Case Study – Cavendish House Block Management in Chester

Project Objective: Collect arrears, pay debts, complete maintenance
Location: Cavendish Place, Chester

We were recommended to the leaseholders at Cavendish Place, Chester who were experiencing poor service from their national block management company. The leaseholders were unaware of the dire position they were in as communication with this block managing company was non-existent. The development ran at a significant loss, with substantial arrears (some going back nine years), had not been decorated in twelve years, had outstanding maintenance issues, significant and questionable outstanding contractor invoices and non-existing housekeeping. This felt an impossible task to take on, but with the support and engagement from a couple of the leaseholders we formulated to recovery plan as the leaseholder’s residential management company was on the brink of insolvency.

After a full financial review of expenditure, arrears, debts, and insurance, a one, three, six, twelve and twenty-four month plan was put in place, all without increasing the service charge budget.

The Expectations

As the new block management company, we had to take swift action and as part of our remit, we were challenged with helping our client achieve stability. We were mindful of the leaseholders past experiences and suggested we hold regular meetings and share ongoing information as and when things happen.

Our Solution

Paramount carried out a full audit of the previous 12 months costs. All lease and budget needs were reviewed along with the resident’s requirements and it was agreed to:

• Keep tight hold of the purse strings
• Tackle arrears
• Stave off debtors and pay invoices
• Deal with health and safety, a poorly serviced lift and other maintenance issues
• Email leaseholders a regular Newsletter keeping them abreast of the situation and thus alleviate some of the stress they were under

Results, Expectations and Savings:

On handover from the previous management company, more unpaid invoices appeared. Debtors were immediately contacted and challenged on outstanding invoices with genuine invoices being paid immediately while keeping an eye on available funds.

Solicitors were engaged resulting in all leaseholders now paying service charge.

Unscrupulous contractors who had presented fictious invoices were challenged.

Following a full health and safety Inspection a twelve month plan was put in place to address and prioritise the identified issues.

The lift received a major overhaul and is now in a regular service contract.

As funds allowed, more time was spent on ground maintenance and the communal areas have been decorated, all within the twenty four month timetable.

A development and residential management company that was in dire straits of failing is once again a desirable place to live with high rental yields and strong sales. Ideally located in Hough Green, Chester, this is now a highly sought-after location.