Is your building at risk from lack of maintenance?
By Damien Finnegan
Managing and maintaining blocks of flats effectively require a strategic approach.
This not only saves considerable time and money, it will ultimately increase the asset value for all stakeholders in the long term.
The most effective strategy for keeping a property in prime condition is through a comprehensive schedule for its upkeep repair and renewal. Known as A Planned Maintenance Programme or a Capital Expenditure Plan (PMP/Capex Plan), it provides an essential blueprint for maintaining a property. It allows major works, repairs and redecoration to be properly planned and scheduled with priority and cost certainty. These plans also assist management when setting appropriate level of service charges to assist will collecting necessary maintenance funds.
Not implementing and following a PMP or a Capex Plan and failing to collect sufficient reserve funds are two of the seven most common mistakes that property managers and boards of directors make. The others are:
- Not knowing and understanding their building
- Failing to get expert advice in time
- Having insufficient information to make informed decisions
- Not addressing known problems head on
- Frequently spending small sums of money on reactive repairs
It’s a legal requirement
Section 20 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 stipulates that landlords must consult tenants who pay a variable service charge before committing to spending money on the building. Also, under Section 19 of the Act, service charges are payable “only to the extent that they are reasonably incurred”. Therefore, when conducting a Section 20 consultation on proposed works, landlords must take into account recovering costs under the lease, bearing in mind the reasonableness requirements of Section 19.
Appointing the right experts when considering building and repair works will ensure that the legal obligations are met.
Health & Safety
Health & Safety is the responsibility of the landlord, block directors (including Resident Management or Right to Manage Companies) and managing agents – effectively those responsible for a building. Whether it is asbestos, fire safety, Legionellosis Testing, electrical testing, plant assessments, risk assessments, fire insurance valuations etc., it is essential to seek the necessary professional guidance and advice from appropriately qualified and competent experts in order to reduce risk.
Appropriately experienced Chartered Building Surveyors will provide the right advice to assist in ensuring that the property manager has taken all necessary health & safety considerations into account. The surveyor can also facilitate in scoping and procuring necessary services and providing a supporting platform to assist informed decision making and appointment of appropriate independent professional expertise. (For more information, visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/index.htm
The role of the property manager is to act as the client’s agent and therefore advise when the assistance of Chartered Building Surveyors or other specialist or technical expertise is required to assist with inspecting and advising on the technical aspects or strategic planning and budgeting for necessary repair and maintenance of buildings and estates.
Keeping residential blocks and other managed premises in prime condition requires careful planning, preparing and budgeting for major works and maintenance – including selecting the right professionals and contractors – as well as effective project management. Ultimately, having a proper PMP/Capex Plan saves time, money and protects the property from serious deteriorations, leading to more costly, reactive repairs.
If you would like to know more about PMP/Capex plans, please call on 020 3137 8078 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on 30 March, 2016