Desmonds’s Top Tips

Understanding Budgets

This is an ‘anticipated’ budget calculated by using the previous years actual spend and any additional projects that are expected in the forthcoming year. It’s not an exact science on how to forecast the budget as the majority of the costs are reactive maintenance, therefore they are not fixed, meaning the charges will vary. So whilst experience, logic, and reasonable rational are applied, the figures are not concrete and the actual spend at year end will differ from what we budget.

2015 Balance

If you have a balance from 2015 that remains overdue for payment, you will need to pay this IN FULL immediately and it cannot be included within the Repayment Plan for 2016.

Payment Plan

The service charge is due within 28 days from date of issue unless you spread the cost in an agreed payment plan. See below example:

 

example payment plan

 

Divide the TOTAL TO PAY by 10 equal payments. The 1st payment should arrive on the 1st of each month, starting in February.

Reminder Letters

If we do not receive payment, we send out a reminder  letter. Please DO NOT IGNORE THESE LETTERS even if you have recently paid.

Blockman Online

If you have not already done so, please contact the office to ask for your details to be added to our online system. It is an email based service, keeping you up to date with your property… On the go! 

 

3 Service Charge Facts

You may not already know

 

FACT 1:

Across the portfolio we manage, on average, approx 40% of the costs included in the budget are fixed costs, such as the management fee and communal cleaning costs ect. This simply means that as much as 60% of the budget is unknown and we cannot completely control the expenditure. For example; water utility usage and ad-hoc repairs, are an unknown entity. We refer to these variable costs as ‘anticipated expenditure’.

FACT 2:

Contrary to popular belief, payment plans are made outside of the lease. Whilst your management company and you as a leaseholder may like spreading payment, the lease does not state you CAN pay this way. It is why an administration fee is charged if you do choose to pay this way, due to the additional work involved in processing your payments.

FACT 3:

The lease only requires the management company to serve ‘service charge demands’. As an agent, we do NOT have to send reminders to chase non-payment. But we try to be fair and send a first and final reminder if payment is outstanding.  However this should not be relied upon to help remind you to pay. Once the demand is served and the appropriate time has elapsed (generally after 28 days) your case could technically be referred to solicitors for non-payment.

 

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