Management companies and Managing agents
If your new home is on a development where shared or communal facilities such as parks are included, ongoing management and maintenance of these facilities will be required to ensure that they remain of a high standard and a place that the residents can be proud of.
Examples of these shared areas, or services are:
- Communal grounds and playparks
- Cleaning services, for windows, shared hallways
- Communal heating, lighting and air conditioning
- Private roadways, communal drives, parking & garaging
- Storage areas
- Private drainage services
A management company is set up to look after these areas and services. During the initial set up and construction of the development, we provide the directors of the management company. This is common practice as it provides time for the communal areas to be completed and we are responsible for making sure that happens. Once the communal areas are ready, we will hand control of them over to the management company and when the development is complete, residents will take over as directors of the management company.
Typically, a specialist managing agent is also appointed by us. Their responsibility is to maintain the communal areas of the development/buildings, once they have been handed over to the management company.
Their role is to assist the residents of the development in building their community, by maintaining the communal areas to a good standard and ensuring that the administration of the management company is professionally handled.
This ensures that the residents don’t have to worry about getting areas insured, getting accounts and audits done for the company, appointing landscapers to care for public open space and play areas or appointing cleaners to maintain stairwells and other internal communal areas.
Whilst initially appointed by us, before any homes are handed over, the managing agent is employed by the management company and therefore by the residents. The residents can challenge the managing agent on their performance and on the charges if necessary.
Before you reserve, any ongoing costs associated with your new home or development will be outlined to you. This often includes an estate / service charge. This is paid to the managing agent so that they can then pay for costs incurred in managing the estate and buildings on your development. The amount you pay is an agreed share of the total cost.
Our homes and developments are subject to legal covenants – which stipulate what a freeholder or leaseholder, may or may not do with the property or within the neighbourhood.
Examples of covenants could include not parking a caravan on the drive, not erecting a conservatory without our permission, or not using the home for running a business. The aim of covenants is to ensure the pleasant, residential environment in which you live is maintained and protected for the benefit of all residents and that the general amenity of the area is sustained. We will only challenge a breach of covenant if it affects us directly. Once a new development is complete, if any breach of covenant occurs, it is the responsibility of residents to take any action they think appropriate. This would normally be through the legal channels of a civil action.
On developments involving a management company, residents may instruct the management company to challenge any breach of covenant on their behalf.
A full list of relevant covenants for your development are supplied to your solicitor who can discuss them with you.
Planning conditions are separate regulations that are governed by the local planning authority. These are also legal requirements with which we as a house builder and private homeowners must comply. Planning conditions always form part of the permissions we are granted to build our homes and developments. They can include the provision of amenities such as play areas, a public open space, a public footpath, affordable housing, or even public facilities, such as a community hall, new medical centre, shops and offices. Any breach of planning conditions by you may result in the local planning authority taking action.