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OUR SERVICES

Core Services

Block Management in Greater London and all Home Counties. We offer a lean, super-organised block and estate management service aimed at putting the power in the hands of the Resident Management Company (RMC) Directors. We push ourselves to excel in the fundamental areas of property management including:

  • Billing and collection of service charges
  • Pursuit of arrears
  • Drafting of annual service charge budgets
  • Organising and serving year-end accounts
  • Quick response to repairs and maintenance issues
  • Overseeing Health & Safety matters
  • Major works strategy
  • Full lease analysis
  • Comprehensive site-inspection programmes
  • Full Company Secretarial services
Property / Block Management drawn on a blackboard

Full Block Management costs are based on a ‘per unit’ system in line with the RICS Code of Practice. The range starts from £85 plus VAT per unit and goes up to £350 plus VAT per unit per annum (although on average for a “normal” regular-sized block the fee is around £210 plus VAT). We can give you an idea of the cost of managing your property if you CONTACT US. We’ll only need basic information and won’t need to visit your block or estate just yet if you’d rather we didn’t.

For estates that don’t desire or need a full management service, we can offer a reduced contract which is mostly centered on financial management. This is popular amongst resident directors who want to retain a more hands-on approach to property management matters. If you are in this position, we can support you by making sure that service charge billing and collection is being carried out in line with the legal requirements. The service can also encompass other ‘back-office’ functions such as company secretarial duties.

Jigsaw puzzle with Quality Block Management words

Service Partners

JFM work with a number of very carefully selected service partners that can offer a range of additional services to our clients. We choose to work in this way because, in our experience, it is far more efficient and easier to provide much better levels of service than those who try to do it all in-house. Our network of solicitors, surveyors, brokers and accountancy firms deliver:

  • Major works administration
  • Capital expenditure plans
  • Collective enfranchisement
  • Right-to-Manage
  • Service charge & company accounts
  • Specialist legal aid
  • Lease extensions & variations
  • Party-wall agreements
  • Buildings and other insurance policies
  • Fire & general risk assessments

Free Management Survey

All prospective clients are entitled to a free management survey. Simply pass us a list of key documents and allow us to visit site, and we will produce an invaluable report for you containing detailed observations and recommendations for your block/estate.

Whether you choose to use us or not, we are here to help.

WHY CHOOSE US?

Well, we’re different. As in really.

We’re not just another firm of managing agents saying the same old thing.

There are two main reasons why:

First, the SERVICE

We’ve taken over 22 years’ combined property management experience across 7 firms of professional and prominent managing agents. Then we have extracted all the best bits of all that we’ve seen and learned, left out the worst bits, and infused what we have left with superior professionalism and class.

This translates to the following as a service-charge payer of a block or estate managed by JFM:

The Fundamentals Done Perfectly

We’ve gone back to basics. We have set ourselves the target of striving for perfection in the most crucial parts of block management. Our key performance indicators for those things which matter most to Resident Management Company clients are higher than any of our competitors we’ve encountered. This means:

  • Detailed draft budgets prepared well in advance
  • Demands served correctly and on time
  • Accounts filed ahead of schedule
  • Repair issues quickly dealt with
  • Arrears promptly chased and recovered

Site Presence

It is key. So we will have your property manager visit your block or estate at the very least once per month (and much more if this is what you want). We promote face-to-face contact not only with resident directors but all leaseholders whenever possible, so that lasting relationships are formed. After all, this is well and truly a people business.

Flawless Site Set-up

Taking your resident association or management company’s most crucial details and processing them through our specialist property management software at the start of a contract is essential. There really is no excuse for getting this wrong, but yet amazingly people do! Get it right, and the automatic regular processes will follow without a hitch. Therefore, the analysis of your leases and a thorough review of your block/estate is given paramount importance.

Highly-Experienced & Qualified Staff

Property management isn’t rocket-science, but from time-to-time it can throw up some big challenges. That’s why, we at JFM, have committed to ensuring that the staff you deal with are of the highest calibre. The partners themselves will be heavily involved in day-to-day services. Both are degree-educated, full members of the Institute of Residential Block Management and are associates of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Attention to Detail

Spelling mistakes, poor grammar, poorly thought-out arguments or lazy research are not things we will fall victim to. As a company that thrives on the technical aspects of this often complicated sector, professionalism is so important to our firm’s ethos.

Easy-to-use Customer Login

Rightly so, customers  now want to manage their entire service charge affairs online. We totally understand this need and get that you don’t want to have to call us every time you need a statement or other important document. That’s why we’ve partnered up with our software provider to offer our customers a user-friendly login function. You can download service charge statements and insurance documents in a few seconds while keeping on top of your payments. You can also track site news via the ‘announcements’ section. All customers get a unique password and Directors get access to confidential site information such as arrears reports.

