Demystifying Resident Management Companies

If you own a property in a block of flats or it is a house with shared areas, you may have a stake in the Resident Management Company (RMC). But what exactly is it and what does it do for you?

In the UK, residents in leasehold flats and freehold houses often manage the communal areas of the development through a company.

When you bought your property, you may have acquired membership in this company which makes sure the communal parts, internal and external are insured, well organised and maintained. The RMC is not for profit. It acts in the interests of the owners, and it maintains the shared elements such as the roof, walls, lifts, stairs, hallways, gardens and grounds.

Importantly, it controls the service charge fund which is levied from the owners in accordance with the lease(s) and transfer documents, those funds are used to pay for the development’s upkeep.

Plus, it may decide on levels of reserve funds needed to meet longer term aims such as costly roof repairs and interior or exterior redecoration.


Becoming a director

While the property owners may all be members of the RMC, a board of directors chosen by members will make the main decisions.  Registered at Companies House, the directors are unpaid but have an important set of responsibilities.

These may include:

  • Day-to-day management of the communal areas of the building and grounds.
  • Making decisions in the interests of the whole development.
  • Engaging contractors to carry out repairs and maintenance such as decoration and cleaning.
  • Filing annual accounts and returns to Companies House.
  • Controlling the service charge fund which is separate from the RMC’s own funds.
  • Making sure insurance policies are adequate and renewed.
  • Consulting with owners over key decisions.
  • Ensuring the terms of the lease are met.

While directors, as owners themselves, will have a keen interest in ensuring the building is well managed, it can be a time consuming and demanding task.

For example, they must ensure that the building complies with numerous fire and health and safety laws. Just this year new fire safety regulations were introduced following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, have placed extra responsibilities on RMCs of mid and high rise blocks. The directors must be aware of any new regulations and implement changes where necessary.

Directors must also make sure that the RMC abides by other laws such as the Landlord and Tenant Act. The board must carry out consultation with all owners before going ahead with any works which will cost more than £250.00 per owner.


Finding the right managing agents

With such a significant burden of responsibility, it is unsurprising that many boards of RMCs choose to hand over the day-to-day work to professional property management agents.

Selecting the right managing agents is crucial.

Your ideal agents should be highly professional, up-to-date with all the current regulations and possess good local knowledge.  They will have contacts with local contractors who can be relied upon to carry out decent repairs.

They should be committed to following best practice by being accredited to industry organisations such as the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). These organisations set industry standards and, reassuringly, they require independent regulation of its members.

But perhaps the most important asset of a property management company is a team of friendly experts who can respond quickly and efficiently to residents’ concerns.

One of the commonest problems faced by RMCs is poor communication with leaseholders and the feeling that residents’ issues are not dealt with fast enough.


Why Caxtons is a leading agent in Kent and South East London

Here at Caxtons, our dedicated Block Customer Hub is readily available to respond efficiently to property owners’ queries. Our team can action remedial work immediately.

Satisfied customers praise our quick response, experience, expertise and professionalism.

One of the leading residential estate & management agents in the area, we care for a large range of almost 200 developments including some 6,500 homes. Our experienced team look after the needs of a wide variety of properties from large residential freehold housing estates to small converted or purpose-built blocks of flats, in addition to Grade II listed buildings and many medium sized leasehold developments.

We offer a bespoke service, tailored to meet the needs of each client.

Proud to be accredited members of the ARMA and RICS, we can guarantee the highest standards in professional residential block management. Leading edge codes of practice ensure compliance with more than 160 industry standards.

You can rest assured that your block will benefit from a transparent and open management service.

Our accounting and other records are regularly audited for compliance, and clients’ funds are protected by the RICS Client Money Protection Scheme. Clients also have access to an independent regulatory panel. 

Caxtons’ complete management service includes:

  • Preparation of your block’s end of year accounts and management of the reserve fund by our fully qualified accounts team.
  • A package of insurance policies at competitive rates provided by our insurance department which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Recovery of service charge arrears in conjunction with award winning solicitors.
  • Preparing condition surveys and long-term management plans.
  • Producing statutory and service charge accounts with detailed analysis.
  • Paralegal services for residents selling their house or flat.

As clients’ needs vary, our fees reflect the amount of work we undertake, ranging from full residential block management to something more unique and specific.

If you would like to discuss your development’s needs, please contact our friendly team who are happy to give advice and information.

You can get in touch with us by calling 01474 537733, by email [email protected], or through the contact page on our website.


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