News

26th May 2020
New IRPM White Paper: How Digitisation is Impacting Our Residential Buildings
New IRPM White Paper: How Digitisation is Impacting Our Residential Buildings

Like all UK industries, property is impacted by COVID-19 and the effect of the lockdown on the way it works. But despite this ‘new normal’, we cannot ignore our sector’s other key issues. The use of building technology is changing the way we live. In the last decade we have seen a revolution in technology; in particular the way in which data influences our daily lives. It is increasingly being used by stakeholders across the property sector to inform decision-making and digitise both information flow and transactional business.

In response, today the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) publishes the second part of its 2020 Tech Insight programme. Making the right connections: the impact of technology on building management is a white paper highlighting the key issues raised by the impact of technology on the way our buildings are built and managed. From building management systems to resident portals and from repair reporting to the internet of things, there is a myriad of ways in which technology can be used to improve the pace and quality of service delivery.

The IRPM brought together a group of leading industry experts to discuss the impact of data and advances in building technology on the management of residential blocks. The white paper captures this conversation, highlighting the technological challenges for the sector and sets out next steps for the property management profession.

Key points are that:

  • Assets that are digitised will yield higher values.
  • A cultural shift is needed if the property management sector is to reap the benefits of digitisation – and in turn deliver value for residents.
  • If property managers can effectively harness the data they hold and use it to drive innovative customer-facing products, in future this will act as a differentiator between technical competence and technical excellence.

To address these challenges, the paper pinpoints the need for:

  • A platform for tech and software providers to communicate with the property industry.
  • Cross-industry collaboration to determine what is needed by operators and occupiers and avoid development of unsuitable and ineffective solutions.
  • Government intervention to unleash the potential of this market segment.

Launching the White Paper today, Andrew Bulmer, CEO of IRPM said: “These discussions and white papers are pivotal to start the conversation around the ways in which technology is already impacting our residential buildings and will change the way they are built and managed in the years to come.”

Please click here to download the full white paper.

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1st May 2020
The 2020 Property Management 50 - Nominations open
The 2020 Property Management 50 - Nominations open

The Property Management 50 Awards are back for 2020 and we couldn’t be more excited!

Last year’s awards were a huge success with 50 of the best property management professionals being duly rewarded for their talent, hard work and determination to drive our industry forward.

This year, the industry has evolved and changed as it always does- ours’ is an ever-changing landscape. But this year we’ve also faced another common challenge. With the pandemic comes wide-spread disruption to our usual ways of working. Industry members have had to adapt and roll with the times to ensure the service they provide is upheld while holding their companies, teams and positive mindsets together.

It’s been a tough task for most people, which is all the more reason to celebrate the success stories, encourage the newcomers and acknowledge the steadfast leaders we all turn to time and again- PM50 aims to do just that.

Who’s Involved?

This year, the awards are brought to you by Be Original, Property Management Recruitment and Flat Living. Their teams have come together and nominated the people that stand out to them- this list will be joined by the industry’s nominations before being passed to this year’s judges who are five of last year’s winners.

The Judges:

Jonathan Channing, Director of JC Property Consultancy
Jonathan is a consultant with over 20 years’ property management experience. He’s a fellow of the IRPM, an Associate of the RICS and Honorary Consultant to FoPRA and won a PM50 Influencer award last year.

Beth Lancaster, Senior Property Manager at FirstPort
Beth began her property management career in Dubai in 1998 and became a Senior Property Manager with FirstPort in 2005. She’s MIRPM qualified and a won a Property Manager award in 2019’s PM50.

Matthew Lewis, Partner & Head of Residential Leasehold Property at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP
Matthew is a member of ALEP and IRPM as well as an Honorary Consultant for the FPRA. He is a founding member/owner of Leasehold Management Professionals, was Highly Commended within the Young Professional of the Year category at last year’s ERMAs and won a PM50 Rising Star award in 2019.

Colin Stokes, Managing Director, Adiuvo
Colin was a block manager in a previous life and, 11 years ago, founded Adiuvo to provide specialist out of hours support for the property sector. He is a proponent of Proptech and won a Supplier award in last year’s PM50.