Road line painting with a paintbrush

Swift communication, fast repairs-tracking and monitoring through to completion, in-depth reporting, regular meetings, tight financial control, and easy-to-use client log-in for control of your account on the go – and all tweaked to give a totally bespoke service to each unique client.

We take pride in performing to the best of our ability to maximise customer satisfaction of leaseholders and those paying service charges on a mixed-use estate. We are Resident Management Company Directors ourselves so when we suggest a solution, it’s the solution that we would want to hear. Standing by this “do to others as you would wish to have done” principle really is simple, yet we find that it’s a brilliant philosophy to continually check ourselves against.

Second, the CAUSE

This is perhaps what sets aside from other managing agents more than anything else.

Members of resident management companies on new-build estates are being short-changed and we wish to fix this problem. We have an ethical principle at the core of our business to change the property management industry for the better. We want to improve the lives of leaseholders by raising the level of awareness of certain practices which occur which are not in the interests of property-owners that pay a service charge.

Time for Change

So, we made the decision to only work for home-owners. We do not work for Housing Developers, or Freehold-Investor Landlords. This is because to do so, as nearly all other block managers do, impedes one’s capacity to serve leaseholder customers to the best of one’s ability. We’re breaking the mould and avoiding the conflicts of interests which are inevitably created. Hence our tagline – One Client – Zero ConflictSee our regularly updated news/blog page for all things residential leasehold which explains this in detail.

As a JFM client, you can be sure that there are no hidden deals or interests which prevent us being able to represent you to the best of our ability. If your property is relatively new and the developer has not upheld their duties we won’t be shy about confronting them and fighting your corner. This is sadly not the case with many managing agents, who are desperate to keep favour with large housing developers. Change is coming in this sector and we’re going to be prominent amongst those making it.

To enquire about how we can serve you better, CONTACT US now.

OUR STORY

Late one evening in early 2014, after a hard day’s work in the office, future partners, James Farrar and Joe Mallon, toyed with the idea of launching a property management company that worked solely for home-owners. JFM was born.

It was an ambitious aim, fraught with difficulty. Sadly, for as long as it has existed, the Leasehold system has never really worked for the customer. This ancient form of land ownership, unique to England & Wales, is a relic of a by-gone era. For our part, we could see that Resident Management Companies (RMCs) have been poorly understood and badly represented. It seems there isn’t a managing agent in the land that is looking after this client-type, without some interest in satisfying powerful Housing Developers and Freehold-Investor Landlords.

The needs of Resident Management Companies, whether they were written into the lease, formed through Right-To-Manage, or incorporated to own a Freehold, are unique. We are tired of seeing these companies marginalised and we are concerned by wide-spread conflicts of interests in the industry, whereby some managing agents are putting Housing Developers before their RMC clients.

We believe the time is right for a new breed of agent to step forward and raise the bar. By removing the conflicts of interest from our business, and through our focus on the fundamentals, JFM deliver a service for RMCs that is head-and-shoulders above the competition.

Expect a personal and bespoke service; expect unrivalled attention to detail at pre-instruction phase, and expect us to fight your corner at every turn. Under a JFM management agreement there is only one client that matters. One Client – Zero Conflict

OUR PEOPLE

JOE MALLON

BA (Hons) MIRPM AssocRICS

I’m a native Londoner, having grown up in East Finchley, in the borough of Barnet. I am now settled in Reading, Berkshire. After graduating from Reading University with a degree in History & Philosophy, I went to work for the family construction business. I guess it was here where the seeds of my property career were sown.

In 2007 I joined a large independent managing agent based in North London and quickly rose through the ranks to become responsible for a diverse residential portfolio. Five years later I had become an experienced practitioner with detailed knowledge of each of the main client types in the business. In addition, I achieved full membership of the IRPM and qualified as an Associate Surveyor through the RICS.

Between November 2012 and March 2015 I worked for a firm of chartered surveyors based in Camden Town. It was here that I developed my technical ability and acquired a reputation for being very astute in legal matters. As a Senior Manager at the firm, I was also responsible for the company’s training programmes for junior staff members. In August 2014 I represented the company at the Competition & Markets Authority review of the sector.

I feel lucky to be part of JFM. The company grew from a single ethical aim to give home-owners a better deal in a difficult environment. The market-place is changing for the better and I am proud to be part of that change.

Joe Mallon - Partner of JFM
James Farrar - Partner of JFM

JAMES FARRAR

BSc (Hons) MIRPM AssocRICS

I graduated from the University of Surrey having studied Mathematics. My son was already on his way at this relatively early age and so I took a job as an assistant property manager at a firm in Richmond-Upon-Thames. I thought at the time it would be a temporary role.

