work and offer an unparalleled level of customer service to our clients.


A LOCAL FOCUS

Perhaps you’re reading this because you’re disillusioned with your residential block management company. This can often be for two reasons: either you can’t see where your money goes, or your managing agent doesn’t respond to your calls.

Many leaseholders believe their block management companies in Dorset are too big and remote to care about the service delivered on the ground.

NOW is the time for a new Dorset block management company with a local focus and an unrivalled passion for customer service.

Whilst looking after the day to day upkeep of your building we also realise that careful forward planning is essential to maintain consistent capital value growth and maintain the prestige of your property.

Each of our management instructions have very different requirements. That’s why we sit down with our new clients and carefully go through their needs to create a bespoke, transparent management solution that is affordable, and will enhance the fabric of their property, now and in the future. Whether it’s issues of legal compliance, accounting or repairs, BIG Block Management can deliver a first-class solution.

Our management approach complies with both the RICS Residential Management, and The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) codes of practice. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) code of practice is recognised by the legal system as evidence of good management practice. We are also registered and comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.
Who Do We Work For? A Landlord, for the purpose of consultation, includes ‘any person who has a right to enforce payment of a service charge’ (Section 30, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985). Consequently, depending on the structure of the leases and titles at any given property, a Landlord could be any of the following:

  • Freeholder
  • Head Lessee
  • Resident Management Company
  • Right to Manage Company


BENEFITS OF USING AN AGENT

  • Professional managing agents will bring an organised approach to the planning and collection of the service charges and reserve funds, the timetables for redecoration and repairs and inspection and supervision of works.

  • Their assessment of what must be done, and when, will be independent of private interests and preferences and based solely upon their duty to keep the premises in good repair.

  • The process of collecting funds and the responsibility for taking steps to recover unpaid charges will be removed from the individual directors of the RMC.

  • A managing agent will be geared up to handle the mundane and time-consuming administration, and will handle it more efficiently through better facilities for storage and retrieval of records and documentation essential for accounting purposes.

  • Issues and disputes can be dealt with impartially by an agent to limit the animosity and division which can arise when personal issues become the business of neighbours and colleagues.

  • The agent distinguishes between the needs and duties of the company under the Companies Acts and the needs and duties of the company in it’s separate role as Landlord under the Leases and the relevant Landlord and tenant legislation.

  • Fidelity insurance cover to protect client funds is a significant advantage over self-regulation of funds by individual members.

  • Agents should hold professional indemnity cover as a further protection against negligent acts or incompetence.

  • Using an agent passes some of the responsibility for compliance with leases, laws and codes of practice to the agent BUT the directors of an RMC are responsible for setting policy and monitoring the work of the agent.

BIG BLOCK SERVICES
   We Work With:

  • Freeholders
  • Head Lessees
  • Resident Management Companies 
  • Right to Manage Companies

The Role of the Agent

Slide What is the Role of the Managing Agent? The role of a managing agent today is a complex one and requires a professional approach. It requires knowledge of Landlord and Tenant law, building construction, health and safety regulations, basic accounting and much more.

There are benefits of using professional management which should be balanced against the fees which leaseholders will have to bear:


RELATIONSHIP WITH BLOCK RESIDENTS

  • Regular property inspections
  • Attending to e-mail enquiries from lessees and residents
  • Responding to solicitors’ and lessees’ enquiries regarding assignments and licences
  • Arranging and attending an annual AGM with residents
  • Administration of any insurance claims
  • Liaison with nominated residents on daily matters
  • Advising the Board on residential Landlord and tenant procedures including statute and practice
  • Sales and rental appraisals.


REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE OF THE BLOCK

  • Dealing with the day to day emergencies, repairs and maintenance
  • Basic Health and Safety Risk Assessment
  • Preparation of a long-term maintenance and repair plan
  • Daily supervision of contractors and quotation requests
  • Preparation of maintenance plans and contracts for plant and machinery
  • Organising mechanical service repairs and servicing
  • Section 20 Consultation
  • Effective maintenance and decoration programme
  • Advice on major contract work and the use of specialist professionals and contractors.


FINANCIAL

  • Preparation of an annual budget for service charges
  • Regular billing and collection of service charges, ground rents and management fees
  • Provision of a periodic budget report of income, expenditure and cash flow
  • Arranging for the preparation of draft accounts in anticipation of an examination by an Independent accountant
  • Preparation of a reserve fund plan relating to cyclical maintenance
  • Weekly/monthly payment of wages and other invoices
  • Arrears collection
  • Provision of advice on block insurance and any other appropriate cover
  • Preparation of service charge budgets and financial forecasts
  • Opening and holding a dedicated client account
  • Preparation of year-end accounts and returns.


ADMINISTRATION

  • Organising building insurances
  • Ensuring compliance with lease covenants
  • Ensuring compliance with the terms of leases and policies agreed with the Board and where necessary, subject to Landlord authorisation, instructing solicitors in relation to breaches
  • Representing the Landlord at County Court, Arbitration and Tribunals
  • Preparing job descriptions for employees and specifications for contractors (where necessary negotiating competitive rates)
  • Supervising any employees and regular contractors such as cleaners etc. on behalf of the employer
  • Ensuring appropriate training and compliance with Health and Safety and Employment legislation
  • Advising the Board on a suggested management policy
  • Providing a status report of financial, maintenance and legal matters
  • Reporting on significant Lessee communications
  • Documenting management procedures and issues
  • Keeping Board informed of status of agreed actions
  • Company secretarial work, for example preparation and distribution of the notices for the AGM/EGMs; (NB – not all managing agents will be willing to offer this service).

