Have you reviewed your property insurance?

It’s important you have the right insurance in place for the properties you manage, is it up to date and are you are getting the right cover and best value for you, your leaseholders and residents?

Here are the top 7 insurance tips to consider when reviewing your property insurance:

Specialist advice

Specialist and experienced property insurance providers are best placed to provide the right cover and price. They should be able to search a panel of reputable UK insurers to find the best solutions for you.

Risk Management

Residential managing agents need up-to-date safety and compliance risk management solutions to help clients save money, lives and mitigate risk. Access to expert Risk Management advice should be an integral part of the service offered by your insurance provider.

Insurance Regulations Change

Your insurance provider should keep you up-to-date on any change to regulations, especially after the UK exits the EU.

Specialist covers

Obtain advice on whether the properties you manage need specialist covers such as Directors  & Officers Environmental Liability, Professional Indemnity, Terrorism and where there’s a lift, Engineering.

Client Money Protection

All firms operating within the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in England and Wales are required by law to hold a government approved Client Money Protection scheme membership but there are key differences for managing agents. Letting agents hold around £500,000 of client money whereas residential managing agents may typically hold over £6m and not actually be covered by their lettings CMP scheme.

The “levy schemes” currently available pool the premiums paid by members to pay claims from other members. This works well within the PRS as claim amounts tend to be small, however one claim from a managing agent could cost the premiums paid by all members.

Managing claims

One aspect of insurance that often gives managing agents a headache is having to track the progress of claims which can be time consuming and stressful. The claims management process should offer a 24/7 service for you, leaseholders and residents alike, leaving you free to spend your valuable time elsewhere.

Protect Directors and Officers

Many people don’t realise they can be held personally responsible for errors or omissions when they agree to become a Director of a Residential Management Company or Right to Manage Company. Directors and Officers insurance provide defence costs and compensation if they are held personally liable for a wrongful act whilst working on behalf of leaseholders.

Having the correct level of insurance is essential and should be reviewed on an annual basis.

How to get the most from your Property Management company

GETTING THE BEST FROM YOUR PROPERTY MANAGING AGENT

It is critical to future management arrangements to establish at the outset the role and responsibilities of the property managing agent:

  • what responsibilities and authorities the agent will have;
  • how much service charge money they can spend without your authority;
  • response times and other timescales for action; and
  • the authorised lines of reporting and communication.

Both the individual leaseholders and the agent should be clear as to from whom instructions are to be received. An agent cannot work if expected to receive instructions from all lessees. The usual and most effective arrangement is for the agent to attend, and report to, meetings of the Board of the RMC. In between meetings the Board could nominate one of its directors to be the main point of contact. By treating the agent as a form of general manager, he or she will provide useful input to policy and take overall responsibility for day-to-day affairs. Meetings should be properly organised and the Board’s instructions to the agent clearly minuted. The Board should set clear lines of communication, understood and observed by both sides.

Remember that the agent cannot take instructions from the Board that would put him in breach of any landlord and tenant law, code of practice or other statutory guidance eg health and safety legislation.

The Board should also establish how the agent is to respond to questions from individual residents and his/her accountability to those individuals. The residents should be clearly informed by the Board of the identity of the agent, duties and limits of authority. Although the agent will be working for the residents as a whole, the employer is the Board, and the residents must be clear that the agent carries the authority and support of the Board in respect of all his/her actions. The agent should not be placed in any position of ambiguity in dealing with individual flat-owners and, of course, cannot take instructions from them.

IPM are members of the Institute of Residential Property Management, RICS, ARMA, the property ombudsman and other highly regarding business accreditations. If you’d like to find out more information about our property management service for your development or block of flats, please get in touch on 01302 729 500.

JOB VACANCY – Head of Property Management/Regional Manager

NOW HIRING!

Inspired Property Management are looking for a Head of Property Management/Regional Manager to maintain the excellent standards of leadership, innovation and customer service delivery to our stakeholders. Due to growth within the Northern region we are looking for a senior team member to support Property Managers in delivering the quality, dedicated service we are known for as well as providing innovative solutions alongside industry best practice standards.

As a company we started in 2009 and have seen significant, albeit measured growth within the sector. We have organically grown from a North England office to a Central London office with the consistent delivery of a quality-driven and competent service.

As we expand we are looking to strengthen our leadership team with a Head of Property Management. The opportunity will suit a natural leader with the capability of providing training and development to the team whilst reporting to the Directors on progress and performance.

The core duties of the position include-

  • Ensure management standards are maintained across the portfolio
  • Support Property Managers in record keeping and compliance
  • Manage the performance of the team, ensuring company processes are adhered to
  • Support the team in client/leasehold meetings
  • Act as point of escalation for complex matters with a resolution focused approach
  • Keep updated on legislation, case law and industry standards and disseminate to the team accordingly
  • Ensure all sites are thoroughly inspected with Health and Safety at the forefront
  • Report to Directors periodically as requested

This is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to progress within a forward thinking and ambitious company, known for quality of service.

If you would like an off the record discussion about the role please call David Poppleton on 01302 729500 or email dave@inspiredpm.co.uk for more information.