Brett Williams, Managing Director at Principle Estate Management
Brett qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1994 and was Chairman of ARMA for three years until 2010, having been involved in other committees within ARMA since 1999. Having led CPBigwood’s residential management department until its sale in 2015, Brett took a break before setting up Principle Estate Management in June 2018 with fellow Director, Joe Jobson. Brett won a coveted Legends award at last year’s PM50.
How It Works

Nominations are open from the 1st May to the 26th June and the entry form has been kept short and sweet- we know how time-poor property management professionals are! Just enter some basic details about yourself and the person you’re nominating before giving us an outline of why you think your nominee is deserving of an award- it doesn’t need to be an essay or written in a formal way at all, just a few sentences about why they stand out to you.

From there, our judges will take over. They’ll have a specific score sheet for each category as well as an over-arching list of criteria for all nominees. Their choices will be handed over to the Be Original team to be collated and will be kept completely anonymous. Our 50 winners will be announced on the 17th July 2020.

We hope the awards will act as something for everyone to look forward to and will help to acknowledge the incredible dedication being shown in the face of the pandemic as well as recognising the hard work that has gone on in more stable times earlier in the year.

Key dates for your diary:

Nominations are open from 1st May to 26th June
Winners will be announced on the 17th July

Nominate here 

 

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28th April 2020
Industry Leaders to Live Stream COVID-19 Webinar for Leasehold Block Managers
Industry Leaders to Live Stream COVID-19 Webinar for Leasehold Block Managers

Live stream: 30 April 2020, 2 - 3 PM BST | Register today, for free

Can and should major works go ahead during this ongoing pandemic? From cladding remediation to LOLER tests to reactive repairs, what is the government's position on compliance in these unprecedented times? With the end of the quarter fast approaching and an increasing number of leaseholders falling into financial difficulties, how can block managers prepare for a potential surge in arrears? What else should block managers be considering to safeguard resident safety, compliance and business continuity?

Fixflo announces their first COVID-19 update webinar dedicated to the leasehold and block management sector with esteemed presenters from ARMA, Brethertons and IRPM.

Andrew Bulmer, CEO of IRPM and Nigel Glen, CEO of ARMA will be joined by Brethertons' residential leasehold property law specialist Roger Hardwick and Rajeev Nayyar, MD of Fixflo in this upcoming virtual meeting. The presenters will offer insights which all managing agents should be considering right now.

Unlike earlier webinars in Fixflo’s oversubscribed COVID-19 series which offered general property management advice, this upcoming live stream promises to be specific, practical and comprehensive. While no legal advice will be offered, those who attend will receive helpful information on leasehold-specific topics. A must-attend for leasehold block managers operating in the ongoing epidemiological crisis. Register today and keep up-to-date with the impact COVID-19 may have on your residents, business practices, legal liabilities and more.

Registration is completely free and all registered attendees will be sent a link to the full recording afterwards. Prospective participants are encouraged to register early before capacity is reached.

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22nd April 2020
IRPM publishes White Paper with focus on building safety
IRPM publishes White Paper with focus on building safety

At present, Covid-19 presents a huge challenge to the UK property industry but, despite the lockdown, we cannot ignore our sector’s other biggest issue – building safety. Post-Grenfell, safety in the residential block sector is being completely overhauled and many of the recommendations coming from the Hackitt Review hinge on data collection and management.

With this in mind, today the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) publishes Who shares Wins: the impact of technology on building safety, a white paper highlighting the key issues raised by the impact of technology on building safety.

The new publication details the importance of data-sharing and advances in building technology in the residential block sector, with a particular focus on fire safety and setting out next steps for the property management profession. Post-Grenfell, safety in the residential block sector is being completely overhauled and many of the recommendations coming from the Hackitt Review hinge on data collection and management. For the first part of its 2020 Tech Insight programme, the IRPM brought together a group of leading industry experts to discuss the impact of technology on building safety and examine the barriers to implementation. The white paper captures this conversation, highlighting the technological challenges for the sector that impact the delivery of building safety.

