Periodic Audit of Regulation and Compliance – August 2021

As you are aware from the discussions with your property manager, our emails and letters as well as national media, the property management industry is changing. Following the unfortunate Grenfell disaster and subsequent inquiry, much greater emphasis is now being placed on fire safety with changes to the law currently going through Parliamentary procedures. In addition, we now operate in a more consumer led, litigious environment which is exposing the managing agent as well as the appointed directors at the block (you), contractors  and members of freehold companies to risk and liability. Whilst most interested parties will have some form of insurance cover to protect their position, this will be limited and also contains conditions and exclusions – the work that we do in the background and the advice that we provide is aimed at ensuring everyone’s’ safety and minimising expose to risk.

Over the last few years we have invested heavily in MRI Qube; this highly regarded accounting and property management software has enabled us to streamline the way that we deal with compliance and regulation requirements at the properties we manage. This includes a comprehensive diary and note function which ensures that key events like fire risk assessments, communal wiring checks, asbestos reviews and fire safety systems (alarm panels, lightning conductors, smoke vents, dry and wet risers) are recorded, periodically reviewed and any actions arising followed up. The actions arising are becoming more onerous and I have previously emailed you about this in relation to setting budgets. Understandably we do quite often receive resistance and ‘kick back’ to these safety and regulation requirements – but the advice of fire risk assessors, qualified surveyors, sometimes solicitors and our own team is being given to ensure safety, save lives, protect liability of interested parties and ensure that we are managing properties in compliance with the law, safety regulations, your lease, the terms of various insurance policies and the requirements of any loans/mortgages secured against properties.

Over the next few weeks our property management team will be undertaking a thorough review of every block we manage to ensure that all compliance and regulation records are up to date and that actions arising are being followed through. Whilst this is managed on a daily basis as a matter of routine, this area of work is so important it is essential that we undertake a periodic audit like this. Once complete your property manager will update you on the status for your block and any actions that need attention. In order to complete this, we have asked property managers to block out up to 8 mornings in August where they will be unavailable – on these mornings they will be concentrating on this audit and will not be answering their direct dial or responding to emails. The mornings in question are Tuesday 3, 10, 17 and 24th August and Thursday 5, 12, 19 and 26th August. If the audit takes less time then of course mangers will remain available in the usual ways. In the case of an emergency, our landline 01202 780780 will still be answered and our accounts team and insurance manager are unaffected by this.

Thank you for your cooperation and your understanding in recognising the importance of this work and its application to the safety of everyone at your block.