Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of answers for some of the common questions we get asked and general information to explain property management. Should you have a different question, or want further information, feel free to get in contact with one of our property managers.

Why employ a managing agent?
Managing property is more complex than you may initially think. The running of a development must be carried out in the legal framework of and in accordance to, the property lease and the Landlord and Tenant act 1985. It involves amongst other duties, devising annual budgets, collecting Service Charge and Ground Rent, managing the site i.e. organising and overseeing maintenance schedules, emergency repairs, carrying out regular site inspections, Health and Safety compliance, cleaning, sourcing / managing sub-contractors and dealing with resident complaints. All of which while keeping up to date on ever changing legislation.
Our management fee
What does your management fee cover?
This is the fee you pay us to cover the costs of a wide range of activities that we carry out to manage your development.
  • Budget review meetings with landlords and tenants.
  • Creation of Service Charge budget.
  • Service Charge audit of accounts.
  • Service Charge reconciliation.
  • Administration of client / contractor payments.
  • Management of bank accounts / funds (Reserve / Sinking funds).
  • ‘50 year’ Reserve Fund budgets
  • PrimeHub, our secure residents’ portal.
  • Manage tenders for maintenance and repairs (i.e S20 consultation).
  • Attend ‘Resident Association’ meetings.
  • Address communications from i.e. landlords, lease holders, tenants, solicitors, contractors, housing associations
Estate Management
  • 24 hour call out for emergency repairs.
  • Site inspections and development visits by your Property Manager.
  • All onsite staff training and welfare.
  • Regulatory Compliance.
  • Major works consultation.
  • Health and safety.
  • Industry codes of best practice.
Will our money be safe?
Every site we look after has its own dedicated Client account with our bank. Your Service Charge / Ground Rent funds are fully protected by the bank and are ring-fenced away from our company finances.
Do you take on ‘problem sites’?
We sure do! We pride ourselves on our ability to quickly assess and turn around a failing site, whether the problem is poor maintenance or bad financial management, we have the knowledge to help.
Do you force us to use set contractors?
No, not at all. We have our own in-house 24 hour maintenance team, but from time to time we will need to source specialists and we will always try to use contractors located near each site we manage. All contractors will need to pass our rigorous checks before we use them (i.e. valid insurance, Risk Assessments, Health & Safety, competence). If your development has existing contractors that do a great job, we would always try our best to keep them on board. Suggestions and discussions on contractors are always welcomed.  All residents are consulted prior to major works.
Sounds perfect, when can you start?
We handle all the running around and the transfer of management for you. Once instructed we aim to begin management within 2 working days. If you would like to move to us then call one of our Property Managers or complete our online move form
What is the difference between ‘freehold’ and ‘leasehold’?
If you purchase a freehold property in England or Wales, you will own the home and the land it is built on. However, there may be a freehold company who owns the estate areas, such as the communal parts or gardens. If you buy a leasehold property you are buying the rights to live in a property for a set period of time. You do not own the building structure or the grounds it is situated on. Most flats are leasehold.
Service Charges explained
We believe you should enjoy your home, safe in the knowledge the money you pay on maintenance and the upkeep of your property is being well spent. Service Charges and management fees fund the costs of maintaining the development and keeping everything in good order and to a standard you expect.

What is the Service Charge?
Your Service Charge is the money you pay towards the day-to-day running costs of your development. Every resident pays a Service Charge and the money is used to cover items such as:

  • Buildings insurance
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance
  • Repairs
  • Gardening
  • Communal facilities

The Service Charge would also cover the costs of any onsite staff. In residential developments this could be a caretaker or concierge; for large, complex estates, this could include a Development Manager and a team of concierges, cleaners and handypersons.  In independent retirement living developments this would normally be your Development or House Manager.

