5th February 2013 - Ombudsman Service
Remus joins the Ombudsman Service
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25th June 2013 Remus Open Prime Central London Office
25th June 2013 Remus Open Prime Central London Office
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27th September 2013 - Remus Move to New HQ
27th September 2013 - Remus Move to New HQ in Central Salisbury - to enable even better service delivery
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20 June 2013 - New Head Offices Acquired
Remus purchase one of the most prestigious Head Office buildings in Salisbury to cope with business growth
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1 September 2011 - New Office Opens in Cardiff
Remus are please to announce the opening of their New West & Wales Office in Cardiff Bay
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20 August 2012 - Remus Open New Office in Plymouth
Remus Expand their operations in Devon & Cornwall
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4 October 2010 - Award for Maldon in Bloom
Remus Wins Award from Maldon in Bloom
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10 August 2012 - Remus Opens New Office in Chelmsford
Remus Expand their operations in the Thames Gateway and East Of England
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4th January 2010 - Remus Now Accept Credit Card Payments
Remus Now Accept Credit & Debit Card Payments - By Phone
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30th March 2009
New South West Regional Office opens in Salisbury
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6th January 2008 - New Office
New East of England Regional Office in Chelmsford
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24 April 2007 - New Offices
Two New Offices Business Development Continues at a Pace
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June 2006 - MBO completed
Remus announce that they have now completed the management led buyout of the Business.
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Is Your Service Charge too High?
Is Your Service Charge too High? ... and if you think so what can you do about it?
Location, Location, Location
Phil and Kirstie revistit happy couple in Remus managed Luxury Development
April 2013 - Remus News Letter
Remus News Letter - Spring 2013 - more information for Remus Residents
Rendall & Rittner - staff convicted of fraud
Rendall & Rittner - employee steels £120,000 from residents
LVT attacks OM / Peverel Group Connections
OM /Peverel Connected Firms Rip-off Residents say LVT
Government say Take Care
Government Says - Take Care When Buying a Flat - Know what the lease says
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Tchenguiz has to Sell Freeholds
Vincent Tchenguiz to try and sell freehold interests in 250,000 apartments
Tragic Accident at Allsop managed property
Tragic Accident - child dies after 4th floor fall, are your Health & Safety procedures good enough?
OM/Peveral Removed in Slough
Remus help Slough Residents to remove OM / Peverel
10 Things about Leasehold
10 Things to Know about Leasehold Property
When is your Hall not your Hall
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How to Buy your Freehold or Extend your Lease
ARMACs basic guide to Buying your Freehold or Extending your Lease
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We are responsible for the maintenance of the main structure of the building, e.g. roof and external walls, and also the general upkeep of the estate.
Certain parts of your property can be shared by all the Residents (i.e. halls, stairways, gardens etc.) and obviously someone has to be responsible for the proper upkeep of these areas. Under the terms of your lease these functions are the duty of the freeholder/management company, who has appointed Remus to act on its behalf. The costs of such repairs and maintenance are recovered from the individual Leaseholders in the proportions detailed in your lease.
Our exact duties will vary according to the individual leases (or deeds in the case of Freehold houses) and the properties themselves but mainly will consist of:
As well as actually organising all the above, we will visit the property from time to time to ensure that work is being carried out satisfactorily and to see if further work is needed.
A major part of the service is maintaining records of all payments and receipts for each property, dealing with individual Leaseholders queries, and also liaising with your solicitors when you are contemplating selling your property.
We are not responsible for the repairs to the interior of your individual property or any design faults in the original construction or conversion.
We allocate to each property an individual Manager who visits on a regular basis, is familiar with the particular property and creates a liaison and communication between us and you (along with any Residents Associations). They will be generally responsible for the day to day activities relating to the upkeep of each property supported by our Accounts and other centralised functions at our head office in Salisbury.
We also have Assistant Property Managers who will arrange and co-ordinate minor items of repair to the common areas. Though your designated Property Manager will keep a watching brief on your property as a whole, it is to the Assistant Property Manager that you should report minor repairs that require attention.
When larger items of planned maintenace are due we use external specialist, Ellis Sloane & Co. who will see to all the necessary arrangements and procedures in relation to the project management of the works and the consultation required by the Landlord & Tenant act legislation.
