Communal Post Boxes and the Risk of Identity Theft

Sadly, incidences of identity theft are becoming more regular and as a managing agent we are receiving an increased amount of contact about this type of crime. This is usually connected with theft from communal post-boxes, which gives thieves access to documents they can use to open fraudulent accounts. If you live in a block of flats where your post-box is in a communal area, or outside the property, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of this crime occurring. Firstly, you should ensure that you empty you post-box on a regular basis, post left in […]

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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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