God-Tier property and estate management
Vixus Property Management’s knowledge centre is an area where you can find information and guidance in relation to your property and the management that you can expect to receive. We provide a list of the most frequently asked question as well as the latest industry and regulatory information.
Why a property management company?
Why a Property Management Company? Why not self manage?
Below sets out the role of a managing agent to give you an idea of what to expect for your management fee. Each managing agent does things a little differently though, so its best to speak to your proposed agents about the service they plan to deliver at your property
What is a managing agent?
The managing agent is the company appointed by the freeholder or Resident Management Company (RMC), Right to Manage (RTM) company to run and manage the building and services. They will collect service charges from leaseholders in accordance with the terms of the lease. The service charges will include management fees which are their fees for this service. This is usually only a very small element of the total service charge.
What does a managing agent do?
Managing agents manage the property in accordance with the terms of the lease and statutory requirements on behalf of their client (e.g. landlord, RTM or RMC) The role of a managing agent requires knowledge of landlord and tenant law, building construction, health and safety regulations, accounting and much more.
There are benefits of professional management and the services provided by the managing agent will be covered within the Management Agreement. The duties of the managing agents are based on contract, not legislation. The Management Agreement will cover the duties the client has asked the managing agent to perform.
Who appoints a managing agent?
A managing agent is appointed by the person or company who has the legal responsibility for the delivery of services of the landlord under the terms of the lease. Flat owners may acquire management responsibilities through acquisition of the freehold of the building, through the statutory RTM or through a RMC, a company set up to deliver the services on behalf of the landlord under the terms of the lease.
Through this they will assume responsibility for the management and day-to-day repair of the building, compliance with obligations of the lease and statutory requirements and the lease sets out what services they must deliver. Legal responsibility for the management of the property and the ultimate responsibility for the full and proper management will remain with the landlord, RMC/RTM, etc.
The RMC/RTM company may self-manage, or they may wish to appoint a managing agent to act on their behalf to manage the property. If you wish to self- manage, ARMA has a membership category for RMC/ RTM directors.
The client (landlord, RMC/RTM, etc) will always have the final legal responsibility for the full and proper management of the property, but, through the Management Agreement, are delegating the day-to-day activities to the manager as duly appointed managing agent.
Using an agent passes some of the responsibility for compliance with leases, laws and codes of practice to the agent. BUT the directors of an RMC/RTM company are responsible for setting policy and monitoring the work of the agent.
Services of a managing agent will be paid for through a management fee and these are collected within the service charge, which are costs which leaseholders have to pay for services provided to the building such as repairs and maintenance, gardening, cleaning of the common parts and it can also include insurance.
The duties will be agreed between the managing agent and the client. These will be contained within the Management Agreement and any additional services outside the management fee which may be incurred should also be detailed within a menu of charges, which may be a schedule or appendix to the main contract and which also need to be agreed between the client and the managing agent. Leaseholders may request to see a basic summary of the contractual terms and duties that the managing agent provides to the client. Resident Management Company (RMC)
A company set up to deliver the services on behalf of the landlord under the terms of the lease. The lease- holders are usually shareholders.
What duties might a managing agent provide?
- Opening and handling bank accounts – ensuring these are held in client bank accounts
- Preparation of an annual budget for service charges
- Regular billing and collection of service charges and management fee which is contained within the service charges
- Provision of a periodic budget report of income, expenditure and cash flow to the client
- Preparation of service charge year-end accounts
- Service charges
- Monies collected from leaseholders to maintain the structure of the building and common parts and pay for any services provided.
- Preparation of a reserve fund plan for future major works and maintenance when the lease allows
- Weekly/monthly payment of wages and other invoices
- Arrears collection management
- Checking and allocating invoices, paying
- contractors and reconciling bank accounts.
- Attend to routine enquiries from leaseholders and residents
- Respond to solicitors’ and leaseholders’ enquiries regarding assignments and licences.
- Ensure compliance with the terms of leases and policy agreed with the Board and where
- Reserve funds/ Sinking funds Money collected towards future major
- Held in trust to ensure money is available when the works are required.
- necessary, subject to landlord authorisation, instruct solicitors in relation to breaches
- Represent the landlord at County Court, arbitration and Tribunals
- The agent distinguishes between the needs and duties of the company under the Companies Acts and the needs and duties of the company in its separate role as landlord under the leases and the relevant landlord and tenant legislation
- Subletting, changes of use and handling requests for any necessary approvals.
- Risk management, fire and health and safety compliance
- Organising periodic health and safety checks, fire risk assessments, asbestos and legionella checks and ensuring appropriate risk assessments are in place
- Arranging for specialist checks and tests by contractors and specialists.
Repairs and maintenance
- Administration of insurance claims
- Repair and maintenance management
- Deal with day-to-day repairs and maintenance promptly and efficiently
- Preparation of maintenance plans and contracts for plant and machinery
- Prepare and monitor major building works not covered by annual contracts, dealing with
- Section 20 consultations, liaising with specialist consultants
- Preparing specifications and contracts for minor works and services
- Site inspections to check conditions and dealing with necessary repairs
- Management of on-site staff e.g. concierge, porters
- Section 20
- Prepare job descriptions for employees and specifications for contractors and go to competitive tender
- Supervise any employees and regular contractors such as cleaners etc on behalf of the employer.
Supporting the RMC/RTM company Board and landlord
- Advise the Board on residential landlord and tenant procedures
- Advise the Board on a suggested management policy
- Attend Board meetings and, if agreed, be responsible for producing minutes
- Provide a status report of financial, maintenance and legal matters
- Report on significant leaseholder communications
- Document management procedures and issues
- Produce a periodic newsletter to residents and other circulars
- Keep the Board informed of the status of agreed actions
- Company secretarial work, for example preparation and distribution of the notices for the AGM/EGMs (NB – not all managing agents will be willing to offer this service)