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  • Property Management

    Free hold Director vs Management agent charge

    Hello

    We are part of the board that holds the freehold of our set of flats, we recently decided to remove our management agent  from the "secretarial services" as they were charging originally £15.00 and from one year to an other it went to £400.00

    Now we have our first request from one flatonwer solicitor  to supply a "Notice of Charge" . I have found some templates in internet, but I am not sure what to do with them and if the management agent needs to be involved in this generation of documents or if it is something that the directors can produce without charging money to the flatowner....

    Help!! we dont know what is needed ... at what need to be updated in the companies house or if it is something that is for the internal files. ??

    Cheers

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    As far as I know, its the flat owner's solicitor that supplies you (the management company) the notice of charge.
    It's just them letting you know, that the leaseholder has a mortgage taken out on the property.
    You have to reply and confirm, that it's been recorded ( I think ).

    You can typically employ a solicitor and charge the flat leaseholder per request like this.
    Doing a DIY job may save that leaseholder some money but doing it wrong could put all leaseholders at risk (well kinda).
    So you should do it properly.

    Have you considered signing up to https://arma.org.uk/
    If you're running the management company, could probably consider the training and events.


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    The team at Bespoke Finance offers advice, including Limited Company Buy-to-Let , HMO Conversion and Cheap Life Insurance.

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    Hi Adam.


    I think, I will need to accept that the agent, has that knowledge and let them do it. plus charge for it.


    Cheers


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    I suggest you appoint a firm of solicitors to deal with the company’s secretarial services and they will be able to deal with this - I would expect a cost of between £150 and £250 per annum for secretarial services and a separate charge for dealing with the Notice.  The lease is likely to refer to a time limit for this to be dealt with.


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    Hi Mario

    First question i have for you is do you (the board of Directors) hold an insurance policy called Directors and Officers insurance? This covers you against making decisions as Directors wrongly (this is a very broad generalisation). The reason for the question is that previously you paid the agent a fee to do a service and if they did it wrong you sued them (again a generalisation). Now that you (the board) are undertaking legal activities such as accepting notice of charges you are now liable to be sued by the other leaseholders if you do it wrong.

    The reason for the notice of charge is for you to accept the property is technically owned by the bank. This allows the bank to then place a charge on the property at land registry.

    In my previous role as MD of a property management company (the agent) i would always ask the directors if they were happy being liable or if they wanted us to be liable. The leaseholders won't say thank you for a minor service charge reduction but will happily sue you if your wrong. I'm afraid the saying "no good deed goes unpunished" applies to this issue

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    Hello Burkitt


    I agree, we are doing it to save the community money, but no one is able to come and help... so yes, the best will be that we go back to them and let the world role as it is...


    Cheers


    Flor

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    You might be finding out what your agent did for their money!

    The costs of dealing with notices should be met by the leaseholders, so should not be a charge to the company.  I suggest that you get a solicitor to act for the company and for their charges to be met by the leaseholder.  In most cases a competent agent will deal with notices; that's partly what you are paying the annual fee for. They will know the intricacies of each property, there can be differences in set up and approach.

    In my experience the leaseholders' solicitors provide the documentation and the management company simply has to acknowledge, but there can be variations.

    Do not download documents from the internet.  If you do not know precisely what you are doing, this is a recipe for disaster.

    Self-management is rarely worth the hassle - you're essentially taking on a liability to save your neighbours a few quid.  As someone else said above, you should get D and O insurance; we recommend this even where there is a managing agent.  The directors are still liable for the agents actions and will have to make executive decisions.

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    Graham, perfectly explained and I agree, D&O should be in place regardless of there being an agent or not. Boards at buildings often feel a pressure to save money as they have to justify the budgets to leaseholders. I've seen this lead to really bad decisions being made and boards often putting themselves at risk to save others (who dont want to be Directors) a few pounds.

    Everyone dislikes managing agents but I would simply say you have the wrong one, not to get rid of the safety of an agent totally.

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