Free first-time buyers’ guide to block management

Buying a flat or apartment can be a lot more complicated than buying a house: who is responsible for communal areas? Is the building insured? What if something in the hall or stairwell gets broken?

Residential development managing company Chainbow has just launched a free online guide for first-time buyers to answer all these questions.

The guide aims to dispel the myths surrounding block management and explain in clear terms exactly what a managing agent is responsible for, clarifying the differences between freehold and leasehold setups.

Chainbow advocates tighter regulation of the property management industry and its guide also provides advice on what to do if you’re unhappy with the service being provided by your managing agent.

The company’s chairman and chief executive Roger Southam said, “When we take over the management of a building there is often a large number of leaseholders who were paying for items they should not have been contributing towards, had no idea of their leasehold rights and generally do not understand what block management involves in terms of the division of responsibilities.

“I believe that helping people understand property management before they own a home can help make the managing agent industry more accountable and prevent owners from being overcharged or embroiled in lengthy disputes.”