Block Management – What is it?

Posted on March 1, 2019 in General Info

block management

Block management is known by various names in the industry; leasehold management, property management and estate management to name a few.

Why use a managing agent to manage your block?

Managing a block of flats requires a professional approach and the time to do it. Today’s managing agents need to have a good knowledge of landlord and tenant law, building construction, health and safety regulations, basic accounting and a range of other skills.

As a leaseholder, you should take a keen interest in how your building is being managed and who it is being managed by. A poorly managed property can have an impact on the long-term enjoyment of your home and potentially its future value.

What is leasehold?

Leasehold flats can be in purpose-built blocks, in converted houses or above commercial or retail premises.

When buying a property, a leaseholder effectively rents from the freeholder for a number of years, decades or centuries. When the freeholder grants a lease, they become a “landlord”.

The leasehold ownership of a flat usually relates to everything within the four walls of the flat, including floorboards and plaster to walls and ceiling. A garden can be included unless it is a communal garden for the building.

The structure and common parts of the building and the land it stands on are usually owned by the freeholder. The freeholder is, normally, responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building. If so, the costs for doing so are recoverable through the service charges and billed to the leaseholders.

The freeholder or resident management company usually appoint a managing agent to manage their block.

What are service charges?

Service charges are payments by the leaseholder to the landlord for all the services the landlord provides. Details of what can (and cannot) be charged by the landlord and the proportion of the charge to be paid by the individual leaseholder will all be set out in the lease.

What is block management?

Block management is the process of managing the communal areas of residential properties through the service charge. Managing a block of flats requires a professional approach, time and dedication.

Block management involves constant communication with various contractors in respect of maintenance and repairs, insurance of the building and, in some cases, provision of central heating, lifts, porterage, estate staff, lighting and cleaning of common areas.

It also requires a good understanding of legislation and leasehold matters, preparation of budgets and annual accounts, as well as routine inspections to check that the property is in good order.

A major part of a role in block management is ensuring that the landlord gets value for money for their service charge payments, and the building is maintained in accordance with the terms of the lease.

Managing agents take instructions from the landlord not the individual leaseholders. But a good managing agent will always be aware of the requirements and wishes of the flat owners. From keeping the lift working to doing the accounting; maintaining the garden to decorating the hallway the managing agent plays an important part in your life as a leaseholder and the smooth running of your building.

Whoever appoints the managing agent, as a leaseholder you pay for their services through your service charges. So it’s in your interests to have a professional and experienced agent who does the job well.

What you should expect from your managing agent

A good managing agent will be:


  • Have a full understanding of the structure and meaning of leases
  • Have thorough knowledge of relevant Landlord and Tenant legislation
  • Help you understand your rights and obligations


  • Committed to best practice
  • Committed to good customer service
  • Comply with relevant standards and codes of practice
  • Operate an independent complaints procedure
  • Be subject to external scrutiny


  • Able to provide full accounting facilities for budgeting, service charge and year-end accounting and give you access to them
  • Able to support you and your fellow leaseholders in ensuring that service charge money is spent wisely
  • Open about connections with other service providers and about commissions

We provide managing agents with the complete property care package from communal cleaning and garden maintenance to building maintenance and waste removal.

If you live in a block of flats and require an experienced maintenance contractor for your block please give us a call on 0845 604 1288.