Block Management Sector Code Set to Establish Best Practice For Managing Agents
As reported by The Negotiator, RICS, alongside The Property Ombudsman (TPO), has launched a consultation on its Block Management Sector Code, which has been designed to establish ‘clear standards and principles for all agents involved in the management of leasehold and commonhold property, and estates of freehold houses.’
The purpose of this is to raise the standard of block management, thereby improving the experience of consumers and others working within the sector. This will involve:
· Increasing transparency over service charges and management fees
· Providing support for dealing with occupier disputes
· Offering guidance on how best to work with residents’ associations in new/diverse ways, including use of social media
· Updating complaints processes
· Providing clear instructions on best practice for securing new business
The relationship between tenants/homeowners and block managing agents can be a fragile one, often due to a lack of transparency or the existence of rogue agents.
By creating a code of practice, RICS is aiming to pre-empt fractured relationships between home users and managing agents, and ensuring all parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Between our completion manuals and Spaciable, we are in a strong position to help developers and managing agents convey this information and ensure compliance with the new Code.
Our manuals are often used to outline important block management information, including complaints procedures, contact details, responsibilities of the management company and details of the service charge, while Spaciable can be used by developer or managing agent admins to upload important documents relating to the block, be it the fire strategy, community events or safety information, as well as send notifications to residents, either at development, phase or plot level. This again ensures greater transparency, while creating a common space for managing agents and home users to communicate.
Alongside the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB), there seems to be a real push within the industry to raise the standard of customer experience. It’s therefore essential developers and managing agents keep up-to-date with new legislation and regulations, and, as always, we can help ensure that not only are they compliant, but elevate the experience they provide in an increasingly competitive environment.