How many units does my block need to be for Oakfield to manage it?
Oakfield manage blocks with 10 or more units, however will consider smaller blocks in some circumstances.
What information do we need to provide Oakfield with if we wish to instruct you?
We need as much information as you can provide, most important is all the financial information for the current service charge year, a copy of the current budget and the account balances for all of the Leaseholders. We also require a copy of the Lease and a set of keys for the property. These are just the basics there is a list of information that we would need that will be provided to your and/or your current managing agents when it is agreed Oakfield will be instructed.
How much notice do Oakfield need to take over the management?
We can commence management as quickly as required, you do not need to wait for the financial year end, that said you must check your current contract with your managing agent to ensure that notice can be given and when that would expire. We can act as quickly as required and have an infrastructure to commence the management within 24hrs of signed terms being received.
We have been with our current managing agent for many years and we are concerned that changing will be disruptive and complicated?
Oakfield are experienced in taking over management of blocks and will always do this with as little inconvenience and disruption as possible. We will liaise with your current managing agents on your behalf to obtain all the information applicable and keep you updated on the progress. All Leaseholders will be sent a letter advising Oakfield have taken over management of the property along with a Lessee information pack.
How often would Oakfield carry out an inspection of our block?
Inspections are carried out every quarter by your property manager who will visit the property and prepare a condition report noting down any areas that need attention. This is then passed onto the Directors/Freeholder to discuss what course of action to take with the necessary works.
Where and how do Oakfield hold service charge monies?
All service charge funds held on behalf of our Leaseholders are held in a secure ring fenced clients account in accordance with ARMA-Q guidelines.
What is ground rent?
This is rent paid under the terms of a lease by the owner of a building to the owner of the land on which it is built.
Will Oakfield’s fees be subject to VAT?
Yes, all of our fees are subject to VAT at the current rate.
Can we keep our existing contractors?
Yes, we embrace this however, if you don’t have contractors already in place Oakfield have an extensive list of reliable contactors whom we have used for many years.
Can we keep our existing accountant?
Yes. We have an accountant who we use for all of our accounting however a number of our blocks use their own accountants and we are more than happy with this.
Do Oakfield offer an out of hours’ service for emergencies?
Yes, we do. We have a 24 hours a day 365 days a year emergency number that you can call should an emergency arise in your building.
Will a representative from Oakfield attend Resident’s meetings and AGM’s? Is there an additional charge for this?
Oakfield will attend your AGM as part of our standard service, we will also attend up to 4 Directors meetings a year during office hours. Any meetings in addition to these and any outside of office hours may incur additional hourly charge, should a fee apply this will be agreed prior to the meeting.
Should we have a reserve fund?
We would strongly advise that you have a reserve fund in place for your property as when it comes to major works like redecorating internally and externally, re-carpeting the communal areas etc. there is already a provision in funds in place to help towards these costs. That said some leases do not allow for a reserve fund to be set up so we would need to check your lease allows for this before including this in the annual service charge budget.
Can Oakfield oversee Section 20 major works on our behalf? Will we need a surveyor?
With section 20 major works we would always insist that a surveyor is instructed to draw up a specification of works and oversee the project. The reason for this is that whilst Oakfield are experienced as managing agents we are not Surveyors we do not have the knowledge and expertise needed in order to prepare a specification of works and oversee the works at all the stages. Oakfield will however liaise with Leaseholders and the surveyor on the works as well as serve all of the notices for the consultation process.
How is my service charge spent? Will I be given information on the budget and expenditure?
Each financial year Oakfield will prepare a budget detailing forecasted expenditure for that year it is from that your service charge will be calculated. In the weeks before the start of the financial year you will receive a service charge demand in with that demand you will receive a budget apportionment showing you what the intended budget is for the forthcoming year and how much you pay towards each budgeted cost. At the end of the financial year, within 6 months, you will receive a copy of the service charge accounts for the year detailing a full breakdown of all expenditure. In the event that expenditure exceeds that of the budget then you will be asked to make a deficit payment, in the event that expenditure is less than that budgeted then you will receive a credit to your account, unless your lease stipulates that deficits/credits need to be dealt with in a specific way.
What action is taken on Leaseholders that do not pay their service charges?
We send a series of 3 letters over a month long period advising that payment is overdue and failure to make payment could result in legal action. In the event that after the third letter payment still isn’t received then it will be passed to our debt collection solicitors to recover the funds.
I am selling my property can you provide a management pack to my solicitor?
Yes, we can. Your solicitor will send us an LPE1 form requesting all the information needed for selling a Leasehold property, there is a fee for Oakfield to provide this information, once Oakfield receive payment of the fee then the form is completed and sent to your solicitor along with the supporting documents within 10 working days.
What is Section 20? Why do we have to do it?
Section 20 is a consultation process that needs to be followed if any works are to be carried out at your property that will cost any one Leaseholder £250 or more. There is a series of 3 notices that must be served detailing the works that are to be carried out, giving yourselves as Leaseholders the opportunity to nominate a contractor for the works and the second notice advises you of the contractors whom tendered for the works and the contract sums. Due to legislation this process must be followed every time the cost of works exceeds £250 for one or more Leaseholder. More information on section 20 can be found on our advice guides page or by clicking here.