Block Management – what you need to know

Block Management - what you need to know

We like to keep our finger on the pulse here at Be Original and we do so by making sure we’re up to date with block management industry news, attending relevant events and paying attention to any research papers produced by the government or by large industry bodies.

Here we provide an overview of the recent white paper from ARMA, the government statistical release regarding leasehold properties and give some insight into the value of our industry as a whole.

Leasehold Housing Numbers

According to both the ARMA white paper (released in June 2019) and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government statistical release for 2017-18, there are an estimated 4.3 million leasehold dwellings in England, equating to 18% of English housing stock.

The vast majority of the leasehold dwellings in England are flats; 67% (2.9 million) to be exact.

Both reports break the dwellings down into categories as follows:

Leasehold properties in England 2019
  • 3 million dwellings (54%) are owner-occupied

  • 7 million (40%) are privately owned and let in the private rented sector

  • 244,000 (6%) are dwellings owned by social landlords and let in the social rented sector

Note

These figures remain largely unchanged since the 2016-17 government report, so it will be interesting to see if the numbers budge once the new report is released in September 2020.

Our Industry Statistics

ARMA (the leading trade association for residential managing agents) goes into more detail re the size and reach of the block management industry in their report.

According to them (based on figures supplied by The Property Ombudsman and the Property Redress Scheme) there are 870 Managing Agent firms in England/Wales; 300 of which are ARMA members.

These 870 firms contribute approximately £500 million to the economy per annum via Value Added Tax National Insurance Corporation Tax while directly employing approximately 25,000 people.

Employed People in block management

Regulation in the industry

ARMA go on to discuss the future of regulation across the industry and suggests that

“Anyone who is responsible for a block of flats should have to undergo a minimum level of education on property law, Health and Safety and Fire. This includes all RTM and RMC board directors and landlords. This should be online so that those people with day jobs can fit it into their schedule. It should be free and provided by a body such as LEASE (Leasehold Advisory Service).”

They also state their belief that regulation would be more cost effective, productive and achievable if maintained at company level, rather than by a qualification necessitated at an individual level.

The idea would be that a company principal would need a certain level of qualification and a staff of people that are qualified to a slightly lesser level in order to receive a stamp of approval as a company.

Qualifications for Individuals

On the other side of that coin is IRPM who provide training and qualifications for individuals.

Their members can move from company to company throughout their career, taking their accreditation with them everywhere they go.

IRPM have over 4,700 members from over 1,200 organisations and provide 5 levels of qualification from Apprentice through to Fellow.

qualifications for block management

They estimate that half of all leasehold properties in the UK are managed by their qualified professionals, contributing to a “marked improvement in management standards” since their inception in 2002.

IRPM’s mission is to

“raise standards in the management of residential property in the UK and provide individuals with independent professional accreditation. IRPM is not a trade body and does not represent firms. It does not lobby, but instead is an authoritative and trusted voice with Government and stakeholders as an unbiased speaker of truth to power.”

Any scheme that raises standards across the board sounds good to us- whether that be on an individual or a company basis.

On the horizon...

The future of block management

Along with the September 2020 report from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, we’re also eagerly awaiting the results of the Fixflo Leasehold and Block Management Market Survey 2019.

Fixflo (an industry-leading repairs and maintenance management software provider) created the survey in association with ARMA and MRI Software.

Their aim is to “understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for property professionals in the sector” during what promises to be an interesting couple of years…

Rajeev Nayyar, Managing Director of Fixflo, said:

“On top of the uncertainty of Brexit, leasehold reform is imminent. With the findings from this report, we can better respond to the needs of the industry and see on a granular level, what support or technological solutions can help property professionals through the testing period ahead and turn any challenges into opportunities. We will run the survey annually to keep abreast with what block management companies are concerned with.”

The results are expected to be released this month (October 2019) so we can’t wait to see what opinions and trends become apparent.

UPDATE 17/10/19

The report is now available to download for FREE here and we will be providing a summary of the findings along with our thoughts very soon.

Events

We love to attend as many industry events as the diary allows. It’s a great way to keep in touch professionals from all levels, stay up to date with possible business developments and to top up our existing knowledge.

IRPM Regional Seminar

Some of the most recent events we’ve attended:

All have been brilliant and provided a wealth of insight into the direction the industry is moving.

Face to face time is so important and we’d love to have a chat if you see us at an event so don’t be shy!

Summary

So as you can see, we really do keep our heads in the game. Our specialist knowledge of the industry comes from years working within, promoting and living and breathing it.

Just one more reason to trust us with your social media presence.

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Block Management - what you need to know
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Block Management - what you need to know
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We provide an overview of the recent white paper from ARMA, the government statistical release regarding leasehold properties and give some insight into the value of our industry as a whole.
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Be Original
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About author: Rebecca Kelly

Rebecca Kelly, Co-Founder of Be Original - Social Media Marketing for the Block Management Industry. 🎯Rebecca loves social media and has achieved new leads for her business through her use of different platforms, and is now pleased to be able to share this knowledge through Be Original.

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