New rules will help people in West Country apartments
By sophia1980 | Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 12:28
Tighter controls on Britain's £2.5 billion residential leasehold sector will give people who rent property in the West Country increased peace of mind on how well their buildings are run, according to Bristol-based block management specialists BNS Management Services.
New moves by the Association of Residential Managing Agents aimed at driving up standards of property management, have been welcomed by BNS Management Services, based in Downend, Bristol who run more than 175 blocks in the region. It will be the first time the industry has operated under specific regulation.
BNS Management Managing Director Andrew Simmonds said the three-month consultation had backed calls for greater self-regulation in the residential leasehold sector – which provides homes for around two million people.
He said: "At the moment anybody can set themselves up as a block management specialist without any professional or education qualifications. Until now, residential management agents have been taking in £2.5 billion every year without any form of recognised regulation.
"It's no surprise that a small number of mavericks delivering questionable service and poor value to the residential blocks they are supposed to look after have contributed to the groundswell of opinion calling for greater levels of control and regulation.
"With people finding it tough to buy their own property residential leasehold represents a major and growing portion of the UK housing market and it is crucial the industry ensures customers can depend on honesty, fairness and transparency in every respect."
Launched by brothers Andrew and Ian Simmonds in 2006, BNS Management Services' now run blocks that provide homes for around 3,500 people taking responsibility £3.5 million of service charges and dealing with financial control, insurance, building maintenance and repairs as well as compliance with health and safety and fire regulations.
Andrew Simmonds said ARMA's new self-regulation guidelines were particularly timely given the current surge in buy-to-let and build-to-rent developments.
He concluded: "We welcome the new guidelines as they will ensure that leaseholders across the country can rely on their block managers and have complete confident their homes are being managed by savvy and responsible agents who are fully regulated as well as properly qualified."