How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Subletting

If you decide to rent out your flat, it’s important to be aware of some of the pitfalls of subletting. When you became a leaseholder, you agreed to comply with the terms of the lease and to do things such as keeping it in good repair, paying your service charge and obtaining consent for certain actions. If you don’t comply with these rules you are ‘in breach’ of your lease. Before subletting you must check that you are permitted to sublet and whether you need to obtain any consent or licence to do so. If your lease requires your freeholder’s […]

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The Cost of Removing Bulky Waste

Every year we have to spend substantial sums of service charge funds removing bulky items from bin stores. This is a frustrating waste of service charge money. It penalises responsible owners, but we don’t have a choice, unless residents take responsibility for their unwanted items. This waste usually consists of furniture that is abandoned following a resident moving in or out. In one instance we found a whole flat’s worth of furniture left in a bin store but more regularly it is items such as old TVs, bedframes, sofas or white goods. Council rubbish collectors will not take bulky waste […]

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Window Maintenance – Whose Responsibility Is It Any Way?

One of the quirks, and frustrations, of managing leasehold property is the lack of consistency, when it comes to divvying up the responsibilities for particular areas of the property, between landlord and leaseholder.  Arguably, responsibility for the maintenance of windows is one of the best illustrations of this. The glass in the windows is usually the responsibility of the leaseholder but there is not a consistent approach to responsibility for the frames.  In some leases, window frames are included along with the structure of the building as forming the common parts.  In others, they are demised and form part of […]

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My Development Doesn’t Have a Reserve Fund, Should I Be Worried?

Louisa Myatt, Director at Neil Douglas gives some insight into why reserve funds are important.

No leaseholder wants to be presented with an unexpected bill for several thousand pounds because the roof suddenly needs fixing or external decorations are required. If your development doesn’t have a reserve fund you should be worried. Financial planning is one of the most important aspects of our work as property managers.

Saving into reserves, alongside your contributions to the annual costs of the development, ensures that the funds are there when the work is required.

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Seasons Greetings

The whole team at Neil Douglas would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with peace, love and prosperity.

We will be supporting two local charities instead of sending Christmas cards. The charities we are supporting are the Chiltern MS centre, which provides advice and care to people with multiple sclerosis and their families, and Rennie Grove, which provides care and support for adults and children diagnosed with cancer and other life-limiting illness, and their families.

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Exam Success

We have been celebrating the recent exam success of Emma Collins and Rebecca Hodgson, both of whom are property managers at Neil Douglas. Emma and Rebecca have passed the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) Members Exam, which is designed and run by the Chartered Institute of Housing, a nationally recognised Awarding body for housing qualifications.

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