Property Manager Blog – Gemma Woodford

Property Management – Rising Material Costs

I think that I can speak for everyone within the property industry and even those fanatic DIYers, that over the past few months we have all noticed a huge increase in material costs.

When planning major works as a Property Manager, we need to decide if the costs will exceed £250 per unit. If they do, we are obligated to carry out the Section 20 process, which can take 2-3 months to complete. Quotes are obtained and costs are relayed back to all Leaseholders for any comments or recommendations. I am finding that contractors will not hold their quotes for more than 7 days, which makes the Section 20 process almost impossible to fulfil.

On some projects, I have had to include a large contingency to cover the risk of a material increase. Leaseholders are becoming frustrated that costs are rising, and in most cases believe that we or the contractor are trying to make a quick buck! This is definitely not the case.

The effects of the Pandemic and Brexit have also put a strain on the industry. People have been unable to go on holiday, thus, using their time and money to refurbish their homes and gardens. All tradesmen are extremely busy, I have certainly noticed the struggle in completing works in a timely manner as smaller companies just do not have the manpower to fulfil the demand.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that material costs will decrease. We are having to work with contractors and Leaseholders as best we can to make major works happen. I try to be open and honest with Leaseholders so that there are no unexpected costs thrown at them at the last minute.

After a tough 18 months I feel that this has made our jobs much harder. We have had to obtain revised quotes, re-issue notices to all Leaseholders and in some cases go through the lengthy Section 20 process again. When the increase in costs have exceeded the amount in the Reserve Fund, we have had to collect further money from Leaseholders. This has caused huge delays and upset amongst the Leaseholders.

It doesn’t appear that materials will decrease in cost, we can only manage the situation as best we can and plan future works knowing more than we did a few months ago.

September 2021


Gemma Woodford

Property Manager, Bournemouth

Town & City Management Limited

Property Manager Blog – Laura McGill

It is a well-known fact that the Property Management industry has grown considerably in recent years and along with it, the role of the Property Manager has had to adapt and change. From the outside looking in, our jobs probably look easy – that we just arrange maintenance or collect rent but this industry to those within it has become so much more than just these simple tasks. Continue reading

Coronavirus – Important information for clients

UPDATED: 17th June 2021

Coronavirus – Important information for clients

The health and wellbeing of our employees and the residents of the properties we manage is of utmost importance to us and whilst these are uncertain times we wanted to reassure you that our focus and dedication remains the same as it always has.

First and foremost please follow the Government’s advice which is always up to date and can be found on  Advice is also provided through a government media campaign so listen out for any new developments.

As a service provider we need to make some changes to the way we do things. They are designed in accordance with Government advice and Public Health England, particularly in relation to limiting social contact, as we all try to do our bit to help manage the Coronavirus outbreak.

The following questions and answers are designed to tell you about what’s been put in place and what you can expect during this difficult time.  We must reiterate however that this is our approach at this current time, things are changing constantly in response to Government advice and our staff resource levels, so you are advised to keep a check on our website for the most up to date information.

Will your offices still be open?

Our Head Office is back open and all Head Office employees are back working in the office, if you would like to visit the office we ask that you ring ahead first and make an appointment.   Our telephone lines are open as usual, please call 0333 700 6 700.

What will happen with the repairs and maintenance service?

We are focussed on maintaining this service, all contractors are aware of social distancing and infection control guidelines and will be using the appropriate PPE, they will not enter individual apartments unless it is an emergency.

To report a repair or maintenance issue, please either log this on the “At Home with TCML” portal, email us on or call 0333 700 6 700, Option 1.   Our out of hour’s service will continue to operate outside of normal working hours.

What about the fire alarms and emergency light checks?

These services will still continue.

How do I pay my service charge? 

You can pay your service charges in the following ways:

  • Over the telephone by credit/debit card, please call 0333 700 6 700, Option 2.
  • By BACS/Internet banking, bank details are provided on the front of your invoice.
  • By standing order if applicable to your development.
  • Via the “At Home With TCML” Portal.
  • By Cheque, please send this to our Head Office in Darlington.

We would like to thank you for your understanding and wish you the very best during these unprecedented times.