According to the 2002 Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act, leaseholders wanting to take control over who manages their block from their landlord have two options available to them: buy the freehold or acquire the 'Right to Manage'. Whilst many may be priced out of the former, the latter is eminently affordable.
However this often proves only half the battle, as leaseholders commonly discover that having wrestled control from their landlord, and replaced the incumbent managing agent with another, their frustrations, typically with value for money, quality of service and responsiveness, remain.
Trapped in this vicious circle of service charge extortion and property management dissatisfaction, leaseholders are put off the only other option available to them - self-managing their block, by the potential administration and ever-increasing legislation that to do so would entail.
Enter the emerging alternative to both: Urban Owners' Block Administration Services - the happy medium between self-managing your block and using a managing agent.
Urban Owners' services allow leaseholders to remain in control of management decisions, whilst professionals take care of the time-consuming and burdensome administrative and legislative duties.
Each block has its own dedicated, secure online portal where key information is posted to be shared amongst leaseholders, and through which leaseholders can easily communicate with one another.
Crucially, Urban Owners' Block Administration Services differ from a traditional managing agent's approach in that it is the leaseholders who decide which contractors are appointed to their block.
Urban Owners, the leading provider of Block Administration Services, operates a policy of complete transparency in all correspondence; leaseholders' approval is sought before invoices are paid and suppliers engaged, making for reassuringly predictable, transparent and most importantly substantially reduced service charges - often by as much as 30% - 50%.
This new approach, whereby contractors are engaged directly by the leaseholders, leads to a host of improvements in the cost and standard of service provided.
Firstly, leaseholders decide which contractors to engage, preventing managing agents' common practice of appointing those contractors from which they can get the largest slice of commission.
Secondly, because the leaseholders appoint their contractors directly, there is a link between the two parties through which leaseholders can communicate their specific requirements in service.
And finally, with leaseholders directing management decisions, they can budget for only what they want to spend, again, preventing a managing agent from posting a fee for having initiated unnecessary works.
Urban Owners' services revolve around the concept of self-management, whereby leaseholders are empowered to make decisions, but take on none of the administrative responsibilities.
With Urban Owners, leaseholders are in a position of maximum power and minimum obligation; they decide exactly the level of service they require. As a result they never fail to get substantially better value for money when compared with the equivalent services offered by traditional managing agents.