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Monday, November 03, 2008

A sense of direction

Like most leaseholders, Property Sparrow feels that she is not in control. Not in control of the repairs and maintenance of the building, its cleaning and gardening, the budget for improvements, the service charges, the colour of the hall carpet, the removal of cobwebs on the ceiling.

One of her flats is in a development where there is a management company. Last summer two of the Directors stood down. The management agent sent a series of letters to the leaseholders. ‘The role of Director does not involve any major work or responsibility and when shared between two or more should not prove to be too onerous a task.’ With more urgency two weeks later, ‘Without Directors we will not be able to obtain instructions on the day to day management and running of your building which is paramount to ensure the smooth running of your property. Furthermore, if lessees do not offer themselves to be co-opted to the Board in place of the Directors standing down, the company will go into liquidation and the freeholder will assume control.’

This was enough to persuade Property Sparrow to put her name forward. Preening and fluffing up her feathers in anticipation, she has been appointed as a Director.

So far she has had to:

- register her name at Companies House
- watch a DVD on Residential Property Management Directors (15 mins)
- choose the date for the AGM
- sign the minutes
- agree on the annual budget with the managing agent
- approve a draft letter to a solicitor about a dispute over trees in the school grounds next door

All of these things make Property Sparrow feel more important than she actually is. What she likes about it most is the opportunity to make quick commonsense decisions on what she thinks is best for the development.

She’ll be a control freak yet.

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