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Equip yourself with all the knowledge you will need to be a fully compliant and law-abiding landlord. Just fill in your details and we'll send a compliance checklist right to your inbox for FREE!

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November 25, 2022

Block Management Explained

November 24, 2022
Written by
Heather-Jade Stanley

In this Oasis Living guide, we delve into all things block management, and how it differs from property management!

block management of a set of apartment blocks

Table of contents

What is block management?

In this Oasis Living guide we explain block management, and how it differs to property management!

Residential block management refers to the management of a residential block of flats or estate. A block management company will take charge of all financial, legal and maintenance aspects with regards to the communal operation of that residential estate.

a residential block of flats

Block management specifically refers to the oversight of residential (i.e., apartment-style) or mixed-tenure (i.e., apartment-style structures atop office/retail buildings) complexes. This should not be confused with property management, which generally refers to the administration of apartments or homes, or with commercial management, which refers to the management of businesses like offices and stores.

Compared to other industries, the block management industry is relatively new, and leasehold law is only about 70 years old.

a block manager uses a building management online system

What does block management involve?

The responsibilities that a block manager would be in control of within a development could include communal cleaning, gardening, emergency repairs, as well as painting and decorating. The quantity and kind of the work will differ depending on the specifics of each lease, though. The lease may pertain to a building of apartments, yet each individual lease may contain distinct stipulations.

To make sure the building and communal areas are in good working order and in compliance with health and safety regulations, a block management company will make routine visits.

A block manager must also have legal expertise. They must be aware of, comprehend, and uphold all lease terms (which occasionally vary between flats).

As you might anticipate, residential buildings are subject to a number of health and safety laws. It is the block manager's responsibility to stay informed of these and make sure the building complies with all regulations. Block managers are also in charge of conducting fire risk analyses and making sure that the appropriate fire safety precautions are in place.

In addition to building maintenance, a block management company will handle all administrative tasks such as service charge collection from all leaseholders, contractor payment, and budget management. Additionally, they must make sure that the annual accounts are properly prepared and submitted, as well as that the accounting records are kept current and in compliance with the law.

a block manager in his office

What is a leaseholder?

In a leasehold system, the tenant who has been granted a long lease (one that lasts for more than 21 years) by the landlord is referred to as a leaseholder.

Leases, which are legally binding agreements to occupy a place (a flat) for a predetermined amount of time during a 21-year period, are given to leaseholders. You agree to both occupy the space and the covenants therein when you purchase a leasehold apartment. As with any contract, there are usually provisions for both the tenant and the landlord that describe the renter's obligations, the usage of the apartment, what happens when the lease expires, and other issues.

Why is this relevant?

Well, freeholders are required to maintain a number of insurance policies, including liability, contents, and building insurance. The building's management company will see to it that the structure is adequately insured and will handle any insurance claims.

Leaseholders are in charge of protecting the contents of their apartments

What distinguishes block management from property management?

While block managers take care of the common areas, shared amenities, and building upkeep in a block with numerous properties, property managers manage the day-to-day operations of a single tenancy. Property managers will spend a lot of time speaking with block managers to handle problems on behalf of their clients because some of their duties - like basic maintenance - overlap.

a block management specialist is in a meeting

What makes a block manager good?

Both the landlord and the tenants should have an easier time of things under a good block manager. They should ensure effective financial management, boost the property's marketability, and maintain the property to a high standard by offering a professional service that complies with all regulations.

How is block management paid for?

Block management is paid for through service charges and are paid by the owner of each flat within a building. Monthly fees depend on how many flats there are in the building, what management responsibilities the block manager takes on, and where the property is located.  

What is covered by a service charge and why is it required?

You will have agreed to pay a service charge (as well as possible ground rent) to the landlord in accordance with the conditions of the lease that you signed when acquiring the apartment. The lease will specify whether the service charge is paid annually, biannually, or quarterly. The money from service charge payments is then used to cover the costs of the services outlined in the lease, such as cleaning, insurance, repairs, maintenance, and so on. The service charge is also used to cover the block management company's management fee.

block management of 2 flat buildings in london

Oasis Living: sit back & leave the management to us

In true style, we’ve left the best until last – Oasis Living!

Our online agency makes the experience of property maintenance hassle-free for both landlords and tenants. An oasis, if you will. The team of prop-tech entrepreneurs behind the software have formulated an easy-to-use automated system, as well as inclusive packages that are cheaper than the high-street and majority of other online letting agencies.

With a 24-hour phone line, flexible payment options, trusted handyman directory, and much more, Oasis Living makes it easier for tenants and landlords to handle issues easily Using our full scale networking platform makes maintaining a property become as simple as ordering your favourite Deliveroo.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our rundown of block management! If you have any questions, feel free to contact the team and we’d be happy to help.

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