Residents and Leaseholders
We realise that each block is different and we specialise in providing a service to suit the needs of residents and the type of block. Leaseholders at some blocks want to be heavily involved in all decisions, while others wish to have no involvement unless something major crops up.
Each site has a dedicated Property Manager who is supported by a Property Administrator, both of whom are supported by the rest of the team at Castleford. Our Property Managers regularly visit each site with the intention of dealing proactively with any issues that arise.
Whatever your needs may be, one thing you can be sure of, we have the expertise in-house to deliver it.
Our highly professional and experienced team will ensure your property is managed efficiently, and cost-effectively, with a clear focus on communication and customer service. You can rest assured we have the expertise to ensure that statutory requirements and other regulations will be met, and our strong accounting team will ensure your funds are never at risk while in our care.
We aim to be a one stop service for our customers. Our standard property management service, for which an annual management fee is charged, includes:
- Agreeing the annual budget
- Collection of service charges
- Instruction for the recovery of unpaid service charges
- Preparation of service charge statements
- Payment for general maintenance out of service charge funds
- Administration of building and other insurance required
- Attendance at Annual General Meetings
- Supervision of staff, such as concierge, cleaners and gardeners
- Administration of annual contracts such as lifts, communal boilers, water pumps etc.
- Arranging periodic health and safety and fire risk assessments
- Periodic property and estate inspections to check condition
- Arranging minor repairs to buildings, plant, fixtures and fittings
- Dealing promptly with enquiries from leasehold owners and residents
- Maintaining records on ownership
Every development has an appointed property manager, who will often be your first point of contact, but they are always supported by a large team with knowledge and experience in all the various facets of property management.
At Castleford, we recognise the importance strong financial management plays in a quality Property Management solution. We have an experienced accounts team based in Letchworth, operating on the industry leading Qube property management software. We also have a qualified Service Charge Accountant based in the Poole office who has day-to-day contact with the Property Managers.
The confidence that customers can have in our service comes from the following:-
- The annual S/C budget, on which the on-account service charge demands are based, is set in consultation with residents.
- We maintain individual bank accounts for every property we manage to ensure funds from different sites are never mixed.
- Regular monthly reports of expenditure incurred can be provided to nominated residents.
- Additional reporting on service charge receipts and debtors can be provided to residents authorised to receive it.
- Fully reconciled, and independently verified, service charge accounts are produced annually. These show all monies received and expended, and any amounts set aside to reserves.
Security of your money is very important to us, and so we have robust systems and processes in place.
You can also be reassured by the fact that Castleford and the Qdime Group have a very strong financial base.
We employ a wide range of local contractors, many of whom we have built up good working relationships with over the years. Our trusted contractors include electricians, carpenters, bricklayers, ground workers, roofers and other specialist services such as door entry systems, water hygiene services, automatic gate entry systems and fire alarm services. We only use contractors who provide value for money and meet our high standards of professionalism, reliability and timeliness. The contractors we use are all on our approved contractor list and have the correct level of public liability insurance.
Our sister company, Hazelvine, has its own building maintenance team and Castleford have the dedicated use of the Hazelvine plumber/handyman. By using the Hazelvine handyman to attend to minor reactive repairs, we can respond to jobs which many contractors are slow to respond to as they are minor in value. As an experienced plumber, he is also very good at finding the cause of annoying leaks that are causing damage to the decorations in the blocks we manage. We also regularly use a Hazelvine electrician to manage cyclical works such as emergency light tests, bulb replacements, and periodic inspection reports that are mandatory.
All major work is tendered for to ensure the charges made by the contractors we use are reasonable and competitive.
At Castleford, we understand the complexities of major works so we don’t ask our property managers to try and manage them. Instead we ask our experienced building surveyors from our sister company Q1 Professional Services to do so instead. This leaves our property managers free to focus on communication with our customers.
With Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) work, or complex roofing works for instance, a property manager will not always have the necessary experience to discuss works of that nature or prepare a specification of works and administer a building contract through to completion. Our building surveying team manage simple contracts of a few thousand pounds up to more major works running into millions.
Our surveyors will carry out a detailed inspection and survey of the building or M&E installation, prepare a detailed specification of works and contract conditions and obtain competitive tenders. We will involve landlords or resident directors throughout the process and will meet with residents to discuss complicated works and any implications such as disruption or security concerns.
Working for you, and mindful of obtaining best value for money, we always look for alternative solutions to problems and the surveying team come together to pool experience where necessary. We are also careful to keep each contract as simple as it needs to be for the work involved, so won’t always recommend a JCT Form of Contract if a simple agreement by letter is adequate.
Using the buying power of the Qdime group, a bespoke policy wording for our Block Insurance policy has been agreed, which is the most comprehensive in the market and so offers Castleford customers real value for money. The policy wording is underwritten by one of the major insurers who operate in the property sector. Our sister company, Hazelvine, where the insurance team is based, is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority
We specialise in building insurance for blocks of flats, often referred to as block insurance. The lease will normally require the landlord to take out adequate insurance for the building and common parts, and will give them the right to recover the cost of the premium through the service charge.
We guard the performance of our Block Policy very closely to ensure all claims are fully validated before acceptance. This protects the majority of our customers from the few sits that have a major claim and helps those sites maintain a sensible premium level.
Every year we meet with our brokers to review the policy wording to ensure we keep up to date with changes in the market. We agree with them which insurers we are happy for them to approach to quote and they arrange that and negotiate with us to achieve a sensible premium for the risk involved. We meet with the insurers to finalise terms and then through the year to review how the policy is performing.