Key points are that:

  • Information and data sharing at planning and construction stage are central to the safety of residential buildings
  • Poor access to building information among property managers results in a lack of knowledge around the safety of the building structure and the materials used in construction
  • Getting the right level and quality of information will be the challenge for the future.

To address these challenges, the paper pinpoints the need for three fundamental steps:

  • Improved data sharing
  • New legislation
  • Collaborative working between government and key industry stakeholders.

Launching the white paper today, Andrew Bulmer, CEO of IRPM said: “These discussions and white papers are pivotal for change, change that is very much needed in the industry, to bring together all key stakeholders to initiate legislative change, that will benefit all parties involved, including residents.”

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21st April 2020
Leasehold Association reports sharp rise in activity amid lockdown
Leasehold Association reports sharp rise in activity amid lockdown

The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP), has reported a significant increase in interest as the COVID-19 lockdown gives leaseholders time to review their lease extension.

ALEP's website has experienced a major spike in traffic since the beginning of March as leaseholders and freeholders, find out more about enfranchisement options and source accredited practitioners.

Clare Grove, ALEP’s Marketing Manager (pictured), said: "We have seen a consistent increase in web visitors since the lockdown started, with almost 25% more traffic than we would usually see. Extending your lease is one of those tasks that can seem a bit daunting and is often put to the bottom of the pile, but it seems as though the enforced lockdown has given leaseholders the time they need to address the issue."

Feedback from ALEP member firms has also reinforced the statistics, with many members reporting an increase in enquiries during the last few weeks.

The ALEP website, www.alep.org.uk, provides insight into the enfranchisement process and helps leaseholders and freeholders find vetted professionals who can support them through the process.

Clare Grove continued: "As a lease is a depreciating asset, it is so important to act in a timely manner and to use reliable, professional practitioners. With everything else going on with C oronavirus, if people find themselves with time on their hands now would be a perfect time to start the process, and ALEP is here to help."

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14th April 2020
ARMA LAUNCHES NEW CATEGORY FOR FREEHOLDERS, DEVELOPERS, CORPORATE LANDLORDS AND REGISTERED PROVIDERS
ARMA LAUNCHES NEW CATEGORY FOR FREEHOLDERS, DEVELOPERS, CORPORATE LANDLORDS AND REGISTERED PROVIDERS

ARMA (the Association of Residential Managing Agents), the leading trade association for residential managing agents in England and Wales, has today (14thApril 2020) launched a new membership category, with the aim of raising standards across a wider section of the industry.

In its commitment to promote and maintain high standards of block management and in order to extend its influence and expertise within the property management sector, ARMA has designed ARMA Network as an opportunity for freeholders, developers, corporate landlords and registered providers, such as housing associations and local authorities, to access professional advice and technical expertise, helping them to further improve and maintain standards to their leasehold clients.

Dr Nigel Glen, ARMA CEO, said: “We have reached a pivotal point within the property management sector, where reform, building safety improvements and industry regulation are poised to transform the industry over the next few years, for developers, landlords, residents, property managers, and the supply chain.

“Our aim is to raise the standards of leasehold management for the benefit of residents and all those working in or closely with the block management industry. This new membership category will appeal to a wider cross section of the professional property and leasehold sectors and enable them to gain deeper knowledge on leasehold matters, engage with specialist suppliers, and stay up-to-date on legislative reform, regulation, and technical changes.”

For anyone interested in joining ARMA Network click here for more information, or visit our website to enquire about membership: click here

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26th March 2020
Property Industry Unites to 'do some good' for the NHS
Property Industry Unites to 'do some good' for the NHS

Property professionals from Greystar, SAY Consulting, deverellsmith, and Be Original have joined forces to create a central register where the real estate industry can pledge support to the NHS and healthcare workers to help these real-life superheroes fight Covid-19.

The initiative repurposes the Do Some Good platform, which launched earlier in the year when MIPIM 2020 was cancelled to encourage delegates to use the extra time from not attending the event for charitable endeavours. The website will now act as a one-stop shop for businesses to offer space, supplies, manpower and other resources that will help the NHS to tackle the outbreak.

