Fell Reynolds have grown over the last 20 years by way of recommendation. Our new business comes either from existing managed properties where our clients have had a problem with the management service in terms of cost or the day to day service being provided. Our New Business Team work with potential clients to ascertain their needs before putting forward a management scheme. By working closely with our clients, we can devise a bespoke management service.
We will arrange the handover process with our client or the previous managing agent. This will include the preparation of a service charge budget and obtaining the financial information for each leaseholder and other accounting information. Where appointed to be the Company Secretary, our Company Secretarial Team will take care of the handover process and the necessary communications with Companies House.
We have a detailed knowledge of communal heating systems, pumped water supplies, maintenance of play areas, etc which all require specialist knowledge and the New Start Up Team take all these in their stride.
Since the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002, leaseholders in blocks of flats have had the right to manage their own buildings and appoint a manager, without resorting to the courts or tribunal as it does not require the landlord’s consent. There are however some exclusions, for example, freehold houses and this right applies only to leasehold properties.
As a director of an RTM Company, you will need to have the same experience and comply with the same legislation as we do. Failure to comply can be costly and make you vulnerable to personal liability. Fell Reynolds can guide you through the process of RTM and assisting with the setting up of your new management company. As the communal areas of both apartment buildings and estates are open to the public, therefore the freeholder or management company will be responsible for the safety of residents, employees and members of the public. The directors are responsible for complying with numerous Acts of Parliament where health and safety has been introduced.
Each development has a dedicated Property Manager who in turn is supported by an assistant. The Property Manager will be responsible for the day to day running of their clients’ properties and will be the main contact with clients. The Property Manager is experienced in management, placing of contracts and undertaking regular property inspections and the team will arrange the major works consultation process.
Before the start of each financial year, we will meet with the client to discuss a budget for the forthcoming year. The budget will be the result of analysing previous year’s expenditure, identifying where savings can be made and also include sums for planned future major works, etc.
Once the budget has been approved, it will be circulated to the contributors, followed by the demands.
Although we have a number of RICS qualified surveyors in-house, we prefer to use the services of local surveyors to specify, tender and administer contracts on our clients’ properties. We tender this process to get value for money.
The consultation procedure required by the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 amended the Section 20 process of the 1987 Act so that major works costing more than £250 for the largest contributor or £100 per annum for a long term contract requires consultation. The process is in four parts, namely:
- (i) A Notice of Intent describing the nature of the works and an invitation to leaseholders to put forward contractors is served on each leaseholder contributor.
- (ii) After taking into account the observations of the Notice of Intent, a specification is prepared and circulated to suitable contractors, including those put forward by leaseholders.
- (iii) The second stage of the Section 20 process is to circulate the result of the tenders and invite leaseholders to make any observations.
- (iv) It is usual to accept the lowest priced contractor. However, if this is not the case then a further Notice is required explaining why the most competitive contractor is not being employed and the reasons for this.
Compliance with the Act requires Notice to be served at the appropriate time and this is quoted for separately within our management contract.
Fell Reynolds has no contractual relationship with any contractors and are therefore wholly independent.
Our Management Team operate a 24/7 out of hours service and are linked to our contractors’ database to ensure out of hours emergencies can be dealt with.
By working closely with our insurance brokers, Arthur J Gallagher, we can arrange our clients’ building insurance, be it for houses or flats where our clients have an obligation to insure. By including your property on a block insurance policy with in excess of £5,000,000 on cover, substantial savings are often achieved. In some cases, the savings in premium equates to a large part of our management fee. Although not financial advisers, we can provide a quotation to include you on our block policy if you become a management client of the firm.
PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE
It is normal for public liability insurance to be included within the block insurance where clients have the obligation to insure the buildings and communal areas of the building. Where properties are owned freehold and each owner is responsible to insure, there will still be an obligation for the client to insure the public open space including gardens, play equipment, roads and pathways. We have again arranged with our brokers to place a consolidated public liability insurance policy which offers substantial savings.
In addition to buildings insurance where it is the responsibility of clients to insure plant and machinery, i.e. lifts, electric gates, fountains, pumped water supplies, etc, engineering insurance is required to provide regular inspections by independent assessors and cover in respect of the use of equipment.
