The Association of Residential Managing Agents has outlined a package of measures to tighten controls of the leasehold sector including closer scrutiny of ARMA agents by a regulatory panel.
Downend-based BNS Management Services said the new regulations, known as ARMA-Q, would bring increased peace of mind to the thousands of people who rent property in the greater Bristol area.
Managing Director Andrew Simmonds said BNS Management’s ethos had always to exceed regulatory obligations.
“This is the first time the industry as a whole has operated under specific regulation – although we have been complying and exceeding with these requirements since we started trading seven years ago.
“For instance ARMA-Q requires each block to have designated client accounts with interest on the accounts being returned to the block.
“Although we have always operated this system many management companies had previously kept interest accrued to themselves.”
He went on: “Up until now anybody has been able to set themselves up as a block management specialist without any professional or educational qualifications.
“The small number of mavericks delivering questionable service and poor value to the residential blocks they are supposed to look after have contributed to the groundswell of opinion calling for the greater level of control and regulation which we are now seeing.
“From now on owners of leasehold flats will get greater protection against this type of poor service.”
The new regulations make it mandatory for all managing agents to offer leaseholders, landlords and freeholders access to an approved redress scheme.
From 2015 ARMA members will also be required to sign up to a consumer charter and professional standards committing them to providing a high level of customer service.
ARMA’s chairman Ben Jordan said: “Leaseholders should be able to expect a quality service when it comes to the management of their home. If they use an unregulated managing agent, they could be opening themselves up to poor practice. We would recommend anyone appointing a managing agent to choose one signed up to ARMA-Q – a clear commitment to high standards and professional expertise.”
BNS Management Services in Badminton Road, Downend now manages more than 190 apartment blocks around the Bristol area and, following a recent portfolio acquisition, is expanding with the recruitment of two more staff bringing it up to a total of of 20.
Issued on behalf of BNS Management Services by Empica. For further information contact Martin Powell or Simon Harding on 01275 394400.