What is block management?

Posted on 05/06/2018

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:

 

What is leasehold?

Leasehold flats can be in purpose-built blocks, in converted houses or above commercial or retail premises.

When buying a property, a leaseholder effectively rents from the freeholder for a number of years, decades or centuries. When the freeholder grants a lease, they become a “landlord”.

The leasehold ownership of a flat usually relates to everything within the four walls of the flat, including floorboards and plaster to walls and ceiling. A garden can be included unless it is a communal garden for the building.

The structure and common parts of the building and the land it stands on are usually owned by the freeholder. 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 gets 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 scheme 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.