BIG BLOCK SERVICES
   In a nutshell, we offer:

  • A relationship with block residents
  • Repair & maintenance of blocks
  • Financial & administrative duties

Other Block Management Information

Slide Removing an Existing Agent Before Appointing a New One If you’re considering switching from your current block management company our dedicated ‘Switch Agent’ will make sure the process is smooth and hassle free. Your Switch Agent will be there for you, every step of the way.

Three simple steps to change your block management:

  1. Tell us who your existing agent is
  2. We produce the Notice of Termination
  3. We issue the Notice and start delivering great service.
  4. Our aim is to make the switch as easy as possible for you.


CONSIDERATIONS

If you are so unhappy that you decide you want to change agents, here are some things to consider before making this decision:

  • What period of notice is required in the management agreement? If there is no agreement what time would suit you best?

  • Terminate on a date that fits in with service charge payment periods or the end of the accounting year to make handover and accounting easier (if this is appropriate)

  • What is the current financial position for your scheme? Is the service charge account in deficit or credit?

  • Are there large outstanding arrears that will make it difficult for any agent to provide services? If you are not sure, ask the current agent

  • Is the current agent owed any unpaid management fees that will be disputed?

  • What documents will be handed over to the new agent so that management can continue smoothly? Draw up a list of what you require or ask the new agent to propose a list

  • What sort of accounting statement will be drawn up as at the date of termination? Do you need an external accountant to check it – if so, who will pay the fee?

  • Do not just appoint a new agent and expect him/her to sort out a mess. The RMC directors should try to establish the true extent of any problems and be honest with any new agent that they wish to appoint

  • Your new agent may well do most of the work of handover for you but you should brief him/her about any problems you are aware of and what you expect him/her to do. Dealing with messy handovers from the previous agent is not normal work for agents, and the new agent may request an additional fee.
What is a Fire Risk Assessment? A fire risk assessment is a check of a building for fire risks. All blocks of flats and large houses in multiple occupation in England and Wales must have one.

The assessment has recommendations about how to protect the building and the people in or near it from fire. It is, effectively, a guide book for fire safety plans in your building.

The assessment looks at:
  • How likely a fire is to start
  • What the consequences would be if a fire did start
  • What needs to be done in the building to minimise the risk of fire starting or spreading.

The law says the assessment must be ‘suitable and sufficient’ for the building.


WHAT DOES A FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT COVER

A fire risk assessment covers the shared parts of a building that all people can use, such as common stairwells and entrance halls.
The assessment looks at a building’s ‘general fire precautions’ in the shared areas. These include measures to:

  • Reduce the risk of fire starting, such as ‘no smoking’ signs or doing regular safety checks of electrical sockets or lights
  • Reduce the risk of fire spreading, such as fire doors
  • Alert people about a fire in the building, such as smoke alarms
  • Let people escape from the building, such as clear escape routes
  • Tell people what to do if a fire starts, such as an emergency plan
  • Reduce the harm caused if a fire starts, such as fire extinguishers or sprinklers.

The general fire precautions must protect:

  • People who are allowed access to the building
  • People who are near the building who may be at risk if a fire started.
Our BIG Core Principles BIG Block Management follow core principles based on those from the RICS Global Practice statement and Guidance Note: Real estate management guidance (2nd edition).

  • To conduct business in an honest, fair, transparent and professional manner

  • To carry out work with due skill, care and diligence, and ensure that any staff employed have the necessary skills to carry out their tasks

  • To ensure that clients are provided with terms of engagement which are fair and clear. These should meet all legal requirements and relevant codes of practice including reference to complaints-handling procedures and, where it exists, an appropriate redress scheme

  • To do the utmost to avoid conflicts of interest and, where they do arise, to deal with them openly, fairly and promptly

  • Not to discriminate unfairly in any dealings

  • In all dealings with clients, to ensure that all communications (both financial and non-financial subject matters) are fair, clear, timely and transparent

  • To ensure that all advertising and marketing material is honest, decent and truthful

  • To ensure that all client money is held separately from other monies in appropriately designated accounts and is covered by adequate insurance

  • To have adequate and appropriate professional indemnity insurance (or the equivalent) in place that complies with RICS Rules of Conduct. Having proper cover is a key part of managing your risk

  • To ensure that it is made clear to all parties with whom you are dealing the scope of your obligations to each party

  • Where provided as part of the service, to give a realistic assessment of the likely selling, buying or rental price, associated cost of occupancy or the likely financial outcome of any issues, using best professional judgment

  • To ensure that all meetings, inspections and viewings are carried out in accordance with the client’s lawful and reasonable wishes, having due regard for the security and personal safety of all parties.

If you want to find out more about our Block Management Service, then please do get in touch using our online form, or by calling us on 01202 070 007.

Slide About BIG PROPERTY is an independent family owned business with many years’ experience in Residential Sales, Lettings and Block Management. Contact Get in touch today and see how we can help with your property needs. Call us on: 01202 070 007.
Email: info@big-property.co.uk
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