The property industry and its supply chain can sign up and offer help through Do Some Good in three main ways:

  • Providing space, such as temporary beds for workers or car parking
  • Sourcing medical supplies and Personal Protective Equipment
  • Offering operational support, such as logistics or facilities management

The Do Some Good team will consolidate the industry’s efforts to make the allocation of resources more efficient and is also interested in hearing from volunteers.

Adina David, founder of Ladies in Real Estate and director of Flexible Housing at Greystar, said: “Now more than ever the real estate industry must come together as a community to support the NHS. Real estate is a people-focused industry. It is vital to take care and give back to our heroes in the NHS and healthcare industry, who are working valiantly to look after us during this time. We must do our part as individuals and as an industry to ensure that healthcare workers on the frontline have the support required.”

Debra Yudolph, partner, SAY Consulting said: “I am delighted that the Do Some Good platform has been repurposed as a central register to enable the real estate industry to unite its efforts to suppose those in need at this time of unprecedented crisis. Today, we are focusing on the National Health Service, but as the situation changes we will find more ways to offer support and resources through Do Some Good with the assistance of the industry”

Andrew Deverell-Smith, founder and CEO, deverellsmith said: “The Real Estate industry has always had people at its heart - now is the time to make sure that the people on the frontline have the right resources and supplies to truly make a difference. Offering operational support, storage facilities and equipment where possible will play a crucial role in alleviating pressures on the NHS.”

Kyle McFadden, director of Business Operations, Greystar said: “Healthcare personnel are working tirelessly to care for people affected by Covid-19, but the situation could get worse so we need to do everything we can to support the NHS and cope with the crisis. The real estate industry must help the government and the services we are relying on through this difficult time to ensure that we have the capacity to meet our medical needs when the crisis peaks.”

If you or your organisation is looking to help, Do Some Good is looking to pool offers of assistance with the following:

Space (in support of the UKAA initiative):

  • Space for critical care beds
  • Space/ accommodation for NHS workers to self-isolate in (no individual flats)
  • Car parking spaces
  • Storage Space

Medical Supplies:

  • Medical-grade masks (e.g., n95 masks, existing PPE or 3D printed)
  • Single-use gloves
  • Face shields
  • Respirators
  • Other medical supplies

Operational Support & Other Supplies (For temporary accommodation for NHS workers):

  • Management of residential facilities
  • Management of logistics / storage
  • Furniture procurement
  • Cleaning & procurement of linen
  • Toiletries
  • Cooked Meals
  • • Food donations
  • • Other donations
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27th February 2020
Resident Groups and Industry Call for Government Action on Cladding
Resident Groups and Industry Call for Government Action on Cladding
  • New industry research suggests half a million people could be living in unsafe buildings
  • With government support limited to one specific type of cladding, these residents could be left with excessive bills to make their homes safe
  • Resident groups form an unprecedented coalition with managing agents and building owners to call on the new Chancellor to establish a fund to make these homes safe

Following new evidence that the scale of the cladding crisis may affect up to half a million people, cladding campaigners, residents, property managers and the UK’s largest freeholders have formed an unprecedented coalition to request a multibillion-pound fund to remediate unsafe buildings.

In an open letter to the new Chancellor, the group has called on the Government to step in following failures in the building safety regime that have dated back decades. Without support, leaseholders may be left having to pay the price, which is likely to run into the billions.

The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), which represents the largest property managers in the country, has conducted an analysis of apartment buildings in the UK and found that over half a million people may be living in unsafe buildings that passed building control when they were built. Materials now deemed to be unsafe include High Pressure Laminate (HPL) – which has been found to be at least as flammable as the ACM cladding that was used on Grenfell Tower – but the Government’s existing fund is limited to ACM cladding.

The freeholder signatories are coordinating remediation work on buildings with ACM cladding in every major city in the UK, but the process has revealed numerous additional safety issues and there are concerns that the cost of fixing these problems will fall on to residents unless the Government steps in.

Given the scale of the task, the group is calling for a multibillion-pound, government-backed fund to be established so that these buildings can be made safe as soon as possible.

