Up to date and relevant estate regulations can help property managers to minimise disputes and maintain good leaseholder relationships – yet they often sit untouched in a dusty folder in the corner of the office (assuming they exist at all of course!). Brady Solicitors’ service charge specialists give some advice on how you can make sure your estate regulations support the smooth running of your blocks.
Most leases will contain a clause that allows the landlord to impose rules and regulations that the leaseholders have to abide by. These often repeat parts of the lease that specify rules such as what types (and size) of pet are permitted, whether or not washing can be hung out, what (and how many) vehicles can be parked and so on.
The proactive property manager should regularly review – and communicate – their estate regulations to ensure they are relevant, up to date and, importantly, can help to minimise disputes.
Examples of regulations that we’ve added recently include specification over floor coverings where there’s been complaints from other occupants that sound is penetrating to other occupants and, in a similar vein, rules around the wearing (or rather NOT wearing) of stiletto heels on wooden floors.
From a leaseholder liaison perspective our property management solicitors recommend that your regulations MUST include allowing access to the property to make any repairs, and the timely reporting of any problems. This clause requiring speedy notification of problems can be very helpful in reducing claims from leaseholders by ensuring that issues are not left to fester.
Effective estate regulations should also include a cost clause for situations where the landlord takes action against the leaseholder for a breach of the lease. The clause would ensure the leaseholder is responsible for the costs incurred in bringing the action.
We are the first to admit that estate regulation is not a topic to set the pulse racing, but well-drafted, well-communicated and relevant regulations can minimise leaseholder conflict and help the busy property manager to deliver excellent service levels.
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For help or advice with reviewing, redrafting – or even creating – your estate regulations please get in touch on 0115 985 3450 or by email.