Frequently Asked Questions
Many leaseholders purchase a leasehold property without fully being aware of their responsibilities or infact the rules and regulations that they need to abide by. Our team are happy to help with any queries leaseholders may have when living within leasehold properties, below are the most commonly asked questions answered. Should you require any further assistance please contact us.
How do I change my address?
You can change your address by logging into the tenant portal or by clicking the link here which will take you to another page to complete and one of our team will be in touch to confirm the change once you have submitted the form.
You can change your correspondence address by logging into the tenant portal and editing the ‘My Details’ page or alternatively by clicking the link here and completing the request form. One of our team will be in touch to confirm the changes.
How do I request all my correspondence to be sent via email?
You can set your ‘Method of Correspondence’ by logging into the tenant portal and editing the ‘My Details’ page or alternatively by clicking the link here and completing the request form. One of our team will be in touch to confirm the changes.
Why do I pay a service charge?
Your service charge is your legal apportionment of the share of the costs incurred in maintaining, renewing, replacing and insuring the communal areas and structure of your building in accordance with the terms of your lease, for example, costs for cleaning the communal areas, ground maintenance, lifts maintenance, repairs and maintenance within the communal areas.
How do I know what my service charge is spent on?
At the end of each financial year, statements are prepared by an independent accountant showing income and expenditure for your property. The statements are circulated to all leaseholders, who can be provided with further details of any items of expenditure upon request.
How do I pay for my service charge?
As a leaseholder you will receive a service charge demand at the frequency your lease dictates, typically annually, half yearly or quarterly. You can pay the demanded amount either by standing order, telephone / internet banking or by debit or credit by either logging into your designated client login page or by calling our office. If you have any queries regarding your service charge account please contact us to discuss.
What if I have a maintenance issue?
As managing agents, we would only become involved with an issue should this be within the communal areas or estate of the property. Anything maintenance related within your own apartment would be the responsibility of the owner. Should you be aware of a communal maintenance issue on site please click here to report this. Thank you
What is an anticipated service charge demand?
Most leases contain a provision for the Landlord/Management Company to raise anticipated service charge demands in advance of the year end to meet the expected expenditure to be incurred during the financial year of the development. Where a service charge is payable before the relevant costs are incurred, it must be a reasonable amount.
What is a balancing adjustment?
Best practice is for Managing Agents to produce year end accounts and service charge certificates within 6 months of the developments financial year end. Leaseholders have a legal obligation to contribute to their allocated proportion of actual costs incurred. The service charge certificate will detail the total payable by the leaseholder as well as the total anticipated service charges demanded during the related financial year. Should the proportion of actual costs incurred be greater than the total of the anticipated demands, the leaseholder will be required to make payment of the balance. However should the proportion of actual costs incurred be lower than the total of anticipated demands, a credit will be made to the leaseholders account to be offset against future demands.
WHY HAS A SECTION 20 NOTICE NOT BEEN ISSUED FOR LARGE ITEMS OF ANTICIPATED EXPENDITURE?
The lease will generally provide a mechanism for invoicing and recoverability of service charges to ensure the required works and services can be carried out. The lease should contain a service charge year end with an anticipated service charge budget to be implemented with on-account service charges invoiced to each tenant on the dates determined in the lease. The anticipated budget is to contain all estimated costs for all services likely to be incurred during this 12-month period. Should the anticipated budget not provide sufficient funds for required works, the works would be unable to be instructed until sufficient funds are raised in the following service charge year.
Modern Leases and various legislative acts and guidance provide a balancing mechanism to be implemented when finalising the service charge year end accounts.
The service charge budget is therefore utilised to raise funds and does not require a Section 20 consultation process to be adhered to for recoverability. However, the Section 20 consultation is required prior to spending monies on qualifying works to a building or premises.
WHEN IS A SECTION 20 NOTICE FOR QUALIFYING WORK REQUIRED?
Section 20 of The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 requires consultation on one off sets of qualifying works to a building or premises, where any tenant is required to contribute more than £250 towards these works by way of a service charge.
Section 20 consultation can be a complex area of law, which in recent years has seen numerous high-profile cases, mainly where the process has not been adhered to. The process we are required to implement is as follows:
1. Firstly, a ‘Notice of Intention’ to be issued. This document will describe the general terms of the works proposed to be carried out, the reasons for considering the necessary proposed works to be carried out and the invitation of observations in relation to the proposed works within the relevant period. The importance of the Notice of Intention is that it offers lessees with the opportunity to provide the name of a contractor from whom the Landlord/RMC should try to obtain an estimate for the proposed works. The relevant consultation period will be 30 days.
2. At the expiration of the 30 day consultation period above, at least two estimates should be obtained from contractors capable of carrying out the relevant works: one of these estimates must be from a person completely independent of the Landlord/RMC. If nominations were made within the consultation period, then estimates should have been obtained from at least one of these nominations. Upon receipt of tenders, a Section 20 Notice “Statement of Estimates’ would be issued denoting the estimates received and any such responses to observations already made. A further consultation period of 30 days is required to pass, where further observations on the tenders received can be made.
3. If, at the expiration of the consultation period, the chosen contractor did not provide the lowest estimate, then a “Notice of Reasons” must be served upon all lessees within 21 days of entering into a contract. This essentially states the Landlord’s/RMC’s reasons for awarding the contract
What if I wish to make a complaint?
Inspired Property Management is committed to providing a high quality service to all of our clients. However we acknowledge that on occasion’s things can go wrong. When something does go wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us improve our service. Please click here for the Complaints Procedure 2020.
What are Client Monies?
As Managing Agents, it is a requirement of our ARMA and RICS accreditation that our procedure for Client Monies is available and published. The Client Money Protection Scheme for Property Agents Client Monies (Approval and Designation Schemes) Regulations 2018, defines Client Monies as ‘money received by a property agent in the course of English letting agency work with the meaning of section 55 of that Act; and held on behalf of another person’.
This procedure details those controls which exist over our Client monies and explain how client monies are kept safe, used for appropriate purposes and in accordance with those regulatory bodies for which Inspired Property Management are members. You will find a copy of our client monies procedure here: IPM Client Money Control Procedures.
Update of IPM’s COVID-19 pandemic policy?
As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to impact people and organisations globally, we would like to update you on the further steps that Inspired Property Management is taking to ensure business continuity for our clients. Please read our Pandemic Policy Leaseholders 17 March 2020.
ARMA advice on cladding and the mortgage market:
The Government introduced Advice Note 14 (AN14) in December 2018. It has had unintended consequences in that it effectively requires buildings to conform to today’s building safety standards rather than those at the time it was built. Prior to this as long as the building was signed off when it was built, that was deemed sufficient.
This has led to a number of problems: please click on the link to find out in more detail what this means for leaseholders.
What is the RICS Client money protection scheme?
RICS Client Money Protection Scheme. RICS operates a Client Money Protection scheme (CMP scheme) in the UK. This scheme provides protection, as a last resort, in instances where an RICS Regulated firm is unable to repay a client’s money, up to the limits and exceptions set out in the scheme rules. IPM are members of this scheme, which can be evidenced by our certification here: Inspired_Property_Management_RICS_Client_Money_Protection_Scheme
Would you like to provide feedback on your service?
All feedback is important to us, by clicking the link here, you will be able to provide us your comments. This will only take a few minutes of your time and will be invaluable to improving our service for you in the future. Thank you