PMS Managing Estates and Boydens are working together to warn against unregulated agents. The two firms are regulated by key professional body, the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA).
Accreditation with ARMA ensures the companies follow a stringent Code of Practice, are committed to training their staff to the highest professional standards and are subject to regular audits of their management and procedures.
Liam Furr, PMS’ Director of Property Management, explained: “PMS has just marked 30 years of looking after blocks of flats and residential estates. But the leasehold management industry remains largely unregulated – anyone can set up in business as a managing agent without any licence, professional qualification or membership of a professional association. Yet this industry manages millions of pounds in service-charge money.
“We are standing side-by-side with Boydens to urge leaseholders to only consider managing agents that are properly regulated. By insisting on managing agents that are regulated by ARMA, leaseholders can have confidence that they are performing to the highest professional standards.”
Will Parrick, Head of Leasehold and Estate Management at Boydens, which has branches in the Colchester, Tendring, Kelvedon, Braintree and Sudbury areas, said: “Unregulated managing agents represent a risk which could affect thousands of people across the country.
“These agents can appear cheaper, but potential savings may be a result of cutting corners and not following legislative procedures. This can cost consumers thousands in the long run. Boydens appreciate the importance of regulation by professional bodies. As a long-standing member of ARMA, we were amongst the first intake to be awarded ARMA-Q Status which recognises our adherence to their Code of Conduct. This guarantees we will provide a professional service for our clients, by the book, protecting their interests.
“PMS may normally be our rivals, but we are happy to stand with them on this point – to compete on a level playing field and promote the interests of all customers.”
The Chairman of PMS met with north Essex MPs Will Quince and Bernard Jenkin at Parliament last year to press for legal changes to make it harder for rogue agents to mismanage leaseholders’ money and property.
Dr Nigel Glen, CEO of ARMA, commented: “ARMA is lobbying Government to introduce regulation across the sector but in all honesty, it is a far-off prospect. It’s quite alarming that anyone can set up as a managing agent with little or none of the required skills or qualifications and no check-ups.
ARMA members are committed to the highest possible standards and to become a member, firms must adopt our Consumer Charter and meet over 180 Standards developed specifically for the leasehold sector.”