Why choose Bloq?
The Bloq team have a background in property and development and have also been in a position ourselves of having paid service charge, therefore we know what standard of service we expect and work hard to deliver that. We recognise that your property may be your home or your investment and we believe in giving you the best possible service to protect your financial and emotional investment in this property. We don’t just talk to Leaseholders, we actively communicate with all residents (tenants and leaseholders) as their engagement is vital to having a positive community and a well looked after building. Please look at the testimonials around the website and our Google Reviews for feedback on how we are doing.
We are also a Chartered Practice and follow the guidelines of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) and are in the process (May 2020) of registering with The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA). Being compliant with best practice in our industry is very important to us and means our service follows the most up to the minute regulations and standards.
Do you offer an out-of-hours service?
Yes. Outside of normal working hours our telephone number goes straight through to our Emergency Out of Hours support. 24/7, 365 days a year.
How do you choose your contractors? And what is the balance between quality and cost?
We work with a range of contractors across the area who have proven to be reliable and good value. We try to find the right contractor for the job, the building and at the right price. As well as a growing team of trusted contractors that we will regularly use, we welcome alternative providers and are happy to get quotes from recommended suppliers. We don’t receive commissions from contractors so we are not tied to anyone but when we find local suppliers who offer a reliable and affordable service, we try to use them regularly as this means having access to them quicker and creates a positive working arrangement which benefits us, them and the site.
Do you take any kickbacks or commission?
Unlike some Block Management Agents, we don’t take commission from any of the contractors that we procure on your behalf. We charge a monthly fee for our service which is agreed up front and do not enhance this with hidden kickbacks. The Service Charge is client money and we believe that it’s not ethical to be paid to do a job and then be paid again from a service provider.
Do you charge a fee for carrying out works?
Arranging most works is included within our fixed fee. Sometimes for large works which require a tender process or project management, e.g. large Section 20 Works, there may be an additional charge. If this is the case, we will always agree this fee with you before we start.
How often do you check the blocks?
As often as we need to; we inspect at least every other month, but if we need do, we’ll attend and sort issues out at no extra fee.
What systems do you use? And are you registered under the Data Protection Act?
We use a software system, called Blockman, which is Cloud based and specific to our industry. Leaseholders can access their own information and certain information for the block using the client extension of this software called My Blockman. We are registered under the Data Protection Act and treat your information, like your money, with the upmost respect.
How do you deal with Service Charge funds / Client Money? Who receives the interest and who pays the bank fees?
Service charge monies are held in a designated client account strictly in accordance with RICS Members’ Accounts Regulations and all accounts are administered in accordance with the RICS Clients’ Money Protection Scheme, and in accordance with the RICS Code of Practice for Residential Managing Agents. We hold accounts with both Handelsbanken and Lloyds Bank. We reconcile the accounts at least once a month. The accounts do receive interest and this is credited directly to the service charge account. Similarly, any charges are paid by the block account. For more information, please click here for a copy of our “How we handle Client Money” policy.
How do you deal with unpaid service charges? And how do you deal with non-paying lessees?
We have a tight credit control system and we rarely have had to revert to solicitors to collect unpaid service charges. In most cases, clear issuing of service charge bills and reminders where necessary are sufficient. Where money is still not forthcoming we follow a Debt Collection Policy which reminders leaseholders of their obligations under the lease or transfer that they signed when they bought the property, and works with them to unblock any issues to payment. We are aware that referral to solicitors only escalates costs for the non-paying leaseholders so we would only do this as a last resort.
How do you deal with complaints?
We are confident that our clients are happy with the service we provide, and we always encourage and welcome feedback over where we can improve. We accept that occasionally things can go wrong, and in such an event we welcome the opportunity to deal with any complaint fairly and promptly. A copy of our Complaints Procedure can be found here.
How do your staff manage difficult behaviour?
It is the purpose of our roles to deliver an exceptional customer service to all our customers, whether that be residents, leaseholders, or clients. We understand that managing people’s homes requires dealing with customers that have an emotional investment and this can sometimes cause distress and make dealing with customers difficult. We are prepared and have tools to enable us to ease such conversations and provide effective resolutions to these problems.
Occasionally however, there may be instances when we deal with an individual whose behaviour is considered unreasonable. We have a duty to ensure that our staff are properly protected, in accordance with our health and safety obligations and our general responsibility to safeguard their welfare. We do not expect our staff to tolerate unreasonable behaviour. For more details, our ARMA and IRPM supported statement can be read here.
I am not satisfied with my current agent - how do I change?
Your current agent will probably have a notice period specified in the contract. Do check this and find out if you are free to change. Please get in touch for a no obligation chat and we will listen to your current concerns and see how we might be able to help with a different or better solution.
Will you manage my block of 4 flats?
We get a lot of enquiries for management of small blocks where people are unhappy with their existing manager or want to move from self-management to a professional provider.
We used to offer our management service to any size of block, however time has shown us that to be able to charge what we need to for our standard level of service, the cost is just not viable for blocks of under 12 apartments. The costs that equate to good systems, staff and service that we have built our reputation on offering, start to work from this size of building upwards.
There are occasions where a smaller block wants to work with us and is prepared to pay the minimum fee (currently equating to 12 x apartments) and so we do have a number of these smaller blocks, but in most cases it will make our fee uncompetitive and an agent specialising in smaller blocks may be more appropriate. Please do enquire if you are unsure and we can advise.