Monies paid or demanded in respect of Service Charges are held in a Statutory Trust Fund, in accordance with S42. of the Landlord and Tenant Act. The Trustee of the trust fund will be either the Freeholder, a Tenant Management Company that is a party to the lease or a Right To Manage Company. It is usually the Trustee that appoints us to act as their agent.
Various items of maintenance and repair clearly involve the expenditure of money. Most leases provide for advance payments to be made in order to ensure that we are in funds and able to meet bills as they fall due.
Before the commencement of a new financial year, we will send you an Budget of likely service charge expenditure. It is important to appreciate that, this is only an estimate (often based upon experience in prior years and known items of current expenditure). We are not clairvoyant and we cannot anticipate all circumstances. We will then invoice you for advance payment on account of this Budget at least 30 days before the advance payment must be made. Please ensure that your payment reaches us by the due date.
The final figure of service charge expenditure will not be known until after the end of the year and may will always vary (either up or down) from the Budget we have given earlier.
Between 3 and 6 months after the end of each year we will produce a "Service Charge Account" which will summarise all the expenditure incurred in relation to your property for the year in question, including our own fees. Where the expenditure exceeds £300, we will arrange for the Service Charge Account to be inspected by an independent firm of Chartered Accountants who will report on the Account, and whose fees will be charged to the Service Charge Account. Where the Service Charge expenditure is less than £300 we will only have the Account inspected by an independent firm of Chartered Accountants if requested by one or more of the Leaseholders.
The Service Charge Account will be forwarded to each Leaseholder together with a summary detailing advance payments and showing the balance due (if any) in respect of each individual property. Any balance due is payable upon presentation of the Service Charge Account. (Where there is a credit balance this will be carried forward to the next accounting period).
Under the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 any Leaseholder may, upon giving reasonable notice, visit our offices and inspect the books and records relating to the management of his or her property.
Remus maintains client bank accounts separate from our own business bank account. These client accounts are used to contain all of the Service Charge monies relating to each individual property. All contributions from Leaseholders are paid into this account and all expenditure that is undertaken on behalf of your property is paid from this account.
From time to time there may be insufficient monies held for a particular property to meet current expenditure. This may arise for a number of reasons but usually is because unexpected items of expenditure occur, or the lease does not provide for adequate payments in advance. In such circumstances, and at our sole discretion, we may pay such expenditure from our own funds. If we do so we will make an appropriate interest charge at the rate of 4% over Clearing Bank Base Rate on any such funds so advanced.
Where a cash balance of over £2,000 is held for a property, interest may be credited to the account. If interest is credited we will then be required to complete a Trust Tax Return in order for the service charge trust fund to pay the income tax at the applicable rate.
From the tax year 2007/08, following pressure from our industry, a 20% tax band was created for all Service Charge Trust Fund interest income. Where the value of the interest is less than the cost of preparing the Trust Tax Return (currently about £50), in the interests of saving the Lessees money, no interest will be credited.
Payments in respect of Service Charge Expenditure are due to be paid on the dates specified in your lease. We will invoice you at least 30 days before the payment date. It is important that payments are made promptly otherwise there simply will not be the funds to pay for necessary expenses. We must remind you that we are collecting monies due to the Service Charge Account of your property and as the Agent for the Trustees of that account, it is our duty to ensure that all contributions are collected in full and in a timely manner.
If any payments are late we will send you an overdue statement. If payment is still not received, we will send you a firm reminder, which will incur an administration fee. Some property owners take objection to receiving such a communication and we regret its necessity. However a minority of Leaseholders/Property owners take a somewhat casual approach to Service Charges and make payment when they feel like it. This is clearly unfair on the vast majority of other contributors to the Service Charge who do pay on the due dates. We retain the right to add interest at 4% over Bank of England Base rate or such rate as may be allowed by the Courts on any sums that are more than 14 days overdue.
If we receive no response to our reminder we will have no alternative but to place the debt with our solicitors for collection and seek to recover not only the outstanding sums but also interest and legal costs. Failure to pay Service Charges could lead to an action for forfeiture of your lease after we have obtained a certificate from the Court or the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal that the Service Charge is reasonable. If You are Going to Have Difficulties Making a Payment on Time, Please Tell Us Promptly. It may be possible to work out a sensible payment regime. However if you do not communicate with us we will pass the papers to our solicitors and you will then become liable for legal costs as well as the amount outstanding.
