Block management refers to the general management of communal areas within a multiple-property building. Though similar in name and in the services provided, property management and block management are two separate types of management. Property management is more focused on managing specific tenanted properties, whereas a block management team will oversee the running of an apartment building more generally. Block management responsibilities include budgeting, accounting, maintenance, service charge collection, and more.
To learn more about block management, see our FAQ guide down below.
What is block management?
Block management refers to a company’s management of communal areas and building maintenance in a building with multiple residential or mixed-use properties. Management responsibilities include maintenance, service charge collection, and ground rent collection.
How does block management work?
Professional block management agents are hired on behalf of a property’s freeholders or Residents’ Flat Management Companies (RMCs), which is a company representing the interests of the property’s leaseholder. The managing agent is then in charge of maintaining quality care of communal areas, as well as collecting service charges, ground rent, and insurance payments.
The block manager also becomes the point of contact between freeholders and contractors, ensuring that any construction takes place seamlessly. The role requires a crucial understanding of relevant legislation and budgeting. Block managers work both in the office and in the field, depending on the task at hand.
How is block management different from property management?
Property managers oversee the day-to-day running of a specific tenancy whereas block managers take care of the communal areas, shared amenities, and building maintenance in a block with multiple properties. Some of their responsibilities overlap, such as general maintenance, and property managers will spend much of their time in communication with block managers in order to resolve issues on behalf of their clients.
How is block management paid for?
Block management is paid for through service charges and are paid by the owner of each flat within a building. Monthly fees depend on how many flats there are in the building, what management responsibilities the block manager takes on, and where the property is located.
What are the block manager’s main responsibilities?
Block manager responsibilities include:
- General maintenance: Block managers take care of general cleaning and routine maintenance responsibilities for communal areas, including gardening, painting, and decorating. Facility maintenance may also include parking lot, stair, and sidewalk repairs, as well as monthly compliance site visits.
- Health & safety compliance: Based on corresponding legislation, block managers ensure all aspects of the property abide by current UK building law. The manager will coordinate all necessary routine safety inspections, such as lift maintenance, asbestos testing, and fire safety inspections.
- Administrative support: Block managers also maintain proper communication with all contractors on the property, making sure all contractors are paid in full and on time. Other administrative responsibilities may include facilitating meetings for property managers, accounting, as well as keeping detailed records of inspections, contracts, and any on-site construction plans.
- Budgeting: Budgeting allows block managers to consistently make sure the management account has the necessary funds for any emergency repairs. Budgeting responsibilities also look over contracts for any major work being done, to double check miscellaneous fees aren’t being charged and that large-scale expenses are being efficiently spent.
- Insurance: Block managers are in charge of collecting service charges, which contribute to the property’s overall building insurance. Block managers will also provide insurance companies with necessary information pertaining to the building’s tenants as well as any owner-occupied flats.
Block managers have a wide variety of responsibilities, from accounting to maintenance and repairs. A good managing agent will be knowledgeable about leasehold and tenancy legislation, financial budgeting, and the full responsibilities required when overseeing the upkeep of an entire building.
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