What is the Service Charge based on?
The Service Charge is based on an estimated budget we prepare each year of all the running costs relating to the communal areas of your development. These could include a number of elements. Some of the most common are:

  • Landscape maintenance – such as cutting the grass, maintaining communal gardens, watering and sweeping.
  • Lighting, heating and cleaning of communal internal areas.
  • Window cleaning – specific to each development, but would typically include all external windows as well as internal windows in communal areas.
  • Lift maintenance.
  • Fire equipment maintenance.
  • Water Sampling (legionella testing)
  • Other electrical and mechanical equipment maintenance – specific to each development, but this could include items such as water pumps, electrically powered entry or security gates, communal heating boilers etc.
  • General repairs and maintenance.
  • Salaries of any onsite staff that are employed specifically to work for the development.
  • Accountancy.
  • Buildings insurance – in the case of apartments, full buildings insurance is required under the terms of the lease to cover the risks relevant to the development. Standard insurance risks might include fire, explosion, lightning, aircraft, terrorism, storm or flood, sprinkler leakage, subsidence or landslide etc.
When is the Service Charge paid?
This depends on your lease or transfer in England or Wales, or your Deed of Conditions in Scotland. You may be required to pay your Service Charge once a year, twice a year (usually every six months) or occasionally in monthly instalments. If you aren’t sure when you should pay your Service Charge, refer to your lease or contact your Property Manager.

How do I pay my Service Charge?
The quickest and most effective way to pay your Service Charge is via Bank Transfer. Register and login to PrimeHub, our secure residents’ portal, where you can view your statement of account and up to date balance. When submitting a payment, please use your unique property reference and the bank details provided to you on the demand (middle section).

What happens if I withhold a payment?
We understand that sometimes legitimate disputes may arise with regards to paying your Service Charge. If this happens and you are unhappy please contact us immediately to discuss any issues. However, as your managing agents, we have an obligation to collect the Service Charge money as per the terms of your lease. Should you not advise us of any dispute, or if we feel your dispute is not legitimate, we will take action to recover any outstanding balance. This action ranges from reminder letters, to court action. We take this action to ensure that your development has the necessary funding to provide a seamless service.

How do you work out the annual Service Charge budget?
For newly built developments, the Service Charge is based on estimated calculated costs. We make every attempt to make sure the budget is accurate based on experience. For established residential buildings, developments and estates, the previous year’s costs are used as a guide to prepare the estimated costs for the coming year. We have no control over charges such as VAT, so we can only anticipate what this is likely to be. For utility costs such as electricity, we endeavour to negotiate competitive rates that are lower than normal domestic tariffs. Our aim is to ensure all utility charges remain as low as possible. We prepare a budget based on the estimated Service Charges for the next financial year a few months before it starts. Any questions on the budget can be put to us and answered.

Annual Service Charge accounts
How do I know how my Service Charge has been spent? Following the end of the development's financial year the annual accounts are prepared and then audited by an independent firm of accountants (if stated in the lease). A summary of expenditure is sent to every owner and the accounts will be fully explained. There is often an adjustment to the Service Charge after the year end as it is unlikely that our estimate will equal the exact amount spent during the year. This adjustment can be a credit if we over estimate or a debit if we under estimate. If we under estimate; an invoice will be sent to you for the balance. If we over estimate, the adjustment will be credited to your account.
Ground rent explained
What is ground rent?
Ground rent is the money you pay as a leaseholder to your landlord, annually, for living at your development as stated in the terms of your lease. It covers rent for the land the property is built on and access rights to any communal gardens and surroundings owned by the Freeholder. Either we will collect this money on the landlord’s behalf or, the landlord will invoice you directly.
Reserve Fund explained?
What are 'Reserve Funds' and what happens to the money collected?
It’s a good idea to save for any un-excepted expenditure. We believe it’s sensible for a development to have its own 'Reserve Fund' subject to the lease. Reserve Funds are collected to help pay towards the cost of non-annual expenditure like major repairs, external and internal decorations. The money is held in the same way as Service Charge funds in a secure account.
How do I inform you of changes to my correspondents or billing address?
If you need to make changes to any information we hold about you, then please contact us in writing or email. We can then amend our records. It is important that you keep us updated of any changes. This ensures we can always reach you with important information regarding your development and charges.
How do I report a maintenance issue?
If you have an emergency and need urgent assistance outside of office hours, please call 01992 663422 and select option 1. If the repair is not urgent and you are a resident, you can report maintenance issues via PrimeHub, our secure residents’ portal. This is the preferred method of reporting and allows full audit tracking, transparency and even allows you to upload photos. Other residents will be able to see the issue has been reported and comment on it if necessary. Our offices are open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
What to do if you’re not happy with our service?
Most complaints stem from a lack of communication. If you feel something has gone wrong with our service then let us know, we can try to put things right quickly and efficiently. If you would prefer we reviewed the matter via our official complaints procedure this can be done in writing or by email. Click below to be taken to the Complaints section of our website. Make a Complaint