Our Management fees are made up of two elements:
Our Fixed Fee is designed to cover all of the activities that we know will happen every year. The fee is based on Multiplying the number of units in the Building or Estate by our standard charge per unit. The charge per unit in 2008 varies, dependant on the size and location of your building and the types of units within it (houses, flats, commercial units etc.). The total of this fee will be charged to the Service Charge fund and apportioned between the individual service charge payers in accordance with their obligations.
The Fixed element of our fee will cover the following items
All Items that are not specifically mentioned above will be charged for in addition to the Fixed fee. This includes, but is not limited to:-
The basis for the additional charges will be the amount of time spent and the skill level of the staff involved in undertaking the work (this is the same way that Lawyers, Accountants and Surveyors charge for their non-standard services).
A full Schedule of our current charges is available to any of our customers, on request.
The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002) permits a majority of qualifying Lessees acting together to purchase the freehold of their building.
Lessees are required to serve a notice on the Landlord providing certain relevant information and including the price that they are prepared to pay. The Landlord must then serve a counter notice if he disagrees with the offer. The Act provides for the parties to negotiate on the price, but if the parties cannot agree a reference may be made to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine a fair price.
The price will depend principally on the value of the individual flats and the length of time remaining on the leases. Where there is less than 80 years left to run the Landlord will be able to claim for 50% of the marriage value. (Marriage value is the difference in price between the value of the freehold and the aggregate of the value of the interests of the Lessees and the Landlords interest).
The Purchasing Lessees will be required to pay the Landlord's reasonable valuation and legal costs. However, each side will pay their own costs in respect of any appearance before the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.
It is important to ensure that any purchasing group has their finance lined up well in advance. If one pulls out of the proceedings half way through, there will still be a liability to pay the Landlord's costs to date and these could easily run to several thousands of pounds. We recommend that there is a binding agreement between the participants prior to commencement which will protect the parties and identify who will be responsible for any costs.
If you are thinking about purchasing your freehold, we would be happy to provide further advice in relation thereto. Alternatively, if you cannot get a majority together you may wish to give some thought to extending your lease (please see Extending Your Lease)..
In addition to allowing a qualifying group of Lessees to purchase their freehold, current legislation permits an individual Leaseholder to apply to their Landlord for a 90 year extension to their existing lease at a peppercorn ground rent. This enables a Lessee to deal with the problem of a declining lease. The price will be based upon similar factors to the purchase of the freehold and once again, if the Parties are unable to agree upon a price, and application may be made to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine same.
The advantage of a Lease Extension is that a lessee can act alone at a time of which is convenient to them, and is not dependant upon getting together with other Lessees in order to purchase the freehold.
It is sometimes possible to negotiate outside the scope of the legislation with a willing landlord to deal with the lease extension at the time of sale. Effectively a price is agreed and the documents drawn up with completion simultaneously with the sale, and the premium for the lease extension is paid out of the sale proceeds. This has the double advantage of being able to market the flat with benefit of the longer lease and not having to fund the premium in advance. Not all Landlords are willing to do this but quite a few will assist in this manner.
If you are considering an extension to your Lease, we would be happy to provide further advice in relation thereto. It sometimes helps to get several other lessees together at the same time to share likely valuation and solicitors cost
The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 gives a majority of Lessees the right to take over the management of their block of flats. (There are various exceptions where there is a resident landlord etc. a more detailed explanation may be found in our "Downloads" section of this website).
Essentially it allows Lessees to take over their management using a special form of company (a Right to Manage Company - RTM) with a prescribed form of Memorandum and Articles of Assocation. The RTM Company has the Lessees as its principal shareholders, but the landlord is also able to own a share. The company has a Board of Directors who are elected by the Members/Shareholders of the Company.
The RTM Company is responsible for carrying out all the landlord's obligations under the terms of the respective leases and is also liable to notify the Landlord of any breach of lease terms.
