Residents Management Company (RMC)

The type of company that residents in a property typically establish in order to run the building themselves.  This may be enshrined in the lease or it may have...

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Right To Manage (RTM)

Under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, the Leaseholders of a property have the right to form their own company and take management of the building away from...

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Section 20

A consultation process under which leaseholders must be consulted if any works in the building are anticipated which are expected to cost more than £250 (including VAT) for any...

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Service Charge Demand

The service charge demand is the document which sets out the service charge that each leaseholder has to pay in the current period. There is a proscribed format that...

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Surplus

When more money is collected in service charge than has been spent during the period, there is said to be a ‘surplus’. This is often either retained in the...

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EPC

Energy Performance Certificate.  Since October 2008 it has been required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (commonly called an ‘EPC’) whenever your property is rented out. This is part...

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Sinking Fund

A long-term savings account contributed to every month through service charges. This builds up every year and should pay for any major works that are required over a period...

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Freehold

A legal term traditionally used to describe land and everything built on it and owned in perpetuity. If there is any time element associated with the ownership, however long...

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Block Management

Agents who act for the freeholders and leaseholds for block of apartments and flats. They collect a service charge from the leaseholders and organise the maintenance of the communal...

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Ground Rent

Rent payable by the leaseholder to the freeholder for the land on which the building sits.  This provides an income to the Freeholder (so is not payment for any...

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Leasehold

A leasehold to a property is the right to use a piece of land for a given period of time subject to certain conditions and (usually) subject to payment...

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Listed Building

These are buildings listed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.  There are currently three categories of listed buildings in England and Wales ranging...

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Maintenance Charge

The costs that are incurred by a freeholder for repairing and maintaining internal and external communal parts of a building which is passed to the leaseholder.

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Service Charge

Service charges are levied by the management company to recover the costs they incur in providing services to a building. The way in which the service charge is organised...

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Tenure

The nature of ownership of a piece of land, which determines whether an occupant is an owner or a tenant. Freehold and leasehold are examples of tenure that land...

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Arrears

When a leaseholder has not paid their Service Charge on time as stipulated by the terms of their Lease, they are said to be ‘in arrears’.

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Assignment

Transfer by the original Leaseholder (the assignor) to the new Leaseholder (the assignee).  Note that the original Leaseholder can still be obligated under certain circumstances unless expressly released by...

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Buildings Insurance

Ensures your block is adequately covered for a major responsibility such as fires, damages to communal areas and structural issues.

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Budget

Typically prepared on an annual basis, the budget is the expected expenditure in the building over the forthcoming financial year.  The budget is then portioned among leaseholders under the...

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Companies House

Companies House is the register of all companies in England and Wales. Company related matters are dealt with under the Companies Act 2006. The main purposes of Companies House...

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Common areas

These are the areas not owned by any individual lessee but shared by all owners in an apartment block or estate.  They may include car parks, entrance halls, gardens,...

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Company Secretary

The person responsible for the administration of the company, especially in terms of legal and statutory requirements. The Company Secretary ensures that documents are filed in a timely manner,...

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Deficit

When less money has been collected during the period than has been spent there is said to be a ‘deficit’. This is typically covered through cash in the bank...

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Flying Freehold

A legal term used to describe a part of a freehold property which overhangs or is under part of another property.  Typical examples include balconies overhanging other properties or...

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Freeholder

The individual or company owning the freehold to a property.

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Grade I

A term used to describe buildings of exceptional interest in England and Wales. Only 2% of buildings are listed, and only about 2.5% of those are Grade I.

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Grade II*

A term used to describe buildings of particular importance in England and Wales. Only 2% of buildings are listed, and only about 5.5% of those are Grade II*.

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Grade II

A term used to describe buildings of special interest in England and Wales. Only 2% of buildings are listed, and about 92% of those are Grade II.

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Head Lease

A lease between a tenant and a freeholder where contractual rights and responsibilities for the building are given to one tenant.  Further long leases are usually granted by the...

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Lease

A contract whereby a tenant pays a landlord, or leaseholder pays a freeholder, for the right to use a property. Leases can be of short or very long duration....

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LVT

Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, a body established to resolve Leasehold-related disputes without the need to go to court to settle it.  The LVT is an independent legal body whose decision...

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Managing Agent

A managing agent performs most of the daily duties of running a property under the appointment, direction and control of the nominating party, whether that is the Freeholder, RMC,...

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Managing Agent Enquiries

This is the set of questions raised by a purchaser’s solicitor on sale of a property. Matthew’s Block Management Department typically receives the questions via the vendor’s solicitor.

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Party Wall

A dividing partition erected along the boundary between two properties providing common support to the building on both sides of the partition. The owner on each side of the...

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Peppercorn Rent

A nominal or inconsequential rent set out in a lease in order to show that a commercial transaction exists. If you have a lease or even several properties, you...

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