Property Management FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Below are a series of frequently asked questions that should help you find the solution you are looking for. If your question is not covered here, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Why are the figures for Service Charge estimated and not actual?

The amount we collect in terms of Service Charge is based on an estimated figure for the year, as actual figures are not know at the start of the year. It is unlikely that we will spend exactly the estimated figure. Therefore, any over or under spend is re-credited or debited accordingly in the form of an End of Year adjustment.

Often the lease does not specify whether or not this must be carried out. In this case, we will take a view as to whether an end of year adjustment is necessary.

Why do I pay Service Charge when I own a freehold house?

The Freeholder of the communal grounds, i.e roads, car parks or landscaped areas has appointed Charles Cox to maintain these areas for you. During the sale of your freehold property, you would have been supplied with a Transfer (or similar) document which outlines your responsibility towards these areas.

What is my Service Charge spent on?

At the end of each financial year, a summary of expenditure will be prepared by an independent accountant or Charles Cox, depending on the size and setup of the development. This will show income and expenditure for your development as a whole during the previous period. Statements are then circulated to all leaseholders.

Do I still have to pay the invoice even though I was not living in my property for the period specified?

Unfortunately, you are liable for making Service Charge payments whether you occupy the property or not. If you have just purchased the property, your solicitor should have made arrangements to cover this amount – this is normally done by retaining a percentage of the money due upon completion. You should check with your solicitor that this has been done.

Why am I being asked to pay an invoice that is not in my name?

This can happen when a sale has taken place and your assignment has not been registered with us as required by your Lease. You should contact your solicitor immediately to ensure that the position is addressed. Until we receive the relevant documentation, we will be unable to change the name although you will still be responsible for adhering to the lease, which includes paying for your charges.

Why have I received an invoice when I pay by Direct Debit?

If your account is settled by Standing Order, the invoice will be for your information only.
However, we will still issue Service Charge and Ground Rent demands in line with the lease.

I can't afford to pay my Service Charge, what can I do?

We realise that personal circumstances can change and all too often, property owners may find that they are having great difficulty in meeting their Service Charge payments as set out in the lease. Initially, we would advise you contact us to discuss payment options. This can be done by phone, email or in writing.

Who looks after the Service Charge funds?

All funds collected by Charles Cox are held in separate client accounts for each development.
All interest received and bank charges paid are the responsibility of the development. Charles Cox Ltd do not receive any interest on any funds held in trust.

What methods of payment are there?

You can pay your Service Charge and ground rents in a number of ways. Either directly into the client account for your block or by cheque. Please call 01323 894400 if you have any questions.

Can I pay in instalments?

Service Charges are collected as outlined in your lease, or similar. Depending on certain circumstances, you may be able to pay by monthly instalments. Please contact us for further details on 01323 894400.

What should I do if I want to discuss a maintenance or accounts problem?

Please contact us on 01323 894400, and we will try to address your query. However we may ask you to put it in writing so that we are able to give it our full attention.

What do I do if emergency repairs need to be undertaken?

During normal office hours, (09.00 to 5.30 pm), please contact us on 01323 894400 to report any problems. Outside of office hours, please call our emergency out of hours line on 07877 669085.

Please note, the owner of the flat will be liable for charges as a result of inappropriate use of the emergency number.

The flat above appears to have a leak which is affecting my property. What should I do?

Firstly, we would recommend that you contact the occupant of the flat above. This is often the quickest way of dealing with the problem. If you cannot get hold of the occupant, please contact us on 01323 894400 and we will try to contact them for you.

Where do I submit feedback, comments or suggestions?

Please submit all comments and suggestions to info@charlescox.co.uk

I have my own insurance policy - why do I pay buildings insurance?

We insure the whole building, but not your belongings and home contents. This is in line with the terms of your lease. If you are required to provide your mortgage company with a copy of the buildings insurance, please contact us on 01323 894400. For supplying this information, we normally make an administration charge of £25 plus VAT.

We would recommend that you arrange your own contents insurance.

How do I change the property owner’s name?

It is important that the name of the account holder reflects the owner of the property. We would ask that any changes you wish to make are supported by the relevant legal documentation, i.e a marriage certificate, deed poll certificate or death certificate. If the registered property is in a company name, then the certificate showing the change of name should be supplied. Regrettably, copy certificates cannot be returned.

Can I change my correspondence address?

Yes. If your property is sub-let to your tenant and you wish the correspondence to be sent to your main residence, or perhaps a Letting Agent, it is essential that you advise us in writing of the address for which you would like correspondence to be sent to. Please ensure you act promptly in informing us of any changes to your main residence.

What is Charles Cox involvement in sales and remortgaging?

If you are intending to sell or re-mortgage your property, it is imperative that you or your solicitor advises us in writing well in advance. If you are selling and require a Management Pack or similar to be provided, there will be an additional charge for this. This charge is payable directly by the leaseholder.

What can I do about nuisance/noisy occupants in the development?

In the first instance, we suggest you contact your local Environmental Health Department which has the necessary powers to deal with this, and whose involvement usually provides a speedy resolution.

I'd like to sublet my property - what should I do?

Normally, leasehold properties require consent to sub-let. Your exact obligations will be set out in your lease. In the first instance, you should contact us on 01323 894400 to obtain the relevant information to gain permission. There may be an administration charge associated.

Can Charles Cox find a tenant for my property?

Charles Cox can arrange for a tenant to be found, the property to be managed, the tenant deposit to be registered with the TDS and other AST rated tasks. Please call Matthew Cox on 01323 894400 for further information.

What do I need to do if I want to make alterations to my property?

In the first instance, you should contact us on 01323 894400 to find out what you need to do. Most leases and transfers include Clauses or covenants that prevent alterations to either the plan or the elevations of the properties without prior consent. You should obtain consent and keep this for your records so that you may produce it in the event of a sale. Please also note some alterations may also require the need for planning permission or building regulations.

Am I allowed to keep a pet in my flat?

Generally, leases ban most types of pets. However, some leases allow pets once consent has been obtained in advance. You should contact us on 01323 894400 for further information regarding your development.

How do I make a formal complaint?

Following the RICS and ARMA (Association of Residential Managing Agents) guidelines, we take all complaints about our service very seriously and will respond to any complaint promptly. All complaints must be submitted in writing or by e-mail.

Have more questions?

Get in touch with us to find out how we can assist with your Block Management today.