The Growing Importance of Block Managers
21st century living habits are changing and block management lies at the heart of that evolution.
When Philip Hammond announced in the November 2017 budget that the UK needs 300,000 new homes every year, it demonstrated just how seriously builders, planners and property owners need to rethink the nature of the homes we live in.
Brownfield developments are on the up, and there is a growing trend towards redeveloping former industrial properties into desirable residences. In towns, cities and suburbs, there is a perceptible shift towards leasehold properties with shared communal spaces and resources that offer a high standard of living and make the most efficient use of space.
In years gone by, this might have conjured an image of apartment blocks with unkempt corridors, unreliable lifts and storage or laundry rooms that residents would enter at their own risk. Today, block management companies in Essex and across the country ensure shared facilities remain clean, safe and in optimum condition.
What does block management involve?
Anyone who lives in a leasehold property will be aware that they pay a monthly or annual service charge. This is for the maintenance and upkeep of those shared facilities. It might involve cutting the grass, servicing lifts, hoovering corridors and so on. In the bad old days of the late 20th century, the actual performance of these tasks was often sporadic at best, leaving residents to wonder what their money was actually being spent on.
With a professional block manager, tasks like these are performed on time every time. Whether it is cleaning, repairs, maintenance, even HSE inspections and audits, the block maintenance company acts as the central contact. They coordinate with contractors, and the buck stops with them to ensure all services are carried out to a high standard.
Protecting everyone’s interests
Of course, having a block manager is good news for residents. It provides them with a pleasant living environment and enhances the value of their homes. In addition, it means that in the event that something goes wrong, for example a faulty lift or a sticking lock on an external shared door, they know exactly who to call to make sure it is being dealt with.
However, there are likewise benefits for property owners and landlords. The block management firm will proactively ensure the property is maintained in the best possible condition, thereby protecting the owner’s investment. They will also relieve much of the aggravation that can be part and parcel of being a property owner by taking control of day to day management and maintenance issues that can otherwise be time-consuming and stress-inducing.
Specialist knowledge and support
Managing the day to day needs of a block might be the main responsibility of a block manager, but their expertise can bring additional benefits. These include dealing with insurance policies and claims, coordinating with solicitors when residents are buying or selling within the block and even dealing directly with the collection of ground rent.
Homes are changing to accommodate the challenges of the 21st century and effective block management lies right at the heart of those changes.