Useful Information & FAQs
To help you in your research, we’ve collated useful external resources on property management and Right To Manage and provided links to suppliers who we are happy to recommend
Insurance: Does the managing agent obtain commission on insurance premiums?
In our experience many managing agents take a sales commission, sometimes in excess of 50%. It will be taken either directly or indirectly through annual bonuses and is often not declared to leaseholders. VPM does not take a sales commission from the placement of your insurance policy.
Contractor Choice: Who decides the contractors that work on your block?
Traditional managing agents frequently receive a sales commission from their chosen contractor or only appoint companies to which they are related, often based in the same office! If you have a good cleaner or know of a good maintenance company, would you be free to use them?
With VPM, you are free to choose whichever contractor you wish, but we are also here to provide you with recommendations if you do not want to get involved in this choice.
Disbursements: How many additional charges could you be incurring?
Many managing agents make extra money from so-called ‘disbursements’. Ask them how much they charge to send a letter or charge for a stamp. Although they may only charge a small markup, it may make you question what other charges are being added.
VPM will only charge you for what things cost – a stamp is charged at the cost of a stamp.
Transparency: Will you be charged if you wish to see contractors’ invoices?
Some managing agents give you no transparency of your invoices; most will only allow you to see them for a charge or if you go to their offices.
VPM will give you and your fellow leaseholders access to your secure online portal (Blocks Online) where every document associated with your block is stored. What’s more, we don’t pay invoices without first seeking your approval and permission to do so.
Termination of contract: What happens if you wish to terminate my contract?
Most managing agents require three months’ termination notice, and many also charge a termination fee equivalent to three months’ managing agent fees. In worse cases still, agents insist upon as much as twelve months’ notice.
We’re confident that you’d never want to terminate your contract with VPM, but if you did, we require only one month’s notice and don’t charge a fee for terminating a contract.
Technology: How do agents use technology to empower leaseholders?
Some managing agents still rely on letters and telephone for communications. Often important documents associated with your block will be physically stored at the agent’s office and you may be charged to view/access these documents, not to mention the risk of losing documents.
VPM harnesses technology to empower leaseholders by digitally storing all documents and other information on the secure online portal, Blocks Online, and using the portal to allow the Directors to review documents, review work orders before they are placed, interact collaboratively on budgeting, review invoices before they are paid and even initiate voting exercises with the other leaseholders. The portal also streamlines communications both between fellow residents and VPM. It is an invaluable tool for empowerment that is available to all VPM clients.
Leaseholders – ARMAAMRA is the Association of Residential Managing Agents and its website has useful information for leaseholders
Right to Manage – The Leasehold Advisory Service (lease-advice.org)The Leasehold Advisory Service has a useful and simple fact sheet on Right To Manage.
We have also created a checklist of questions to ask any potential agent.
Sponsors & Partners
We have used the following suppliers and recommend their services. These organisations support us by paying to advertise here.
We are also happy to recommend the following partners:
Award winning online Property portal helping agents deliver for their leaseholders.
Specialist provider of residential buildings Insurance that lowers costs by dealing directly with residents and blocks, removing commissions and fees.
A building contractor with over 40 year’s of specialism and expertise in the residential building industry, supporting residential maintenance throughout London and the Home Counties.
We are proud to be active members of the following associations