When flat owners share a building and/or grounds they are often also jointly responsible for its management and upkeep. This is a multi-faceted and frequently time-consuming job which involves knowledge of the law in this area (health & safety, fire safety, company law), on-going commitment and continuity. Most leaseholders (or freeholders) choose to appoint a management agency to carry out this work, saving themselves time, reducing liability and avoiding any possible conflicts of interest.
Each leaseholder usually owns a share or is a member of the Residents’ Management Company (RMC), which is a limited company set up when the block is developed in order to look after common parts of buildings and grounds. The money to fund this comes from the service charge, although additional funds may be requested to pay for larger projects such as a roof replacement. RMCs are run by directors, usually unpaid and appointed from among the leaseholders themselves. RMCs then usually choose to appoint a professional block management agent to look after the building and grounds on their behalf.
For the reasons outlined above, plus management agents keep on top of the latest property legislation relating to fire safety regulations, health and safety, accounting requirements etc and so can advise on how to avoid exposure to possible litigation. Mulberry PM endorses and complies with the Service Charge Residential Management Code of Practice published by RICS.
The Management Company. The RMC appoints a managing agent to act in their best interests and to their specifications. We ensure open communication at all times, arrange regular meetings with leaseholders, operate a transparent financial service and we’re available by phone, email and in person at our offices or on site.
Yes. Leaseholders can and do choose to save money by managing their shared building and grounds themselves. This involves up-to-date knowledge of property law, insurance, fire, health and safety regulations, accounting and carrying out administrative paperwork. They must also ensure all leaseholders are treated fairly. It is a long-term commitment which can be disrupted if individual leaseholders leave the management company. Appointing a block management agent frees up time and gives leaseholders peace of mind in the knowledge that the day-to-day responsibilities are in safe hands.
Every block of flats or apartments is different so we meet the decision makers to discuss exactly how our service will benefit them and set our fees accordingly. We always strive to provide the best possible value for money but never cut corners in order to provide the lowest quote. Our responsibility as a block management company is to protect your investment by ensuring it is well-maintained and effectively managed, and our fees reflect that.
Our office is in Walmgate, in the centre of York, and all staff and trusted tradesmen live locally. We only take on block management responsibilities for companies in and around Yorkshire, to ensure our team can visit your property and get to know it well and that tradesmen are always on hand. Our small, dedicated team is easy to reach and you will receive a prompt, personalised service from people you know.
You are responsible for anything within your flat or apartment, including wiring, pipework and insurance. You must abide by the covenants set out in your lease, which may include obtaining permission for pets, avoiding noise nuisance and paying the communal service charge.
Service charges ensure that the management company or freeholder complies with the terms of the lease to maintain the building and grounds as well as keeping it safe and secure. This can cover compliance with health and safety and fire legislation, communal services such as gardening, cleaning, window cleaning, and emergency lighting checks as well as management agent fees.
We act on behalf of the RMC or freeholder to recover any unpaid charges in a discreet and impartial manner. Non-payment usually constitutes a breach of the lease and also impacts on the ability to pay for services for everyone’s benefit and safety. We do not have the authority to reduce individual charges but can offer information and advice to anyone experiencing payment difficulties.
Ground rent is separate from the service charge. Leaseholders may be required to pay rent to the freeholder of the property, for the land on which the property is built and rights of access to any communal gardens and/or car parks. The lease will specify how much rent you have to pay and when.
If you have outstanding questions, our experienced and knowledgeable staff will be happy to help. As a flexible local company, we can meet you day or evening, weekday or weekends to carry out a no-obligation valuation of your property. Please contact us to arrange this.
All blocks of flats must have a health & safety risk assessment carried out of the communal areas. This is a legal requirement under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Whilst it may seem strange to consider the common parts as a place of work, the Courts and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) do include communal areas in health and safety regulations. So if a cleaner, gardener, managing agent or repair contractor enters them, then a risk assessment must be made. Communal areas do not just mean the internal parts of the building – they also include the roof, structure and other external areas.
There are cases where RMC directors and managers/agents have been prosecuted for failing to carry our a risk assessment and where an incident has occurred.
Mulberry PM works with experienced risk assessors to carry out regular health and safety risk assessments. The cost for any maintenance required to these common areas is usually recharged to the leaseholders as part of the terms of the leasehold.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires an inspection to be carried out in all communal areas of a block of residential flats/apartments. The responsible person for the property (leaseholder, management company director, freeholder or agent) has a legal requirement to reduce the risk of fire, where possible, and ensure there is a fire safety policy, so that in the event of a fire all residents and visitors will know a safe point of exit. If a property is found without a risk assessment, that responsible person could be prosecuted.
Mulberry PM ensures regular fire risk assessments are carried out by a competent person on all properties we manage.
Yes. The responsible person (leaseholder, management company director or freeholder or agent) is legally required to carry out tests and maintenance and should be able to provide records to confirm this.
Mulberry PM ensures that all properties it manages are meeting their obligations as required. Contact us for further details.
Just call the office; one of our senior management team is usually available or will respond promptly. If we can’t resolve the issue, please refer to our Customer Complaints Procedure.