A different approach to block management

At Urban Owners, our aim is to make the business of residential block management of flats as simple, straight forward and inexpensive as possible.

These are the questions you should be asking managing agents to ensure that you get best block management deal.

Frustrations with managing agents

Until now, homeowners have used traditional managing agents to ‘manage’ their block to take away the hassle of administration. But for the most part, they fall way short of expectations:

  • Managing agents can be unhelpful and unresponsive, acting as if they have control and not listening or taking direction from the homeowner.
  • Services, especially insurance, can cost more through a managing agent as they commonly take hidden commissions at the homeowners’ expense.
  • Without active involvement from homeowners, managing agents can sanction works that are unnecessary.
  • The managing agent, positioned between homeowners and contractors, can actually complicate the process of organising works; homeowners often spend more time managing the agent than the contractors.

Challenges of self-management

In an attempt to save money and avoid the frustrations of managing agents, some homeowners attempt to self-manage their block, but this approach also has its drawbacks:

  • While self-management puts homeowners in control, it also leaves them responsible for carrying out the administration for their block.
  • Without professional guidance, self-managing homeowners risk violating legal and regulatory block management requirements.
  • The task of self-management generally ends up falling upon just one or two of the homeowners, who can quickly become out of their depth.

We stand in a unique position with an innovative solution, offering homeowners the chance to take control and make informed management decisions using our web-based block management tools whilst we do as much of the administration as you like, and ensure that you comply with legal and regulatory requirements.

Unique features of our Property Management Service

  1. With our Property Management Services, we take direction from the homeowners, giving them full control of how their block is managed.
    Whichever block management package you choose with Urban Owners, you’re in control. You agree the budget for each year, you can stop invoices being paid and you decide what works are carried out on your block, by whom and at what cost to you and your fellow homeowners.

  2. Flexible packages – homeowners can do nothing or as much as they want. 
    With our range of packages you decide the degree of assistance you need – and how much you pay.  With our Full Admin package you need not get involved in running your property except for one annual meeting each year. With our Admin Assist package you are managing the day-to-day maintenance.  Regardless of the package you opt for, you’ll always have us on hand to provide expert advice. We can step in at any point if you do not have the time, inclination or competence to carry out certain block management tasks, ensuring you always have a fallback option.

  3. Homeowners have total transparency of all financial activity and correspondence relating to their block through their private block portal.
    Through your block’s online portal, you’ve access to ALL documentation concerning block management, wherever you are, whenever you want it – so you’ll avoid the frustrations of unproductive calls to a managing agent and the struggle and cost of getting your hands on information.  Accessible by all homeowners, block information is updated automatically as the block’s finances are processed, and there is a electronic notice board for all to use to help you make collective decisions across your block.

  4. We never take sales commissions from contractors, and don’t impose contractors on our clients – giving them the opportunity to make substantial savings.
    We commonly find our clients’ insurance premium is reduced by 50% as a result of using an independent insurance broker and consequently avoiding the hidden sales commissions usually taken by managing agents.  We also let you choose your own contractors if you’d prefer – most managing agents are reluctant to give clients such freedom, since it prevents them from appointing their favoured contractors on the basis of the slice of sales commission the contractor is willing to offer. Our approach saves you money on contractors.

  5. We have experts in every block management field, with dedicated teams ready to deal with all of your legal, financial and maintenance queries.
    Rather than using generalist property managers, we have maintenance, finance and legal experts tackling the relevant issues.  You’ll only ever deal with experienced professionals, so you get satisfactory issue resolution more quickly than dealing with generalist property managers through a traditional managing agent.


The bottom line…

  • On average, our clients save 25% on the total annual block expenditure.
  • Since we cut out sales commissions, our clients save on average 30% on their insurance premium, or £900 across the block.
  • We charge a flat rate block management fee, not based on a percentage of your expenditure – our clients save 30% on average on managing agent fees.
  • We let you choose contractors if you want, and you can even do jobs yourselves – we save our clients 30% on general repairs and maintenance.