In our opinion RTM needs to be approached with care and may not be suitable for all circumstances. Where leases do not have adequate provisions for payments on account of service charge or where there are several lessees with poor payment records, the Directors of the RTM Company could find themselves having to finance the running costs of the building. This could be substantial if major expenditure is due. It is important to appreciate that the RTM Company will be taking on some very serious obligations of the Landlord. There may be extra costs relating to running the Company and we would advise the Directors to obtain "Directors and Officers Liability Insurance". If a professional Managing Agent is not engaged, the RTM Company should in our opinion also obtain "Professional Indemnity Insurance" to protect against negligence claims.
We will be able to assist Lessees by advising on RTM and exploring the advantages and disadvantages in relation thereto, forming the RTM Company and serving the various Notices on all of the Lessees and the Landlord. We can liaise with the Landlord on the handover of management and the transfer to the RTM Company of any funds held to the credit of the Service Charge Fund.
If you are unhappy with your present management, talk to us and we can discuss whether RTM is likely to be suitable for you.
When things go wrong with our services, for whatever reason, it is vital you tell us about it so we can put it right.
How to Complain
Stage 1. – In the first instance you should raise your complaint with your property manager. They should then endeavour to resolve the issue, or at least identify a solution, within 10 working days. When raising such a complaint it is useful if in any written communication or e-mail you use the word "complaint" in the subject area and when making the complaint by phone please identify that you are raising this matter as a "complaint" and that it should be logged as such.
Stage 2. – If for any reason your complaint is not satisfactorily dealt with by your property manager, or is about your property manager, please either write or telephone the Regional Manager at your local Remus office to discuss what has gone wrong. You should also feel free to make an appointment to come and meet with the Regional Manager if this is more convenient.
Stage 3. – In the unlikely event that Stage 1. & 2. Do not resolve your issue (or your complaint is about a Regional Manager) please write to the Directors (this can be done by e-mail ) explaining your complaint. It is very important that you mark the letter as a "Formal Complaint” so that it may be dealt with quickly and at the appropriate level. The Directors will ask the relevant Senior Manager to investigate your complaint and respond to you within 10 business days. The Directors will then follow up the satisfactory resolution of the complaint. All Formal Complaints are logged and monitored by the Directors and reviewed at Board Meetings.
Stage 4. – Remus are a member of the Ombudsman Services (for Property). If you are not satisfied with the outcome of our procedure, once you have followed it fully, you have the right to raise the issue with the Ombudsman Services (www.ombudsman-services.org) who will resolve the case.
We recognise that Freehold Landlords, who are frequently commercial investors, require the expertise of a professional managing agent who can relieve them of the burden of day-to-day management and can offer advice on up to date requirements of ever-increasing statutory legislation.
The lease of each block contains covenants for both the Leaseholder and the Freeholder (Landlord). We will ensure that the covenants are complied with, e.g. in respect of sub-letting, preparation and maintenance of service charge accounts, which are held in trust, disputes between leaseholders, the maintenance of the development etc.
We offer our clients freedom from these concerns, allowing them to concentrate on the main core of their businesses. We can provide a service tailored to your particular requirements, including:
We are retained by a number of Freeholder Landlords, who are constantly looking to increase their investment portfolios. Should you own the freehold of a block and be interested in selling, we will be happy to advise and to put you in touch with our clients.
This is a brief description of the service ...
Frequently the responsibility for the management and maintenance of an Estate may be with a Management Company, owned by individual Lessees. We recognise the difficulties, pitfalls and responsibilities facing such Tenant Management Companies, both in terms of ever-increasing statutory legislation, problems of cash collection and the regular issues that occur from day-to-day.
We offer our Clients freedom from such concerns, and especially from the worries that come with the responsibility of running a limited company and the duties in relation thereto.
We have the facility of negotiating lower rates for Buildings Insurance, enabling Management Companies to share the benefits of our buying power. We can also arrange for Directors and Officers Liability Insurance to protect the Directors of the Management Company against any claims for negligence. We will meet with the Directors of the Management Company on a regular basis to discuss management matters and advise on:
In addition we will (if required):
We are able to offer a specialised service for Developers of blocks of flats across the whole spectrum of development issues, covering new build to period conversions.
We can work with the Developer from the planning stage, to formulate leases and services including:
If it is Company policy to sell the freehold interest, we can:
As a member of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers we can advise on all aspects of the management of retirement accommodation including:
We recommend that we should be contacted at an early stage of the planning of the Development.