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  • Estate management Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury
  • Block management Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury
  • Flat management  Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury

Insurance, Safety and Security

Buildings insurance

Most leasehold property requires a communal buildings insurance policy and this is often put in place by the Freeholder or Residents’ Management Company and paid for out of service charges. This policy will typically cover the buildings for their full re-instatement value and will include the main structures, walls, roofs, floors, pipes and services and the contents of the communal areas. Individual leaseholders will usually be responsible for insuring the contents of their own flats or apartments.

There are a number of specialist block management insurance brokers that offer suitable policies. Many include Public Liability and Employers Liability as standard, which will provide appropriate cover in these areas for Residents’ Management Companies.

We often obtain quotes from these companies on behalf of our clients, arrange payment of the premium once it has been decided, and circulate copies of insurance documentation to Leaseholders as required.

Insurance claims

All too often problems occur which require a leaseholder to make an insurance claim. A common reason for a claim is water damage caused by a leak from one flat to another, but at its most extreme it can involve fire or even a tree hitting a building. Our role is to facilitate communication between leaseholders when a problem affecting one flat has been caused by another, and to ensure efficient administration and communication with the insurance company if a claim needs to be made. This can take a considerable amount of time but is crucial to our role as Managing Agent.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

The law makes no differentiation between a volunteer director or officer of a Residents’ Management Company and someone running a large commercial business. This means that volunteer directors can be sued directly and can face potentially unlimited personal liability. Even if a major award is not made legal defence costs can be significant.

We recommend to all our clients that they take out Directors and Officers Liability Insurance and we are pleased to obtain quotes for this on their behalf and arrange payment once a decision is made.

Risk Register and Assessments

There are several pieces of legislation that require risk assessments to be carried out at residential developments. These include:

  • Management of Health & Safety Regs 1999 & Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
  • Fire Risk assessments - Fire Regulatory Reform Order 2005
  • Asbestos management & surveys - Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006
  • Legionella Management - ACOP (L8) 2001

As part of the process of taking on a new development we will identify the risk assessments already in place and those that may be required. We will create a risk register with items budgeted for and ensure that this is regularly reviewed with our clients. We will also obtain quotes for specialist assessments for Fire Risk, Asbestos and Legionella Management if required and arrange for them to be undertaken when authority has been given.

Maintaining Safety Equipment

For peace of mind it is vital that safety equipment such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, sprinklers and emergency lighting are well maintained and there is a plan for regular servicing and testing. Many systems are checked as part of our routine maintenance visits but checking of more complex systems may require specialist maintenance and will be scheduled as part of the key dates record for each development.

Monitoring Security

Many leaseholders and residents are rightly concerned about security. Security can be improved by the installation of additional lighting in car parks and entrance areas, replacement or prompt repair of communal doors if locks become inoperable or the door is unsound. We regularly remind residents not to leave communal doors ‘on the latch’ or to prop them open. We also make leaseholders aware if there has been a security issue and will liaise with the police if necessary.

Parking, Security Gates and Bollards

It is common for residential developments to experience issues with parking. Whether it is non-residents taking up space in the car park, residents parking in each other’s spaces, or even abandoned vehicles, parking can be a bugbear.

We deal with these issues on a regular basis and we have dedicated processes for solving parking problems. Some can be solved with the provision of better signage, others require a quiet word with the person concerned, still others require the involvement of the DVLA / or police.

Some of the developments we manage have secure parking with entrance via either a gate or bollard. We ensure that these systems are maintained, we facilitate the issuing of fobs or passes and deal with any problems that residents encounter.

A water damaged ceiling

A water damaged ceiling

A fallen tree

A fallen tree

A fire damaged property

A fire damaged property

Smoke detectors in communal areas

Smoke detectors in communal areas

Clear car park painting

Clear car park painting