Our FAQ's

A Lease is a private contract generally between you and your landlord which sets out the rights and duties of both parties. Occasionally there is a third party within your agreement which is commonly known as a tri-partite lease, and this third party is often a Resident Management Company or Agent. Your lease will allow you to occupy the property for a fixed number of years: typically for 99 or 125 years.

Ground rent is a regular rental payment for the occupation of part of an area of land. Ground rent is usually paid to the landlord and increases over time.

A service charge is a payment made to the party responsible for the management function of the shared areas. Your share towards the maintainable parts is defined within your lease and usually paid to an agent on behalf of a landlord, Resident Management Company or Right to Manage company and includes a mixture of maintenance and administrative fees.

In normal circumstances, most leases allow for advanced billing based on an estimate of charges for the year ahead. This is to ensure there is appropriate funding in place to fulfil the management obligations. However, it usually is just an estimate. Whilst the lease will define more specifically how to handle any overspend or underspend, a balancing adjustment will be the difference between the initial bill issued based on an estimate of charges and the actual amount spent. This is otherwise referred to as a balancing charge.

A Resident Management Company is a non-profit making company formed to provide a vehicle to enable the owners within a building to undertake the management of that building for themselves, albeit this function usually contracts to an agent on their behalf. A Resident Management Company is often already inserted within the lease agreements from the outset of the build.

A Right to Manage company offers similar functions to a Resident Management Company, albeit overall, the company will retain the landlord's responsibilities such as arranging insurances, consent approvals etc. It gives leaseholders the statutory right to take over the management of their property from the landlord by setting up a special company - a right to manage company.

Every lease and property are different. If insurance is included, it will be detailed within your service charge estimate. It is typical for the buildings insurance to cover the building integrity and the normal losses such as water damage or malicious damage but will not typically include contents cover. This cover is usually sourced separately by the leasehold owner.

It depends on the regulations stipulated within your lease. Some leases prevent subletting, whilst others allow it under controlled conditions.

It depends on the regulations stipulated within your lease. It is common for the landlord to provide consent for alterations either direct or via the managing agent. Where consent is required you should contact Sears Morgan Property Management for more advice.

Service charges are held in trust in a single bank account specifically for your property. It is not amalgamated with any other funds.

The Section 20 process can be a tricky area to understand if you have not been exposed to it, although its purpose is relatively straight forward. There are three main parts to Section 20, with the most common being qualifying work and qualifying contracts.

The legislation is designed to protect Leaseholders by offering them a statutory right to be consulted if the cost of any one set of works is more than £250 per leaseholder, or in circumstances where the value of any one contract is over £100 where it is intended to be entered into for a period longer than twelve months.

The consultation with Leaseholders is a 3 Stage notice, Stage 1 is notice of intention, Stage 2 is providing quotes for the works and Stage 3 is notifying who has been chosen and the reason why they have been chosen. The Notices are prescribed and must contain certain information to ensure that they are valid. There can be financial repercussions for not consulting properly in accordance with the act.

We keep it local and cover North London, Middlesex and Hertfordshire.

We consider properties of any size without limitation, offering experienced professionals in the block and estate management field.

Detailed on the bill will be confirmation of the banking details for payment of service charges. This will allow bank transfer payments to be made with ease. We also accept debit/credit cards and Standing Orders.

You can report a maintenance issue via maintenance@searsmorganpm.co.uk or telephone 0203 004 3170.

We do occasionally receive commissions on Insurances. However, we do not receive a commission of any kind from contractors.

We have a robust collection procedure ensuring prompt payment of service charges; however, we do recognise that occasionally we will experience collection issues.

Providing we have exhausted our internal procedures we would look to recover service charges with the use of a third-party debt collection service.

It depends on the regulations stipulated within your Lease as to whether a reserve or sinking fund can be legally collected.

However, we would generally support this as a measure of good management.

Our standard terms are quarterly visits.

Firstly, we set an expenditure limited within our management agreements requiring director's approval beyond a specific amount which you can choose. Additionally, when we issue a works instruction to a contractor, we would typically set an estimated expenditure amount reducing the risk of receiving large, unexpected bills given its a controlled process.

The contractor would be required to obtain consent over the estimated amount before going ahead.

Allowing some flexibility, we can place any stipulation to the contractor requiring them to comply to ensure payment following completion of any job.

We understand that value is important to our clients, so we do have a varied contractors database offering both small multi-trades through to more specialist fields.

New clients should expect that we will process and deal with the handover of client records from any previous managing agent, including balance transfers, and that we will conduct a thorough lease analysis and audit of the documents that are received.

In the event of requiring out of hours assistance, please contact the office to be redirected to a member of the team. This is strictly for emergencies only and is a service conducted in-house and not by a third-party external company.

Depending on the nature of the enquiry as some can be more complex than others, our service commitment is an acknowledgement or response to written correspondence within 24 hours. Calls are handled immediately.

Yes. Any prospective client is provided with varied customer references and those references have agreed to be contacted should you want to discuss our services.

Yes. This will be accrued at the bank’s current standard rate.

We would prefer at least 1-3 months’ notice; however, we can start immediately in some circumstances.

0844 257 2222

0203 004 3170

We are

Members of the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) - Membership Number: 3353
Members of The Property Ombudsman Scheme - Membership Number: D05144
Members of the Institute of Residential Property Management - Membership Number: 123261


Suite A5, Kebbell House, Delta Gain,
Carpenders Park,
Watford, Herts,
WD19 5EF


E: management@searsmorganpm.co.uk
T: 0844 257 2222
T: 0203 004 3170

Sears Morgan Property Management Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales.
Registration number 05927546. Registered Office: Suite A5, Kebbell House, Delta Gain, Carpenders Park, Watford, Herts, WD19 5EF
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