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Frequently Asked Questions2019-10-11T11:14:02+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

As you can imagine, in the field of block & estate management, we tend to get a lot of questions of a similar nature. Answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions can be found below. If you cannot find the answer to your question – please get in touch on info@jfm-management.co.uk / 0203 865 789

General

What is a Lease?2019-09-06T21:00:05+00:00

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?2019-09-06T21:00:18+00:00

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 must pay.

What is a Service Charge and why do I pay it?2019-09-06T21:00:30+00:00

You and all your neighbours residing in the same block/estate have a duty (under your leases or transfers of part) 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.

Is JFM my management company?2019-09-06T21:00:42+00:00

No, we are the managing agent employed by your management company or landlord to professionally look after their affairs. If you are a home-owner and there is a management company in place, 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?2019-09-22T20:39:11+00:00

If you live in a block of flats then either the freeholder/landlord 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?2019-09-06T21:01:16+00:00

Almost certainly, but there can be restrictions – either in your lease, or regulations imposed by your management company or landlord 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?2019-09-06T21:01:38+00:00

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?2019-09-06T21:01:50+00:00

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?2019-09-25T21:53:26+00:00

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 by ARMA (Association of Residential Managing Agents) specifically for those facing this problem.

https://arma.org.uk/downloader/txb/Noisy_Neighbours.pdf

How do I become a director of my management company?2019-09-06T21:02:41+00:00

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?2019-09-06T21:02:58+00:00

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 a profit from my service charge?2019-09-06T21:03:18+00:00

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 my behalf are safe?2019-09-06T21:03:34+00:00

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 / landlord’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 we can spend on a single job before we must seek authorisation from your landlord or management company’s board of directors.

Do I have damp or condensation and what can I do about it?2019-09-25T21:53:57+00:00

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 across the Country. 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.

https://arma.org.uk/downloader/f13/2014-06_ARMA_Advice_Note_-_Condensation_V01.pdf

How should I deal with anti-social behaviour?2019-09-25T21:54:20+00:00

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 leaflet 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?2019-09-25T21:54:49+00:00

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

How long has JFM been in business?2019-09-06T21:05:21+00:00

JFM was incorporated in February 2015 and began trading in April 2015. The Managing Partners, Joe Mallon & James Farrar, have been in the industry for 12 and 14 years respectively (as of July 2019).

Which areas do you cover?2019-09-06T21:05:35+00:00

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

How many blocks/estates and/or units do you manage?2019-09-06T21:05:50+00:00

As of July 2019, JFM had 77 blocks and approximately 3,100 units under management.

What size blocks do you manage?2019-09-06T21:06:38+00:00

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, typically from 30 units upwards. 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.

What are your charges / fees?2019-09-06T21:07:13+00:00

Firstly, we operate to a minimum annual management fee of £5,000 plus VAT, irrespective of size of the block/estate. We do not have a rigid fee structure. We usually assess, to the best of our ability, each individual block/estate’s needs, along with the individual requirements of the board of directors. We factor in location, age of building, lease restrictions/complexity, and any other matters we perceive to be relevant before setting a flat cost per unit, in line with the RICS Code of Practice.

Aside from the flat-rate per unit for the standard management fee, we have separate charges for overseeing major works and for serving section 20 consultation. A price-list of additional services is available upon request, but these are mainly applicable to individuals in respect to buying and selling their properties. What we can assure you of is there will never be surprises regarding the figure shown next to the heading of ‘management fees’ in the service charge accounts at the end of each year since we do not charge our clients anything extra without express consent from the management company / landlord.

What days/times are your offices open?2019-09-06T21:07:31+00:00

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.

Who do I contact for Emergencies outside of Office Hours?2019-09-06T21:07:51+00:00

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.

How do we protect your data in line with the GDPR?2019-09-06T21:08:53+00:00

For our full privacy notice please click here

What is the average-sized block which you manage?2019-09-22T20:49:41+00:00

As of October 2019, the average-sized block under management was 43 units. However, JFM manage a number of blocks/estates much larger than this, with our largest being 400 units.

Who can I complain to / what is your complaints procedure?2019-09-22T20:50:50+00:00

First off, please notify us of your dissatisfaction by email info@jfm-management.co.uk 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 Property Ombudsman. You may view our Complaints Procedure by clicking here.

Which Service Partners do you work with?2019-09-25T21:56:42+00:00

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.

Do you have a Corporate & Social Responsibility Policy?2019-10-11T11:09:13+00:00

Funny you should ask. You can view the policy here.

We also have a page which lists a number of resources which may be handy as well as some useful links. You can find this below –

Resources and useful links