Before I knew it three years had passed and I had progressed rapidly to the point that I felt there was little opportunity to move on further in the company. I changed employers therefore and made my move into London’s West-end, getting involved in managing a whole different type of property.

Not having ever studied maths with the intention to work in block management, I left the industry and went into the City for three years doing a number of things based in financial sales. But ultimately I realised that I missed doing the thing that I’d stumbled into by accident.

So back to North London and another three firms of managing agents later, I was a senior manager and partner in a company of 60 staff in charge of all Health & Safety compliance across the company, as well as a director of a subsidiary company which had been set up to oversee all shared resources. The experience I gained was invaluable, so much so that the prospect of taking all I had learned from the industry and applying it differently really started to appeal.

After working in five firms spanning a decade, I had seen enough of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly, to know exactly what the vision for JFM would be. I’m excited for the future, as change is coming to the leasehold sector, and we aim to be at the forefront of the new era.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General Block Management

What is a lease?

This is the contract you will have entered into when purchasing your flat. It describes all the things you can and cannot do in your flat, as well as in the block/estate of which it is part of. They can be notoriously difficult to read in some cases so if there’s anything you want help with then drop us a line.

What is ground-rent and why do I pay it?

The obligation to pay ground-rent is written into your lease. Since the lease is effectively a contract between ‘landlord’ and ‘tenant’, ground-rent is essentially a rent that is paid to your landlord in much the same way as those renting properties have to pay. We only work for Resident Management Companies (RMCs) so normally we’ll only collect ground-rent from you if your landlord is an RMC which has purchased the freehold of your block/estate.

What is service charge and why do I pay it?

You and all your neighbours residing in the same block/estate have a duty (under your leases) to fulfil certain obligations. These can extend to all sorts of things, but most commonly will include placing buildings insurance, keeping the inside and outside common areas clean and tidy, ensuring the building and grounds are kept in a good state of repair, and ensuring you comply with all the company law and health and safety legislation which your company has to abide by. We use the service charge you pay to do all of this (and a lot more) on your behalf.

Are you my management company?

No, we are the managing agent employed by your management company to professionally look after their affairs. If you are a home-owner then you will likely have become a member of your management company when you purchased your property. Consequently you now have to comply with all the legislation and regulations that any private limited company needs to. We make this task a lot easier for you and your fellow company members.

Do I need to get my own buildings insurance?

If you live in a block of flats then either the freeholder or your management company are obliged to place the buildings insurance for the entire block, so you do not need to do so. You will though need to take out contents insurance or any other insurance cover you wish to utilise.

I want to sub-let my flat – am I able to?

Almost certainly, but there can be restrictions – either in your lease, or regulations imposed by your management company in the best interests of the block/estate. If you wish you can just ask us as we keep such information to-hand to be able to swiftly help you.

Can I keep pets in my flat?

The answer depends on what your lease says. It is likely that pets are prohibited, or you need to apply for permission before keeping one in your flat. Either refer to your lease, or get in touch and ask us. If we’re just talking about goldfish, there’s probably no need.

Can I make alterations to my flat?

The rules governing this should be laid out in your lease, and it depends on what types of alterations you’re looking to make. Either refer to your lease or get in touch and we’ll advise of the steps that may need to be taken.

What can I do about my noisy neighbours?

This can be a difficult situation to resolve. Most of the time the best way to approach the problem is to have a friendly word and ensure they’re aware of the issue. We can advise further if you get in touch but this advice sheet has been put together specifically for those facing this problem.

http://arma.org.uk/leasehold-library/document/noisy-neighbours/pages/1

How do I become a director of my management company?

If you want to become a director, attending the Annual General Meeting is often a good first step. If this is not scheduled for a long while though just drop us an email to express your interest and we will advise of how to learn more for your block/estate specifically.

How do I contact the directors of my management company?

Since the role of a management company director is nearly always a voluntary one, we cannot pass on directors’ contact details without asking their permission first. We are, after all, employed to take the bulk of all the work in running your management company away from them. It is usually best to contact us for any information or requests that you wish to make. We can of course always pass on your request to the directors should you wish us to.

Do you make profit from my service charge?

No, to us it does not matter whether you pay service charges of £10 a year or £100,000 a year. We get paid a flat fee per unit/flat for the management of your block/estate. How much we get paid per unit depends on many factors which contribute towards the overall level of complexity or amount of time required to manage your block/estate.

How can I be sure that the funds you hold on our behalf are safe?

The funds we hold on your behalf still belong to you and consequently are held on trust in accordance with Section 42 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987. We can only use the money we hold on your management company’s behalf to pay for things in connection to your block/estate and which your lease allows for. There is also a limit of how much in one go can be spent before we seek authorisation from your management company’s board of directors.