Nigel Glen, Chief Executive Officer, The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) said:

“The Grenfell tragedy highlighted the dangers of ACM cladding, but it has also revealed a much wider building safety crisis which could affect over half a million people. These buildings are being fixed by building owners and managing agents as quickly as possible but, without Government support, the process could take decades and leave leaseholders with life-changing bills on top of the anxiety that has already been caused.”

Martin Boyd, Leasehold Knowledge Partnership said:

“Nearly 1,000 days after the Grenfell tragedy there is a huge amount of worry among leaseholders that the problems are getting worse, not better. The government must help find solutions rather than just telling everyone these are complex problems.”

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27th February 2020
Bishop & Sewell, Announces Two New Appointments to its Management Board
Bishop & Sewell, Announces Two New Appointments to its Management Board

Central London law firm, Bishop & Sewell, is pleased to announce two new appointments to its management board.

Mark Chick (pictured, left) takes over as Senior Partner and Michael Kashis is appointed as Managing Partner for Strategy and Implementation.

Founding Partner, Stephen Bishop, commented as follows: "We are delighted to announce these two board appointments, which are a key part of the delivery of our vision for Bishop & Sewell for 2020 and beyond. Michael has exceptional skills in the management arena and Mark has a comprehensive knowledge of the firm, having been key to its growth over the last ten years."

Michael Kashis joined Bishop & Sewell in 2014 as the Head of Corporate; he became a Partner in 2016 and an Equity Member in 2017. In the 14 years prior to joining Bishop & Sewell, he worked for international and multinational firms and institutions including one magic circle firm, one silver circle firm, the number one (for nine consecutive years) Global Mining Law Firm of the Year. Michael has also worked for the European Commission.

Originally specialising property litigation, Mark Chick joined Bishop & Sewell in 2001. He is now recognised as a leading UK authority in Leasehold Reform and heads the firm’s practice group in this area.

Mark has been a member of the partnership at Bishop & Sewell since 2006 and a member of its senior management team since 2011. In addition, he is a director and a founder committee member of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) and regularly writes and speaks on leasehold issues.

Over the past ten years, Mark has developed Bishop & Sewell’s Landlord & Tenant practice to become one of the largest specialist teams in the UK. Under his direction, the department has flourished, and he now leads a growing team of highly experienced, specialist solicitors and property experts.

Mark Chick commented: “I am delighted to have the privilege of leading Bishop & Sewell as we move forward into our next phase of growth.

As a business, Bishop & Sewell has unique skills and attributes which have been developed over the years. The firm celebrated its 40-year milestone last year and we now have reached a hugely exciting point in our journey. I am honoured to be able to lead us into this next phase of our development and see Bishop & Sewell forge ahead as a leading Central London Law Firm.”

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27th February 2020
FirstPort Creates New Director Role for Build to Rent Division
FirstPort Creates New Director Role for Build to Rent Division

FirstPort, the residential property manager, has appointed Lee Richards as Director - Build to Rent. Lee joined FirstPort in July 2018 as Head of Property Standards and takes up his new appointment immediately.

Managing properties that investors are building specifically to rent (BTR) is emerging as the sector’s fastest growing commercial opportunity in 2020.

Prior to joining FirstPort Lee was Managing Director of a national property lettings business, managing large portfolios for clients such as the Ministry of Defence and Serco.

“There are currently some 40,000 occupiers of homes that were specifically built to rent in the UK,” comments Martin King, Director of Business Development, FirstPort Limited. “But there are another 100,000 currently under construction or in the planning pipeline. Lee’s appointment is part of our strategy to be the property manager of choice for these large scale institutional investments.”

Lee Richards, added: “There are numerous well documented barriers to new property ownership currently in the UK. Low mortgage multiples available for average earners, deposit sizes required, and rising property prices have all contributed to the rise in the age of first-time buyers to 33 in the UK, and 37 in London. 

“The demand for good quality rental property has never been greater as the private rental sector  expands to accommodate changing trends, with BTR being at the forefront of this growth.”


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