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Leaseholder, Landlords and Block Management Relationships

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The relationship between leaseholders, landlords and block management companies

Most people living in apartment blocks own the property under the terms of a lease, which means they only own the property for a fixed period of time (typically 99, 125 or 999 years), after which it transfers back into the hands of the landlord, or freeholder if not extended.

When you buy a property under leasehold tenure, you’re usually responsible for everything that falls within your own ‘four walls’, with the landlord taking care of the building that houses the individual flats – although, these maintenance and repair elements are more often than not passed over to a property or block management company.

But what’s the relationship between leaseholders, landlords and the block management company responsible for the day-to-day care of the building? As long as your landlord has found a company to manage this, it doesn’t matter to you, right?

Well, not entirely…

Resident’s Management Companies…

First up, it’s worth noting that some apartment blocks are managed by an RMC – or resident’s management company – run by a board of directors, selected and appointed by the leaseholders.

While this may offer greater control over the management of the apartment block for residents, you are likely to still need the support of an expert property management agent to ensure you’re managing the building effectively, and legally.

The relationship triangle

Assuming your building is managed by an acting agent, the relationship ‘triangle’ between the three parties is thus:

  • Your (the leaseholder) relationship with the landlord/freeholder
  • The freeholder’s relationship with the block management company
  • The management company’s relationship with you (the leaseholder)

While the landlord will have the primary relationship the management company, a good block management agent will also work with the leaseholders to ensure the building is maintained to their satisfaction too.

Why your block management company matters

You wouldn’t let just anybody work on your car, and the same should apply to your building – and don’t forget that while the property management company may be appointed by the freeholder, it’s you, the leaseholders, that pay for their input through your service charges.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea before you buy a leasehold property to do your homework on who’s running the show – after all, if they do a poor job of maintaining the block, the value of your flat, your safety and your general happiness could suffer.

A good block management company will understand the legal regulations that apply to both landlords and leaseholders, including absolute essentials such as health and safety requirements.

Liaising with your landlord as a leaseholder

If something in your building needs doing, it can be frustrating to have to deal directly with a landlord, especially if they’re generally avoidant of adding something to their maintenance ‘to do’ list.

The great thing about a professional block management company is that their reputation hangs on doing their job correctly – and that means that they have a vested interest in keeping the relationship between you and your landlord smooth sailing. They’ll mitigate the risk of maintenance jobs being left, organising a full schedule of works and also ensuring that inspections, repairs and redecorating are carried out to the relevant quality standards.

Additionally, the managing agent has a duty to remain independent, so they do not take actions that go against your rights as a leaseholder – this means that everyone has an element of protection in their relationship dynamic, and there’s an impartial platform for support for both parties, and even between different leaseholders in the case of some disputes.

Finally, the collection of service charges and additional costs for repairs can be managed directly between the agent and the leaseholders, which can bring added confidence for leaseholders that their money is being allocated to the right issues.

We have plenty of first-hand experience in managing apartment blocks across Manchester and the North West and take pride in our work to ensure that our relationships with landlords and leaseholders are built on real satisfaction with our services – while also helping to create good relationships between the parties we serve.