Block E is a small block of 8 flats and 4 shops built around 1900. When we became involved, there was a crisis. Works intended to take 6 months had dragged on for over 2 years, with scaffolding covering the front of the building; there was deadlock between the residents and the managing agent; the builder had walked off site; 2 residents and all 4 shops were refusing to pay service charges; and one shop-owner was threatening to sue the freeholder for prolonged disruption to trade. Oh, and there was no money in the building kitty.
Within 18 months, not only were the works concluded, but service charges had been brought up to date, the residents were happy with the running of the building and the freehold company had enough funds to meet its liabilities. This was done without any additional levy on residents – we brought down insurance premiums, shared the commission, collected outstanding debts, and cut unnecessary admin costs. After another two years, and a modest increase in annual service charges, a sinking fund was built and today, thanks to a programme of staged improvement, we are most of the way to bringing the whole building up to a very high standard.