Service level and standards
Do you offer out of hours’ emergency service?
We offer a full 24/7, 365 days a year emergency service line
How do you deal with complaints?
We have a system of escalation whereby complaints are first considered by our head of property management. If the complaint is not satisfied at that stage it is escalated to the Managing Director. Beyond that we are registered with Ombudsman Services who provide a free complaint resolution service.
Are you registered under the data protection act?
We fully comply with the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and will only obtain relevant information that is used for communication purposes and take appropriate steps against unauthorised processing, accidental loss or damage to personal data.
How often do Property managers visit our site?
Property Managers usually carry quarterly site inspections over the course of the year. However, as property management is a diverse area of the industry, there will be many situations where Property Managers will attend the property for meeting contractors, leaseholders and overseeing works. These are usually arranged as and when they are required and, in most attendances, the property will be generally inspected.
What is your proposal for estate wide communication, service charge and budget including IT facilities?
BLR online will provide an easier way to communicate with property managers and anyone else associated with the building. Building directors can easily share news, arrange votes on issues, book meetings and much more. At the click of a button you can see what’s happening in your building and use our communication tools to turn your building into a community. Some key features are as follows
Log maintenance issues or building problems at a time to suit you.
See maintenance tasks and their “real-time” status
Never again chase for an update – just look on your website
Understand all the things that go on in your building – not just those that affect you directly
Know which workmen to expect in your building, when to expect them and what the outcome should be
Directors of residents’ management companies can be granted a higher level of access to enable them to access debtors’ reports, budget comparison reports, expenditure to date reports, etc. – in real time.
Service Charge Accounts
Where is service charge money kept, how is it administered?
We hold the Service Charge monies in a dedicated Trust account at Barclays Bank. This type of account complies with the requirements of The Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 Section 42.
How do you manage reserve funds?
We hold the reserve funds in a separate trust account. The funds are shown separately in the accounts and shown separately on the service charge demands and the budget. The amount of reserve funds demanded is based on cost estimate contained within the planned maintenance programme and subject to the agreement of the Client.
How do you deal with Cash flow?
Our property management system has an automated funds and budget test. Any job order must pass these tests in order to be approved. This is to ensure that funds are available before committing to any expenditure
To maintain a positive cash-flow we programme the larger expenditure items such as buildings insurance to become payable in the later part of each service charge period in order to ensure that the maximum level of funds are available to meet the expense.
How do you deal with unpaid service charge?
In the event that service charge payment is not made by the due date, our system generates reminder letters to the registered owner(s) for the overdue balances. After all, we all need a gentle reminder sometimes. Whenever possible, if the account remains unpaid, we will make endeavour to make contact with a view to discussing acceptable payment terms. Legal proceedings are undertaken against non-paying residents only after all possible negotiations and agreements have been exhausted.
We carefully balance and protect our clients’ funds, recognising that their income flow needs to be assured, whilst also trying to be scrupulously fair to residents. Where necessary we undertake Land Registry searches to enable us to contact anyone with a legal interest in a property and, as a matter of courtesy, keep them fully advised about any action being taken.
Contractors and procurements
Can you provide reliable contractors?
We have an approved list of contractors who are regularly checked for relevant documentation and accreditation. We ensure that their public liability and employers liability insurance is up to date and that they have a current health and safety policy. All contractors (including companies nominated by leaseholders) are vetted prior to instructing works to be carried out within the internal and external communal area of the properties.
For larger contracts we request copies of contractor’s accounts or request a bank reference to ensure they have the funds required to complete the works in accordance with the payment terms.
Can we continue to use our own contractors?
If you wish to use your own contractors for works within your individual flats, BLR will not need to be informed of the contractors you wish to appoint. However, any works to be undertaken within the common parts of the building, both internal and external, would need to be approved and have the accreditation, health and safety and Public Liability Insurance details provided in advance.
Under Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 where formal consultation is required, leaseholders have the option of nominating their own contractors. In these circumstances we first obtain the required documentation to ensure all nominated contractors are approved and vetted before being invited to tender for works.
Can you supply references for blocks you manage?
Our clients are happy to provide references and this can be arranged upon request.