How Your Service Charge is Calculated
Under the terms of most Leases, we estimate at the beginning of each financial year the predicted total expenditure for the year. This estimate or budget is based on known expenditure from the previous year, quotes from contractors/insurers and/or our knowledge of the local market. The service charge demands for the year will be based on the budget –however, it is just an estimate and charges may be subject to adjustments after the end of the financial year.
Audited Accounts and AGM
At the end of the financial year, the accounts for your property will either be certified or audited by a qualified accountant. In the case of registered management companies, a Chartered Accountant will prepare accounts to submit to Companies House. This process ensures that accurate financial records are being maintained and that you are kept informed of the financial health. We usually hold a General Meeting or meeting of residents every year in order to present the accounts and discuss with residents the management of the block.
If during the year there is a shortage of funds either due to a budget overspend or an agreed special project then we will issue a ‘levy’ or additional service charge invoice to cover the shortfall. This will only be issued where it has been agreed with resident directors and is necessary for the proper management of the building.
Section 20 Works
Where the cost of repairs to the block would be greater than £250 per flat in any financial year, then the managing agent will consult with all residents by issuing two statutory notices. The first notice will detail the works to be undertaken and the second will detail the quotes for the work. In both cases you have the opportunity to comment on what is being proposed.
Subletting Your Flat
If you wish to sublet your flat then most leases state that you must first obtain the permission from the freeholder or managing agent. Such permission will only be granted on the condition that the subtenant agrees to comply with the general terms and regulations contained in the lease. Before subletting you should check with your building society or bank. If you wish to sublet your flat please click here and complete the online form.
Buildings Insurance and Insurance Claims
On most blocks of flats the buildings insurance is arranged by Rebbeck Brothers on behalf of the Management Company or freeholder. However, in some cases the freeholder may choose to have their own policy. The insurance policy (a summary of which is available for a small charge) generally covers the following risks:-
Fire, flood, storm, subsidence, vandalism, theft/break-in damage, escape of water, collision, third party and public liability (terms and conditions and exclusions may apply). The insurance does not cover the contents of each flat. When you think there is a claim to be made against the building insurance, please contact this office for further advice.
Service Charge Arrears
Where a leaseholder fails to pay their service charge or other charges in accordance with the terms of their lease, their account is said to be in arrears – on our statement a “dr” will show next to the figure outstanding. If leaseholders fail to pay their service charge then we, as managing agents, are unable to pay contractors to maintain the property – in certain circumstances services may have to be withdrawn until funds are available. Where leaseholders are in arrears we will issue two written warnings before obtaining the freeholder’s or resident director’s consent to refer the matter to solicitors for debt recovery through the Courts. In this case the leaseholder will incur additional charges. In certain circumstances an alternative approach such as application to forfeit the lease may be followed rather than a County Court Judgement.
As you may be aware the 25th May 2018 sees a new piece of legislation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) come into force. This changes the way in which companies collect, store and process your personal information.
To make things easier and more transparent for you, we have updated our Privacy Notice which explains in more detail what we do with your personal information, your rights relating to the information we hold about you and lessees at your property and how we use and protect it.
Rebbeck Brothers – Unreasonable Behaviour Policy
Following an industry wide review of staff wellbeing undertaken by ARMA and IRPM there is evidence of an increase in ‘unreasonable behaviour’ against members employees. We understand that managing people’s homes requires dealing with customers that have an emotional investment and this can sometimes cause distress and make dealing with customers difficult. We are prepared and have tools to enable us to ease such conversations and provide effective resolutions to these problems.
Occasionally however, there may be instances when we deal with an individual whose behaviour is considered unreasonable. We have a duty to ensure that our staff are properly protected, in accordance with our health and safety obligations and our general responsibility to safeguard their welfare. We do not expect our staff to tolerate unreasonable behaviour.
Rebbeck Brothers has adopted the policy wording provided by its regulatory bodies; this is available on our web site and will also be attached to each email that we send. We would like to thank all of our valued clients’ for their understanding.
Fire Safety in Flats
This leaflet is for people living in flats, for landlords and for those responsible for residential buildings. The advice and tips provided here supplement our main Fire Safety in the Home leaflet.