Big reserves and big projects

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Development: Cedar Court
Location: The Fairmile, Henley on Thames
Number of properties: 12

Cedar Court is a development of 12 high end flats on a prestigious Road in Henley on Thames.

The problem

It’s common for letting agents to take on small block management contracts usually as a means of protecting lettings business. This was the case for Cedar Court for a number of years. The passage of time has seen dramatic changes in the legislative landscape with respect to leasehold (specifically around ground rents, fire safety and the interpretation of section 20 legislation).

As such, the agent in question recognised that block management was a very small part of their business and an increasingly specialised area and, as such, the management of Cedar Court was transferred to Common Ground on 1st October 2020

The previous agent had kept the day to day management going but larger projects had fallen behind, particularly with regards the aesthetics of the building.

The solution

“Within two months of being appointed, we could see big improvements in the appearance of the estate with outbuildings being re-decorated at costs that didn’t trigger section 20 consultations. These were saved for the much bigger projects of internal and external re-decoration.” Stated leaseholder and former director Alistair Morelli.

“The external redecoration was slightly more complicated than we would normally expect as repairs to masonry and roofing had to be included along with external re-decoration.” Reported William Beauchamp, property manager for the development.

The external re-decoration and repairs were completed in the summer of 2022 following a section 20 process and the internal re-decoration is scheduled for 2023.

Whilst the previous agent had accrued a good level of reserves, the extent of works required to the exterior meant we had to phase works to maintain service charges at reasonable levels. Common Ground’s proposed budgets and timescales achieved this with buy in from all leaseholders meaning that all the outstanding major works will be completed in the summer of 2023 and reserves replenished over the following five years.

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