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What is block management?

SDL Property Management explains what block management is… Managing a block of flats requires a professional approach, time and dedication. Block management is known by various names in the industry; leasehold management, property management and estate management to name a few. If you’re thinking of getting into block management, but you

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Principle wins contract to look after high-value London properties

Several high-value London properties are part of a major new national contract won by Principle Estate Management. Principle will be looking after  a development of apartments each worth more than £1.5 million on America Street, just off Southwark Bridge Road – near the famous Borough Market, Tate Modern art gallery

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BRAEMAR ESTATES BECOMES RENDALL & RITTNER

Following its purchase by leading managing agent Rendall & Rittner, Braemar Estates will become Rendall & Rittner creating one fully integrated business. Rendall & Rittner acquired Manchester-based managing agents, Braemar Estates, at the end of last year, bringing the group’s total portfolio of managed properties to more than 60,000 across

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

managing agent

What is block management?

SDL Property Management explains what block management is… Managing a block of flats requires a professional approach, time and dedication. Block management is known by various names in the industry; leasehold management, property management and estate management to name a few. If you’re thinking of getting into block management, but you aren’t sure what’s involved, here’s our guide to what it is and how it works: A quick introduction to leasehold Leasehold flats can be in purpose-built blocks, in converted houses or above commercial or retail premises. A leasehold usually includes everything within the four walls of a flat, down to the floorboards and plaster on the walls and ceilings. The freeholder usually owns the building, including the common parts (eg corridors, entrance way), the structure (eg roof, windows) and the land it stands on. The freeholder is, normally, responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building. If so, the costs for doing so are recoverable through the service charges and billed to the leaseholders. The freeholder or resident management company usually appoint a managing agent to manage their block. What are service charges? Service charges are payments by the leaseholder to the landlord for all the services the landlord provides. Details of what can (and cannot) be charged by the landlord and the proportion of the charge to be paid by the individual leaseholder will all be set out in the lease. What is block management? Block management is the process of managing the communal areas of residential properties through the service charge. Managing a block of flats requires a professional approach, time and dedication. Block management involves constant communication with various contractors in respect of maintenance and repairs, insurance of the building and, in some cases, provision of central heating, lifts, porterage, estate staff, lighting and cleaning of common areas. It also requires a good understanding of legislation and leasehold matters, preparation of budgets and annual accounts, as well as routine inspections to check that the property is in good order. A major part of a role in block management is ensuring that the landlord and leaseholders get value for money for their service charge payments, and the building is maintained in accordance with the terms of the lease. SDL Property Partners is a franchise network which enables you to become a managing agent and offer block management as part of your services. In a nutshell, we’ll get you up and running, providing training, support and back office systems. If you’re looking for a new opportunity and block management sounds like it could be for you, get in touch with our team.  If you wish to find out more about getting your property managed by the experts, please visit – https://sdlpropertymanagement.co.uk/contact-us/

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Principle wins contract to look after high-value London properties

Several high-value London properties are part of a major new national contract won by Principle Estate Management. Principle will be looking after  a development of apartments each worth more than £1.5 million on America Street, just off Southwark Bridge Road – near the famous Borough Market, Tate Modern art gallery and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. Other properties in the portfolio is a mixed use development comprising a restaurant and with apartments above on Poland Street, off Oxford Street in trendy Soho; and another mixed use development with including offices and apartments in Hamond Square, near Hackney’s renowned Hoxton Street market. Principle will also look after a further mixed use building including retail and apartments on the Old Brompton Road, in the prestigious Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Outside of Central London, the contract includes another developments in South Croydon, Crawley, Portsmouth, Slough, Wickford and Godalming. Principle’s appointment comes after the Wallace Group purchased Gray’s Inn Holdings Limited which owns 20,000 leasehold properties. The management arm of the Wallace Group, Simarc Property Management Limited, then moved to change some of the managing agents in order to ensure standards complied with their internal code for agents’ conduct. Brett Williams, managing director of Principle, said: “Mixed use buildings require a specialist management approach to ensure the needs of all users are catered for and properly balanced, and it’s this expertise that Simarc was impressed with. “I’ve known senior people at Simarc for many years and they were aware that I’d recently set Principle up. They’d also seen me attending high-level meetings following the government’s various consultations into leasehold reform.” Natalie Chambers, director of Simarc, said: “Principle has a reputation for managing properties on behalf of freeholders who need to be comfortable that their agent is on top of health & safety compliance, finance and maintenance. “We also want an agent that provides outstanding service to our customers, and we know Principle has been built to deliver that.” Principle was launched earlier this year by Mr Williams, the former head of residential property management at CPBigwood in Birmingham and an experienced chartered surveyor. Although based in Birmingham, Principle offers a national property management service and has already won a series of contracts across the UK. Mr Williams said: “This contract includes our first instructions in the capital, although we have plenty of experience of managing a national portfolio and are in London every week. We have another South East portfolio going live next year. “As for the other areas, the Surrey and Sussex properties are very close to where I grew up, while Slough is near other properties we have and Portsmouth has previously been one of our core areas. “We are experienced in managing portfolios at distance, treating them all as if they are five minutes-walk from our office and ensuring we have regular site inspections and are very contactable. “We’ve already been working on a few maintenance matters at a couple of properties ahead of our commencement as we’d rather get things moving than wait until we take over, and residents have appreciated this.” Mr Williams added: “It’s fantastic to have clients instructing us on new properties on a weekly basis. We are well set up to deal with handovers from other agents and to proactively manage properties from the outset.”

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BRAEMAR ESTATES BECOMES RENDALL & RITTNER

Following its purchase by leading managing agent Rendall & Rittner, Braemar Estates will become Rendall & Rittner creating one fully integrated business. Rendall & Rittner acquired Manchester-based managing agents, Braemar Estates, at the end of last year, bringing the group’s total portfolio of managed properties to more than 60,000 across the UK. Initially, the two companies were operating under their own names, but the move to unite them as Rendall & Rittner allows the company to grow nationally under one brand. The change is effective as of 24th September. Rendall & Rittner, an experienced operator in the residential block management sector, has been expanding rapidly in recent years and recently was awarded a Platinum accolade in the Investors in People (IIP) standard making the company third place, out of only 18 real estate companies in the UK to be awarded this level. Its acquisition of Braemar Estates has allowed it to increase its presence in the North West. Its portfolio ranges from traditional mansion blocks to substantial mixed-use developments. Richard Daver, Managing Director of Rendall & Rittner, comments: “By operating as one company with one team, under one brand, we can strengthen Rendall & Rittner’s foothold in the region and provide excellent service and value to our customers and clients. We all share the same values and commitment to quality, and we are excited about moving forward together as a truly national company at the forefront of our industry.” The integration of the businesses will utilise the strengths of both companies and will result in benefits to customers including an upgraded online portal, improved reporting, slicker communication through a new system for logging and tracking work and better value through group purchasing deals. The teams will continue to operate from their current offices in London, Manchester, Hale and the Midlands. Matt Kirk, the company’s North Area Director comments: “Following a strategic review of our position, it was evident that integrating the two businesses was the next logical step and a way to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest standards of service across Manchester and our region.” For further information about Rendall & Rittner, visit www.rendallandrittner.co.uk

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