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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Management Company?

An estate management company (ManCo) is a not-for-profit organisation that owns all the common areas in an estate that do not belong to homeowners or the local authority.

Who owns the Management Company?

No one person owns the Management Company. Each property owner in the estate is a member of the ManCo, and there is a board of directors who make the decisions.

What is a Managing Agent?

You will hear our company referred to as a Managing Agent or Appointed Agent. This means we administer the duties of the Management Company on their behalf. There is a Management Agreement between us and the ManCo, the Board of Directors ensure that we carry out our duties in line with this agreement. 

What is the Managing Agent's Resposibility?

As a rule of thumb, everything that is inside your front door is the owner’s responsibility while the rest is the managing agent’s responsibility. Vickery Holman will deal with everything that is related with the structure of the building and the communal areas including stairwells, lobbies, lifts, communal garages, bin stores, communal patios and gardens, fire alarms, emergency lights, main doors, gates, etc.

For more details, please refer to your lease.

Who is on the board of directors?

When a ManCo is first set up, the directors are usually representatives from the developer who built your estate, and sometimes the Local Authority or Homes England. Once the development is complete, the residents of your estate will nominate new directors from within your community. Resident volunteers from your community will act as Resident Directors once the current Directors resign (on completion of the development).

What is a Service Charge?

The service charge is an annual payment that covers all costs associated with the management and maintenance of the estate. Each property (house, flat or apartment) pays a proportionate amount. The service charge is based on actual costs and current rates that make up the annual budget. The budget and service charge are reviewed and approved by the management company's board of directors before being charged by ERMC Estates as the Managing Agent.

What are common areas?

Common areas can consist of open grass spaces, trees, hedges, shrubs, highways and footpaths on the estate,   external lighting (such as streetlights and bollards), and internal communal lighting and mechanical & electrical plant.

How do I contact the Board of Directors?

As Managing Agent, we take receipt of all enquiries regarding the common spaces and when a decision is required, pass said enquiries over to the board for review. We encourage our residents to use our online portal to contact us as this allows us to maintain a database of enquiries / cases that we can manage and monitor to close.

What happened to the payment made when the property was bought?

You will have paid a Service Charge amount as part of your purchase. This money has been held in trust by the Developer and will be transferred into the ManCo bank account when a Managing Agent takes handover of some/all of the estate. When we (as Managing Agent) administer the first Service Charge invoice/statement, you will see that this payment is shown as credit on your statement.

Do I have to pay the Service Charge?

When a property on a managed estate is purchased, a contractual agreement to pay the annual service charge is included within the TR1 document. If you are a leaseholder and the freeholder has passed on this obligation, the contractual agreement will form part of your lease documentation.

What will happen if I do not pay the Service Charge?

As you will have signed the contract to pay this annual charge, we, as the Managing Agent and with authority of the Board of Directors, will begin debt recovery proceedings. This will culminate in a CCJ if previous requests and opportunities to pay have not been fulfilled.

When resident's fail to pay their service charge, the budget for management and maintenance of the estate is negatively affected and can impact on the level of service that the ManCo can facilitate. This is often reflected in an increase to the Service Charge in the following year to ensure the expected service level can be delivered, whilst debt recovery proceedings take place with non-payers.

When will I have been made aware of this contract?

As part of your purchase contract documentation, your conveyance solicitor has the duty to point out this obligation as part of the purchase. As a leaseholder, you should have seen this contractual obligation within your lease agreement.

What is a Section 20?

A section 20 (S20) is a legal process of consultation to tell you that we intend to carry out work or provide a service whose cost is above the threshold of £250 or £100 per leaseholder respectively. We must serve a S20 on any leaseholder who will be affected by the work or receive the service. The S20 has three phases: the notice of intention, where we include information about what we plan to do, the statement of estimates, that states the quotations received, and the invoicing. It will give you the opportunity to take part in the consultation process, comment on what is being planned and suggest companies to be consulted. The S20 process is set out in law and is mandatory even if there are funds available for the works in a reserve account.

Section 20 – detailed and accessible information HERE.

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