make things better blog

Make Things Better – paying for poor work?

The purpose of our Make Things Better series is to help anyone in need of a little extra advice or support for managing their property. Too often, managing agents are put in place that lack the time or knowledge required to deliver an excellent service to clients, and that is affecting the reputation of our industry. So we’re in a mission to change things and Make Things Better for you, and for us.

This week, we heard from a property owner and member of a RMC with this issue:

My managing agent organised for some roof repairs to our property but just one year later we need them to be redone. Clearly the supplier wasn’t very good. Is it fair that we need to pay again or is the managing agent liable for some of the repair costs?

First of all, we’re sorry to hear that this has happened to you. At TCML, we can say with confidence that we would never let this happen because of the guarantees we put in place for all major works that are carried out. There would be guarantees for the contractor as well as for the materials. That is very important and ensures another layer of protection if the contractor were to go bust.

Where your managing agent may have fallen flat is in their selection process of the contractor who carried out the work. No managing agent should take a chance on a new supplier. We have long standing relationships with the highest quality suppliers so you get suitably qualified and experienced people working on each and every job.

Unfortunately, it’s commonplace to find contractors who claim they can do any kind of maintenance or repair works when they’re not actually plumbing experts or roofing experts and therefore lack the specific knowledge required to do the work well. The only contractors that should be hired should have a solid track record for doing the job required and multiple references.

Also, all work should be inspected at several stages during any job and upon completion by a surveyor to sign off the project.  This ensures that the job has been done properly and you have an independent expert to verify that.

It’s not right that you have to pay again and we would recommend looking at the support you’re getting from your managing agent.

Have you got an issue you’d like to run past us? Get in touch with us at mail@townandcity.com or find out how to switch to us here.

luxury apartment waterside view

Make Things Better – overpaying for managing agent support?

We aim to give our clients peace of mind that their property and interests will be cared for now and far into the future. And for those of you who aren’t our clients, we’ve found a way to help you too with our new advice series, Make Things Better.

To kick things off, here’s a query that came through to us just last week…..

“I get little contact from my managing agent and yet the service charges are really high. Is this normal?”

Sadly this is a regular occurrence with many managing agents, providing poor and infrequent communication, and in some cases not even an acknowledgement of a query.

More likely than not, the reason for this will be the size of the agent. Some companies are too big and you’re just a number to them. At Town & City, we see ourselves as small enough to care and big enough to cope. That means we’re small enough to be able to talk to people on an individual and personal basis, and treat each person well; but can also provide the best support and advice whenever and wherever in the country it’s needed.

We’re a mid-sized player in market and we’ve invested heavily in how we communicate through the hiring of high quality staff, training and our new client portal. What’s more, we never underestimate the importance of getting back to people properly and as quickly as possible. Why? Relationships are important to us. So much so, that some of the leaseholders we work for are now good friends too.

There could of course be another reason for the “little contact” you receive from your managing agent. The number and frequency of site visits depends on the contract – you could be entitled to weekly visits and around the clock one-to-one support. Or, a quarterly ‘check in’. You have to be aware of what you’re actually paying for. If you’ve noticed a reduction in the service and attention you’re receiving but the service charge has gone up, that is something to investigate.  With regards to transparency  of what should be offered, it’s all in the contract.

The last potential reason for radio silence from your managing agent could be that they have something to tell you that they know you won’t want to hear. Is that acceptable? No.  There’s no smoke and mirrors with us – nor should there be with any agent when it comes to giving the best advice for preserving your property. You need to resolve a problem in the best way possible and sometimes that way isn’t easy or cheap. There may be a legal route that has to be taken in certain circumstances. It may be that an inspection or investigation into a problem has uncovered bigger issues. Sometimes managing agents have to deliver bad news – it’s how they help you resolve the problem afterwards that matters.

Have you got an issue you’d like to run past us? Get in touch with us at mail@townandcity.com or find out how to switch to us here.