Derby Lodge – Management Update
I hope the year has started well for you.
I thought I would take the opportunity to update you on a few of the things we have done since becoming your managing agent in October 15.
Activity & benefits delivered to date
- Derby Lodge specific client bank account set-up and data handover from lee croft.
- Bushes & hedges pruned, grass & edging cut & beds weeded. (garden schedule is on the web page)
- We even cut back overgrown ivy on the fence, but this was somewhat wasted when the fences blow down!
- Monthly cleaning of the communal areas (Cleaning schedule is on the web page)
- Electricity tariff reduced by aggregating the account with other Rebloom block accounts
- Gutters cleaned and two gutters repaired
- All internal lights repaired
- The two lamp post lights in the car park repaired. NB. The repair required completely new heads. Hopefully they will last for a number of years.
- An agreement to upgrade the Sky communal system to SkyQ free of charge!! The survey has been completed and we await a date for the upgrade.
We appreciate that there is still a lot more to do, but we hope that the start has been a positive one for you.
The fence that blew down before Christmas is still to be replaced. This is the responsibility of RMG, who we are in constant contact with. Still no date for a replacement, but as soon as we get one we will let you know.
Outlook for the next financial year
- We are very concerned about the lack of real time information we receive about this development which means we can only take action to faults reported to us and this may be some time after the fault occurred.
We propose circuit monitors on each of the landlord consumer units so that we get to know the minute an electrical circuit trips so that we can take action before the residents may even be aware of the problem.
- The external doors ideally need replacing as their quality and street appeal is low. However, this would be expensive and given other priorities we propose to paint them this summer and review the need for replacement in 2017-18.
- The post boxes are scruffy and a few are damaged.They should ideally be replaced with steel boxes but the cost will be £2,000 fitted. So for the year ahead we will look to repair the existing boxes were possible.
- Internally the communal areas would benefit from redecoration. We will obtain costs and if the budget allows put forward a refurbishment plan for your review.
- Externally the development would benefit from a second bin store which would tidy the far end of the garden. We will obtain costs and update everyone early in the year.
If you have any proposals for repairs or improvements please email firstname.lastname@example.org, ref: DL L12
- At this stage we are only forecasting to break even at the 31st March. The company accounts due at the end of June will confirm the year end surplus/ deficit.
- Last year Lee Croft recommended an increase in the service charge. We are pleased to confirm that we are able to keep the existing service charge payments at the current level for 2016-17. However, this will preclude any contribution to a reserve fund which in turn restricts the money available to make major improvements in future years.
It would be prudent on this type of development to run a reserve fund of c6k cover for major unplanned repairs (eg: the roof or drains). Not having a reserve fund will necessitate everyone making a one off major payment to cover for those bigger repair jobs. As this is your money to be saved and invested in your asset we would like to obtain your view to building a reserve fund for the future, by completing the following table.We will discuss the findings with David Clarke (Director), publish them and report back on the impact on the service charge as part of the budget.
- To maintain the development and undertake work when needed requires all service charges to be paid on the due date. This hasn’t been the case with everyone this year and has resulted in delays in getting the car park lamps replaced.
We will issue statements to you at the end of the month and would appreciate your account to be fully paid on the 1st March.
- From the 1st April we will chase late payments on a monthly basis with an administration charge of £25 for each late payment letter. To ensure your payments reach us on time could you please check that you have standing orders set up on a monthly basis.
- We have had one insurance claim for a water leak in the year. As the insurance industry perceives water leaks in communal blocks as one of the bigger risks when there isnt a cyclical plumbing assessment in place, this claim may result in an increase in premiums and excess next year. To minimise/ mitigate an increase we will be offering plumbing checks for all properties.
For your investment to be successfully managed it is important that the managing agent, letting agents and contractors work together to maintain and improve standards. We work very closely with Belvior on your behalf to achieve this.
However, we are aware that some apartments may be self managed or with other agents. To help us understand who the agents within the development are and to make contact with them could you please complete the following (but only if you rent out your apartment).