What should I do if I want to discuss a maintenance problem?
Please contact the on-site Management Office between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday to discuss routine maintenance issues.
2 Justin Close, Brentford Dock. TW8 8QR
Telephone: 020 8568 5096 or email email@example.com
How do the service charges work?
The Service Charge payable is the figure which we estimate will be required to cover the expenditure in respect of your property. Your share of this is charged as “On Account Service Charge”. Shortly after the end of the financial year, we prepare end of year accounts which show the actual expenditure incurred in the year. This is then offset against the estimated costs and the balance is then transferred to or from reserves to bring the service charge account balance to zero at the year-end.
How do I know what my service charge / reserve fund is spent on?
At the end of each financial year, full service charge accounts are certified by an independent firm of Chartered Accountants, showing all the income and expenditure. The certified accounts are circulated to all leaseholders.
What is the reserve fund?
The reserve fund is collected to cover the costs of major, periodic expenditure, such as internal / external decorations, replacement of heating plant, lift refurbishment or major roof repairs.
The amount collected each year ensures that we do not have to make sudden unexpected demands for additional funds.
Where are all the funds held?
All funds are held by our Managing Agent in named client accounts - on your behalf - at Natwest Bank in accordance with RICS Client Account Rules.
Do I still have to pay if I am not living in my flat?
The service charges are payable under the terms of the lease, by the owner, regardless of whether you are living in the property or not.
Why is the invoice received not in my name? What is my liability?
This usually occurs because you have recently purchased the flat and your solicitor has not registered the assignment with us as required by your lease. You should contact your solicitor immediately to ensure that the Notice of Assignment and the Stock Transfer Form have been completed by your solicitor.
Until registration has taken place, we are unable to amend the record relating to your property. However, as the owner, you are responsible for the charges and should pay these even though you may be resolving matters with your solicitor.
Why have I received an invoice when I pay by Standing Order?
All invoices for Service Charges and reserve fund are due quarterly in April, July, October and January of each year and we will always provide an invoice for payment by the respective due dates. If your account is settled by Standing Order, the invoice will be for your information only. However, you should check that all payments have been made and that the balance on your account is correct. Any queries should be made immediately to our accounts department.
Do I still have to pay if I did not own the property for the period on the invoice?
As the current owner, you are now liable for making this payment. However, your solicitor should have retained an amount of the money due on completion of your purchase. You should check this with your solicitor.
If I am going to sell my property before the year-end date on the invoice, do I still have to pay my service charges?
As the current owner of the property, the payment is due from you in full. You should request a receipt, when you pay, as your solicitor will require this to agree who pays what on completion.
If your sale is due to complete before the invoice falls due, please pass the invoice to your solicitor so that they become aware of it.
For most sales, solicitors write to ask us if there are any payments outstanding; if you have not paid it is possible that this may delay your sale.
What happens if I can’t afford to pay my service charge?
We understand that due to personal circumstances change some property owners may find that they have difficulty in meeting their service charge obligations. Please contact our Accounts Department immediately to discuss payment options, particularly if you have received a letter from our Credit Control department.
Who do I contact if I have a general accounts query?
You should contact the managing agent via the Contact Page on this website or by telephoning 020 8232 6620 between 9am and 5pm – Monday to Friday.
Who can help me with a query about my block insurance?
Confirmation of current Insurance cover is available is available in the ‘Documents’ section. This should be adequate for most purposes (eg to provide to your mortgage lender etc).
If you have a specific query concerning insurance please contact Michael Richards & Co (tel 020 8232 6620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Why do I pay buildings insurance?
Under the terms of your lease the freeholder is required to insure the whole building but not your belongings and home contents. If your mortgage company has required you to insure through them, you should send them a copy of the insurance policy document.
What can I claim for under the building insurance?
The building insurance covers the damage caused as a result of an incident caused by an insured peril. For example, you can claim for the damage caused to your decoration by a burst pipe. You cannot, however, claim for repairing the pipe. Whilst fitted kitchens and bathrooms are covered under the building insurance, your contents (including carpets and curtains) are not and you should arrange your own contents insurance. Please note that the insurance policy carries an excess. Where damage has been caused by a leak from a neighbouring flat, you will be required to recover the excess from them. For further information on making claims, please contact the managing agent. Details can be found on the “Contact Us” page of this website.