DIRECTOR’S & OFFICER’S INSURANCE
An often overlooked area of insurance, many of our clients are volunteer directors of small management companies who nevertheless have an obligation to comply with the lease and the same legislation as ourselves. We have therefore asked our insurance brokers to arrange competitive cover to protect the directors in respect of personal claims against them or the company.
No two Management Agreements are the same because the service is tailored to each property. We do however have a template Management Agreement which we can send to you which clearly sets out our fees and what is expected from us and from you.
Fell Reynolds does not accept commission from contractors or insurers and are thus able to offer completely impartial advice, having our clients’ best interests at heart.
Fell Reynolds are members of the following bodies and are subject to regulatory review to ensure compliance:
As a member firm of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, both the practice and RICS qualified staff are subject to regulatory review and training. http://www.rics.org/uk/
(II) ARMA Q
As members of the Association of Managing Agents, we are bound to accept the ARMA Q Consumer Charter which sets out a basis for regulation and the standards which can be expected of an ARMA member. http://arma.org.uk/http://arma.org.uk/leasehold-library/document/arma-q-standards-and-consumer-charter/page/1
(III) INSURANCE CLAIMS HANDLING REGULATION
Fell Reynolds are regulated under the RICS Professional Body Scheme and thus compliant with the FCA requirements for dealing with insurance mediation.
Once instructed, we will take the strain and arrange to collect the required information from the existing agent and your accountants in respect of the financial, contractual and Company Secretarial roles.
Where our clients have the obligation to or choose to employ a caretaker/cleaner, we will provide the following services:
- Conduct interviews and/or shortlist candidates with our clients, take up references and set up or transfer an employee under TUPE, etc.
- If there is a change of employer or agent, we will administer your employee’s payroll in-house using specialist software which links directly with HMRC.
- Clear statements of the payroll management, overtime and expenses recovery is provided.
Although the 2006 Companies Act dispenses with the need for a private limited company to appoint a Company Secretary unless the Memorandum & Articles of the company requires it, most directors of management companies still choose to instruct us to undertake this function. Our Company Secretarial Team will handle:
- The maintenance of the Share and Members Register.
- The filing of the Annual Accounts.
- The filing of the company’s Annual Returns.
- Arranging of and attendance at General Meetings of the company.
We have secure Internet links with Companies House database to ensure that information about your company is kept up to date.
The fee for this service will depend on both the size and complexity of the company structure.
Our New Management Team will meet with you and assess your requirements, whether it be a change of agent, a new build or simply the management company wishing to be relieved of the day to day burden of management.
We will tailor our services to suit your needs and will quote a fee depending on the services, number of inspections and the number of meetings required. Our fees are usually based on a fee per unit per annum in accordance with ARMA recommendations.
How Do I Change Managing Agent?
- Before doing anything, we will be pleased to discuss your requirements and put forward our recommendations in terms of budget and a Management Agreement.
- You will need to consider the period of notice in your existing contract before notifying your agent in writing.
- Once your contract notice has expired, we will obtain the necessary information from the previous agent to ensure a seamless transition.
Fell Reynolds have a dedicated Accounts Team who specialise in service charge management. Once the budget has been agreed, they will take over the issuing of demands.
COLLECTION OF GROUND RENT
If you or your company collect ground rent or rent charges from your leaseholders, we will serve the necessary ground rent notices and account to you on a regular basis. We will provide regular arrears reports and recommend the appropriate course of action to collect any outstanding sums.
ACCOUNTING FOR SERVICE CHARGES
The law surrounding the demanding and accounting for service charge monies is somewhat complex. Once the budget is approved, we will issue the necessary demands and rights under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
Fell Reynolds manage properties in England and Wales and are therefore familiar with the additional requirements imposed by the Welsh Regulations.
We will provide regular Expenditure Reports, showing the expenditure against budget, Arrears Reports and cash balances at dates of your choosing.
YEAR END ACCOUNTS
At the end of the year, the Accounts Team will provide you and your contributors with a set of accounts which will be certified by an independent Chartered Accountant. If required, we will also supply a bound set of invoices for your information.
In the unlikely event that a contributor fails to pay their ground rent or service charge, we will issue the necessary letters before action and instruct a specialist debt collection agent to act on your behalf. We are experienced at giving evidence in Court and representing our clients at First Tier Tribunal, although additional charges will apply depending on the nature of the case.