: Home From Home Property Development | Ipswich Property Services
29 May 2013

A Day in the Life of a Block Manager

Home From Home Typical Development Report


Dear Leaseholder,


Home From Home has recently taken over your development and we would like to report as follows:-



Please find attached a copy of the audited accounts for the year ending December 2011.  These accounts have been produced by the previous managing agents and show that the service charge budget has been overspent by at least £5,000.  As detailed in the accounts, the overspend would normally be re-charged to owners.  However, Home From Home has managed to build up a reserve during the current year and the overspend has been offset against this reserve meaning no extra charges for owners. 



A number of balconies have been identified as needing remedial work.  Zurich insurance, under their 10 year building guarantee scheme, has accepted liability and responsibility to rectify the structural problems.  Home From Home is now liaising with Zurich’s nominated builders.  Within the next few weeks the appointed structural engineers will require access to each affected apartment balcony in order to carry out a detailed survey.


Car Parking

All the car parking spaces have been numbered.  There is one parking space allocated to each apartment and your space number which is specified in the Lease is shown at the top of this letter.  A windscreen permit will be introduced for each car using the car park and, if appropriate, please could you provide a registration number for your vehicle on the form included with this letter.  



The cleaners are attending the development weekly and have made a big impact especially as each block had not been cleaned for six months under the previous property managers.  In the next few weeks, the cleaners will be wiping down all the fire doors and we are currently seeking quotations for carpet cleaning to remove staining in some corridors.


Cycle Stores 

Home From Home will be installing cycle racks in 2013.  This will mean extra security for cycle storage and hopefully will encourage all residents to use the facility which keeps to the terms of the Lease. 



At the start of the year, one of the blocks had a very run-down appearance and the top floor still had marketing boards attached to the walls which were left by the developers.  The marketing boards have been removed and the walls on each floor have been re-painted greatly improving the appearance of the building. 


Fire Safety

All the fire alarm systems have been up-graded across the development to comply with current building regulations and defective emergency lights have been replaced.   Please note that corridors should stay free from obstructions as they provide access ways for residents and visitors and will be used in an emergency. 


Gardening, Grounds and Bin Stores

Our groundsmen attend weekly for litter picking duties and to sweep the pathways, car park, hard areas and bin stores.  They tidy the bin stores and carry out light maintenance duties.  Our gardener has intensively weeded all the shrub borders and beds. All the holly trees have been supported with wooden stakes.  During the current growing season, John is controlling the weeds on the pathways, car park and hard areas with a weed killing treatment.  He will be embarking on a planting programme in the autumn to improve the appearance of the beds.



The buildings insurance policy has been successfully renewed for 2012/13 and a request for payment is enclosed. 



A locally based company has recently taken over the maintenance of the the intercom and gate entry system. The company has successfully enabled the software and, with our help, is embarking on a project to re-program and improve the system. 



At the start of the year we appointed a local company to service the lifts at least 4 times a year and to up-grade them where appropriate. They quickly identified a fault with the auto-dialler system in the lifts which has now been rectified meaning that passengers trapped during a lift breakdown can dial out for assistance.



The PIR sensors in each block have been serviced and faulty units have been replaced.  This means that lights come on when required rather than staying on all the time.  This is reducing electric costs. 



Our caretaker has a weekly programme of light bulb replacement in the apartment blocks.  He has overseen the repair of a number of water leaks at your development and has made good water damage particularly in the lobby area of Block B.  The doors to the electric riser cupboards have been put on a latch system rather than being locked and any doors that have been damaged through being wrenched open in the past have been repaired.  The door stops to fire doors have been repaired and we are considering alternative closers to make them shut quietly. 


An Annual General Meeting of your Residential Management Company will be held in July. More information about the meeting will follow shortly. Please contact Home From Home on 01473 858690 – or email info@hfhpropertymanagement.co.uk - if you have any questions about property management ahead of the meeting.