Can I make alterations to my property?
Structural alterations such as replacing windows or the removal of internal walls require the Freeholders consent. The purpose of these covenants is to maintain the structural integrity and aesthetic appearance of the building and to adhere to other restrictions. If you wish to make an alteration, you should apply, in the first instance, to the Management Office using the form available from the ‘Forms’ section. This should include appropriate plans and specifications for the intended work.
No charge is made to cover the initial processing and inspection of applications; if it is found to require input from other parties an administration charge is applicable.
Some alterations may also require local authority planning approval or building control consent and we would require copies of these to proceed.
We will take appropriate action where it is found that alterations have taken place without our consent. Such action may include ensuring that the property is returned to its original condition at the flat owner’s expense.
Please note that there is a specific policy regarding the replacement of windows. Please find a downloadable PDF of the policy.
There is a leak into my property from the flat above, what should I do?
In the first instance, you should make contact with the resident of the flat above; quite often they are unaware of the fault and will rectify the problem straight away. If you experience difficulty making contact with the resident in question, please contact the Resident Manager who will assist you. Details of how to contact the Resident Manager can be found on the Contact Us page of this website.
My neighbours are causing a nuisance, what should I do?
In the first instance you should speak to your neighbour and try to resolve the issue amicably. They may not be aware that there is a problem. If the issue remains unresolved, keep a log of the incidents and notify us in writing of the issues that you are experiencing. Where there is a clear breach of the terms of the lease, we will write to your neighbour and keep you advised of progress.
Legal action to resolve the issue may be considered as a last resort. However, such action is very costly and protracted and not undertaken except in the most extreme cases. Where the incident relates to excessive noise, loud music and / or shouting, you should call the Noise Abatement Team at your Local Authority immediately. They may have powers to take immediate action. In cases of anti-social behaviour, you should immediately report the matter to the police.
Is it possible to visit your offices to ask questions and see what you do?
The Brentford Dock Management Office is open between 8.30am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday and is able to deal with most enquiries as they arise.
Please be aware that there is a lot of work which is constantly going on behind the scenes, so if you wish to discuss a specific matter with a specific member of staff, it is advisable to make an appointment in advance.
Why is there a ‘stay put’ procedure in the event of a fire in an individual flat?
Fire safety is something we take very seriously. We operate a ‘stay put’ policy that involves the following approach:
If a fire occurs within a flat, the occupants should alert others in the flat, make their way out of the building and contact the fire and rescue service by dialling ‘999’
If a fire starts in the common parts, anyone in these areas should make their way out of the building to a place of safety and alert the fire and rescue service.
All other residents not directly affected by the fire would be expected to ‘stay put’ and remain in their flats, unless directed to leave by the fire and rescue service.
For full details of the Fire Safety Policy please refer to the Residents’ Handbook section of this website.
What is the procedure for changing the name of the flat owner (due to marriage, deed poll, etc?)
The name of the account holders should always reflect the registered owners of the property. Therefore we ask that any change to our records is supported by legal evidence noting the change e.g. a marriage or deed-poll certificate. If the registered property owner is a company, then any change in the company name should be evidenced with a certificate of name change.
How do I change my correspondence address?
Property owners can update the correspondence address by logging on to the Account Management Area from the home page of this website or by contacting the Managing Agent during office hours.
What is the procedure for sales and remortgages?
All queries relating to sales and remortgages are dealt with by the Managing Agents who have a set process for dealing with these matters. There is a charge for dealing with sales enquiries and replies will be provided within 10 working days of the fee being paid to the managing agent.
Can I keep a pet?
Pets are permitted without consent, though if you are renting a property from an owner your tenancy agreement may prohibit this and you would need to check with your landlord. Please note that though pets are permitted, action may be taken if these cause a nuisance to other Residents.