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Paying our way...

Senior Property Manager, Will Parrick takes a look at the issue of the Service Charge... 


No-one likes having bills to pay. Unfortunately, though, it is often a fact of life! Many of the demands that land on our doorsteps are unavoidable, particularly if we want to live in pleasant surroundings. If you own a leasehold property or freehold property with associated management company, you will no doubt be used to a service charge demand arriving with inevitable regularity, be it a yearly, six-monthly or perhaps quarterly bill. 

 

As unwelcome as these demands can be, the services you receive for your property are dependent on all owners paying their maintenance charge. After all, you do not want to find yourself in the situation where there aren’t enough funds in the pot to cover the cost of the communal cleaning or gardening, let alone any unforeseen repairs! Keeping control of the income of service charge on a site is as much part and parcel of good management as any other duty carried out by your Managing Agent. Collecting the service charge that we have demanded on behalf of our clients is a crucial factor in delivering the level of service they should expect. By keeping a healthy service charge account, we ensure we can pay the contractors who maintain our clients’ investments whilst also planning to cover the cost of future major or minor works.

 

Owing to my background in social housing, I have always had an understanding of the importance of minimising arrears – rent arrears in my former life, service charge arrears in my current role. When I started with Boydens a year and a half ago I was determined to make sure that our team kept a keen eye on the level of debt on their sites. I’m happy to say that it didn’t take much persuasion! Thanks to the proactivity of our Accounts Department, the property interests we manage are currently enjoying an all-time record low in service charge debt! This really is something worth celebrating. Getting to the problem early ensures that it does not get out of control and remains manageable which in the long run is better for the debtor. This keeps our clients’ balances healthy and is fairer for those who pay their service charge diligently – it helps guarantee them receipt of the services they have already paid for!

 

The hard work of our Accounts department sees positive results, even when we have to take further action as is sometimes sadly necessary. Rob, our Accounts Administrator says it is not only this proactive approach to early intervention, but also his good working relationship with the agencies we use to help take these matters to court. Over the past year, Rob has worked hand in hand with our partner agencies to recover some sizable debts on some of our sites from persistent non-payers. Although this side of the job is not pleasant, Rob admits, he must always remind himself that success in debt chasing is a success for the client as it helps keep their development maintained. After all, it he is making sure that everyone is paying their fair share. As I said earlier, managing the service charge income is an integral part of looking after your investment.

 

This is just another of the benefits of using the services of Boydens Leasehold and Estate Management. If you would like to discuss how we can help you please give me a call on 01206 771201 

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