Do I have damp or condensation and what can I do about it?

Many people suspect they have penetrative or rising damp when in fact what they’re experiencing is condensation. Problems with condensation are rife throughout blocks of flats. The causes are many and varied and eradicating the issue altogether is nigh on impossible. This advice note provided by ARMA can help you determine what the problem is that you are facing and how to combat it if it is condensation.

http://arma.org.uk/leasehold-library/document/condensation/pages/1

How should I deal with anti-social behaviour?

This is another tricky one, and of course there are many behaviours which can be construed as ‘anti-social’. The best port of call in the first instance is ARMA’s advice booklet on the subject. If you want to talk things through further or ask for advice on something specifically then please get in touch.

http://arma.org.uk/leasehold-library/document/anti-social-behaviour/pages/1

What is Section 20 Consultation?

Section 20 consultation is essentially protection for leaseholders so that landlords cannot recover more than a stipulated threshold of service charge monies from an individual without following a certain process. ARMA’s advice booklet explains in more detail. If you want to have the ‘short version’ explained to you (more than understandable!) then feel free to call us. http://arma.org.uk/leasehold-library/document/section-20-consultation/pages/1

Specific to JFM

Which areas do you cover?

We cover all of London and the Home Counties and have existing clients throughout.

What days/times are your offices open?

Our offices are open from 9am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. You may contact us by email or phone during these hours. Outside of these hours, we operate an emergency helpline which is contactable on our usual office number 0203 865 7789.

What about in the case of an Emergency/Out of Hours?

Please call our usual office number on 0203 865 7789 in the event of an emergency outside of our opening hours. Please note that only issues that cannot wait until our office next re-opens can be dealt with through this service.

What exactly does your strap-line “One Client – Zero Conflict” mean?

No we don’t just have one client! We only work for one client TYPE. That is, we do NOT work for, and will never work for Housing Developers and Freehold Investor Landlords. This is because of the conflicts of interests which are created by doing so which then impedes other agents from providing a service to home-owners to the best of their ability. For further details as to what the conflicts are and why they exist, see our News/Blog area where you will find articles exploring the subject in more detail. Here’s a good one to start you off.

What size blocks do you manage?

We have made the decision to do what we feel many agents do not do enough of, and that is to keep our on-site presence high with all of our clients. This means we’re set up to specialise in medium-sized to larger blocks/estates from 30 units to 200 units plus. That’s not to say we won’t manage smaller blocks, however, so just CONTACT US and let us know where your property is located – it costs nothing to ask.

Who can I complain to / what is your complaints procedure?

First off, please notify us of your dissatisfaction by email or using the contact form on the ‘Contact Us’ section of this site. In the event that we cannot resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, we are a member of an Ombudsman Service and accordingly have a formal complaints procedure to follow. In the event that you still feel unsatisfied having gone through this procedure, then you have the option of contacting the Ombudsman. You may view our Complaints Procedure by clicking here.

Which Service Partners do you work with?

Part of the beauty of working with selected suppliers is that we can demand more from them arguably than one sometimes can of their employees in-house. There are no contracts in place, thus there’s no obligation to continue our relationship if standards fall. By keeping two service partners for each discipline required, we’ve also always got an immediate alternate supplier to turn to. Some of our preferred service partners currently are listed below. In respect of ‘normal’ contractor disciplines, we use a wide range of companies and have no ties at all. If you want to use your chosen electrician, plumber, cleaner, etc, then by all means we’ll do so.

Earl Kendrick Associates – http://www.earlkendrick.com/

Finnegan Associates – http://www.finneganassociates.com/

Taylor & Emmett – http://www.tayloremmet.co.uk/

Block Recruit – http://www.blockrecruit.co.uk/

Towergate Insurance – http://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/

Deacon Insurance – http://www.deacon.co.uk

There are many great sources of information out there for leaseholders (and house-owners on mixed use estates).

Refer to our Useful Links section below.

Useful Links:

The Leasehold Advisory Service – http://www.lease-advice.org/

ARMA – http://arma.org.uk/

Leasehold Knowledge Partnership http://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/

News on the Block – http://www.newsontheblock.com/

Flat-Living – http://www.flat-living.co.uk/

Federation of Private Residents’ Associations – http://www.fpra.org.uk/

CONTACT US

Phone us

 

Office Number: 0203 865 7789

info@jfm-management.co.uk

James Farrar: 07886 085042

james@jfm-management.co.uk

Joe Mallon: 07533 486208

joe@jfm-management.co.uk

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JFM Block & Estate Management LLP is an appointed representative of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Registered Office: Spectrum Building 7th Floor, 55 Blysthwood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909.

JFM Block & Estate Management