Software For Self-Managed Blocks

Online help

Flat owners living in self-managed blocks can now take advantage of Resident® a new online guide, accounts and property management package aimed at leaseholders managing small developments. Resident® is cloud-based, enabling all leaseholders to log in and view ongoing maintenance tasks, current and historical annual accounts, health and safety and insurance documents. It also combines the role of company secretary alongside the normal management functions and can generate share certificates as well as link to Companies House to store all shareholder information and help generate annual returns. Resident® works on all devices; desktop, tablet, and iPhones and is mobile friendly.

The software is the brainchild of chartered surveyor Kate Boyes, a partner with Tunbridge Wells based property managers Alexandre Boyes who explains: “The idea for Resident® came from recognising a need for a solution that sits between self-management and appointing a managing agent. Managing agent’s fees for small blocks of flats are often disproportionate to the annual service charge. Leaseholders and directors of resident management companies elect to self-manage to retain control of their building, and to save service charge funds, but want to be sure they are acting in accordance with legislation and fulfilling their management role correctly. The management function is time consuming and they often don’t know what contractors to use, or where to go for professional advice from people experienced in block management issues. Resident® not only guides on how, when, why and what to do regarding maintenance and repairs but it also administers accounts and other tasks making the management as simple and efficient as possible”.

“Put simply,” says Kate “Resident® is a simple way to self-manage transparently, with guidance on what to do, how and why, along with storage of key documents. It has been designed to be as simple, secure, user friendly and cost effective as possible.”

There are three key aspects to Resident®: Suppliers and Information; accounts and legals; and calendar and maintenance (see box). All users can see all information, although a designated RMC/RTMCo director is given administration rights. As all leaseholders can log in and view all the functions there is not much need for specific reporting, although expenditure vs. budget reports can be generated. When residents log in they see a dashboard which lists tasks to be completed. They can also report faults or problems via email to the administrator who will then log the fault on Resident®. Flat owners can then log in to view the progress of the repair. Currently one user is assigned to administer Resident®. Going forward it can be developed for different users to have different tasks if clients prefer.

Reactive maintenance is logged under the repairs section with a ‘Little Black Book’ of recommended contractors allocated under each expected type of repair and maintenance for users to contact. Planned maintenance reports are not currently a feature, but the Little Black Book does recommend surveyors who can undertake this task and action points can be added under the ‘tasks to complete’ section with diary deadlines.

Resident® has its own accounts package to record income and expenditure, and generates reports when required. An analysed cashbook is included for bank transactions and splitting between various expenses headings, with individual accounts maintained for each leaseholder. The ‘company secretary and annual returns’ feature makes it easy to record all leaseholder, shareholder, director and company secretary details for the purposes of annual returns and there are calendar reminders to make sure the return deadlines and accountancy filing dates are not missed. When a flat is sold Resident® can export pre-sales information packs for solicitors and new share certificates can be generated for the incoming shareholder.

Insurance/valuations are also made simple for users who just complete a simple form in the suppliers and information section for building insurance, and a specialist insurance broker will telephone them to provide quotes for building insurance, D&O insurance and engineering insurance. A comprehensive checklist includes a reminder for insurance valuations and Resident® can recommend appropriate surveyors to provide this service. The resource centre provides help sheets on why and how often these are needed. It also contains a section for new developments including a comprehensive checklist for residents to use for a smooth transition in management from developer to residents. If required Kate Boyes can act as a consultant to guide residents through the process.

Other features include diaries and reminders for follow up for all key dates such as AGMs, servicing, health and safety risk assessments and insurance renewals and email alerts for new legislation and news. Tasks that can be automated include:

  • Compliant service charge demands automatically generated from the budget;
  • Expenditure vs. budget reports;
  • Automatic alerts of Section 20 thresholds;
  • One click links for insurance quotes;
  • Accounts spreadsheets to email to end-of-year accountants; and
  • Next year’s budget based on this year’s expenditure, which can be manually amended if required.

Kate believes that Resident® is unique in the leasehold sector at present as it is designed for the end user as opposed to a managing agent, although some blocks have signed up and then appointed a managing agent to administer the system for them. On initial sign up, users are asked to input their company registration number and Resident®'s link to Companies House will automatically complete a number of fields. Once registered as a new user, clients can either elect to complete their own data, or ask the Resident® team to set up the system for them. What makes it different from other types of property management software is that Resident® is block specific, giving the leaseholders complete control of all the management functions and data storage.

Anyone using Resident® has access to both email & telephone support. Clients can speak with experienced block managers and block management accountants in the Resident® team for general advice at £35 per telephone call. A free legal advice line is also available to clients via a specialist law firm. Resident®'s ‘Little Black Book’ feature also contains recommended solicitors, accountants, planning advisors, surveyors, contractors, risk assessors and much more to give users complete peace of mind and make it easy for them to find the additional specialist advice they need.

Resident®: what’s included?

Suppliers and Information

  • Checklist of every item that will need to be considered when self-managing
  • Little black book of local contractors to assist with repairs and maintenance & professional solicitors and accountants when needed
  • Link to a specialist building insurance broker to provide competitive quotes
  • Telephone support with block managers, surveyors or accountants when needed
  • Export end of year accounts spreadsheet to email to your accountant Store important documents for all leaseholders to access such as Accounts, building insurance, leases, meeting minutes.

Accounts & Legals

  • Assistance with budget preparation
  • Automated expenditure vs. budget report when required
  • Generates compliant service charge demands
  • Alerts when Section 20 consultation required
  • Reminders of annual returns and accountancy filing dates
  • Individual leaseholder statements and templates and calendar reminders for 14 day arrears letters

Calendar & Maintenance

  • Log and manage repairs and maintenance
  • Categorise repairs into types to budget appropriately in following years
  • Automatic accounts and budget updates
  • Email remainders for key dates such as AGMs, servicing, health and safety risk assessments & insurance renewals
  • Email alerts for new legislation and news
  • Resource centre with letter templates and help sheets

Prices range from £1.50 - £5.00 per month per leaseholder, depending on the size of the block.

For more information and screenshots, go to: http://www.resident.uk.com/suppliers-and-information.html