News

12th September 2017
Earl Kendrick Associates open new office in Manchester
Earl Kendrick Associates open new office in Manchester

Multi-award-winning surveyors Earl Kendrick Associates are delighted to announce the opening of a new office in Manchester. The move allows the firm to help existing clients with properties in the area, as well as taking on instructions from new clients in Manchester and the wider northwest. It also marks the further expansion of the London-based surveyors, who opened an office in Brighton last summer.

Earl Kendrick’s Manchester office will offer the full range of surveying services, from flat buying surveys to planned maintenance and major works in residential blocks. It will also embody Earl Kendrick’s signature working philosophy, with a focus on treating clients first and foremost as people, and using technical expertise to meet their needs.

Earl Kendrick’s managing director Julian Davies said, “The team and I are really excited about the opening of our Manchester office. Following the expansion to Brighton last year, it shows that we’re very much on a roll, and we look forward to helping clients in Manchester and beyond.”

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5th September 2017
The Association of Freeholders
The Association of Freeholders

Recently launched, the Association of Freeholders (TAF) aims to be a united voice for freeholders, to ensure public perception is accurate and reflects the professionalism of members and to offer self regulation as an alternative to potential government regulation.  There has never been a better nor more critical time to focus our energy to protect our reputations and our industry and to strengthen our mutual interests. Through TAF you can now have a united voice, a code of conduct and a stamp of approval to show the public members are responsible and professional. 

TAF plans to hold it'sfirst conference on 28th September 2017 following the government's consultation. The focus will mainly be on their own consultation with members and potential members who attend. They want to know how our sector would like TAF to represent them, to counter the anti-leasehold sentiments and organisations and to voice all the positives and security freeholders offer. We will discuss and set out a structure for self regulation through TAF and will be inviting industry experts to speak and give their views on how self regulation should work, the governments consultation and what we can expect going forward. 

If you would like to find out more about TAF, click here.

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14th August 2017
Bishop & Sewell and Fisher Meredith Agree to Merge
Bishop & Sewell and Fisher Meredith Agree to Merge

The Partners of Bishop & Sewell and Fisher Meredith are pleased to announce that Fisher Meredith has joined forces and merged with Bishop & Sewell. The combined practice will operate as “Bishop & Sewell LLP” with effect from 14 August 2017. Bishop & Sewell will continue to be led by its current management team comprising Stephen Bishop (Founder and Managing Partner), Michael Gillman (Senior Partner) and Mark Chick (Partner). Following the merger, key partners from Fisher Meredith including Eileen Pembridge and Louise Barretto will join the Bishop & Sewell team.

Bishop & Sewell was established in 1979 by Stephen Bishop and Jill Sewell and was originally known for its strong property and commercial reputation. Since then the firm has steadily expanded into a full service firm covering Residential & Commercial Property, Corporate & Commercial, Employment, Family, Tax & Trusts and Dispute Resolution services for families, businesses and entrepreneurs.

Fisher Meredith was founded in 1975 by Eileen Pembridge, current Senior Partner and Head of Family, and offers a wide range of legal services covering Family, Property, Immigration and Employment law, serving individuals and businesses.

The merger is part of Bishop & Sewell’s continued planned expansion strategy and will strengthen its Family and Dispute Resolution practices, as well as creating a new Immigration department for the firm, with a team of people perfectly aligned with it culture and values. The combined firms will operate from Bishop & Sewell’s Russell Square offices in London WC1.

Michael Gillman, Senior Partner of Bishop & Sewell commented:
“With Fisher Meredith, we have found a firm which complements and strengthens our existing offering and will enhance our commitment and ability to serve our clients in Central London, nationally and abroad. There are great synergies between our two firms which will enable us to continue to serve our new combined client base with a wide range of legal services and generate further growth.”

Eileen Pembridge, Senior Partner of Fisher Meredith said:
“We can now build on our success of the last 42 years by merging with a larger law firm and look forward to supporting and expanding our footprint with the deeper resources of Bishop & Sewell. This merger allows us to provide more comprehensive legal services to our clients, together with the same high quality, competitive and caring service our clients expect.”

This merger will see Bishop & Sewell’s team of fee earners increase to over 50, with a full service remit across five core areas of Property, Commercial, Private Client, Litigation and Family, with an international reach via our membership of Pragma, an international network of lawyers and consulting firms.

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3rd August 2017
Earl Kendrick Associates welcomes Graeme Parslow
Earl Kendrick Associates welcomes Graeme Parslow

 Earl Kendrick Associates are delighted to announce that Graeme Parslow has joined the company as a Technical Associate and Team Leader. As well as being an experienced building surveyor with excellent technical expertise, Graeme has an MBA and will bring his business acumen into the company by assisting with APC coaching as well as long-term strategy.

 

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19th July 2017
Firstport Announces First Acquisition
Firstport Announces First Acquisition

FirstPort is delighted to announce the acquisition of Pentland Estate Management, which was owned by Linden Homes and is their property management provider.  Linden Homes is owned by FTSE 250 construction and housebuilding company Galliford Try and this is the first acquisition since the launch of FirstPort in 2015.

 FirstPort Chief Executive, Nigel Howell said:

“FirstPort is already the largest residential property services manager in the UK, but complacency is not in our DNA – we are 100% committed to reaching our goal of becoming the UK’s leading residential property manager ‘as judged by others’.

 “We have innovative systems and processes in place to achieve this and are progressing well with our employees more engaged than ever and increasingly positive customer feedback being received. As our service and reputation improves, our retention rate strengthens and is currently standing at 97% and despite a stagnant housing market and uncertain economic and political environment, we are seeing record growth as more clients appoint us.

 “So it is exciting times and as part of our growth strategy, we are delighted to be bringing Pentland into the mix and welcoming their 12,000 customers to our business. Our mission is to make life easier for our customers: providing a local, trusted and responsive service for residents that delivers not just bricks and mortar - but a place they love to call home. We are looking forward to ensuring both colleagues and customers are able to enjoy the benefits that working for a company with our scale and scope can bring and ensuring we provide the best possible property management service to even more people across the country”

 Tom Nicholson, Divisional Chairman at Linden Homes continued “Linden Homes and Pentland Estate Management have always been committed to delivering a level of service to our customers that we can be proud of.  We were determined to ensure that any acquiring party would share these core values.  We are therefore delighted that Pentland Estate Management has been acquired by FirstPort and their commitment to continue to provide excellent service to our customers.”

 The companies will now be working closely together to ensure a robust and detailed transition plan is in place to aid as smooth a handover as possible for both companies’ staff, clients and customers. 

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15th July 2017
UK's Top Managing Agents Recognised
UK's Top Managing Agents Recognised

The winners of ARMA’s (the Association of Residential Managing Agents) inaugural ACE Awards were revealed at a glittering ceremony at Tobacco Dock in London’s east end on Friday 7th July 2017. Attended by more than 450 industry professionals, the Awards were introduced to celebrate excellence and exceptional achievement by the UK's leading residential managing agents, their suppliers and the work of their people in improving the lives of over a million leaseholders across the country.

The 13 winners were announced following a rigorous adjudicating process by a panel of independent judges. Tobacco Dock provided a stunning backdrop to a fun-packed evening of live music, fine dining and exciting entertainment.

Dr Nigel Glen, ARMA CEO, said: “The winners are a real credit to the industry and I know what a hard job the judges had in deciding who should go home with a trophy from so many outstanding finalists. The winning firms and team members are setting the standard for companies that wish to be recognised for achieving excellence and best practice in their field.”

The young people’s homeless charity, Centrepoint, was ARMA’s charity partner for the evening and a magnificent sum of £2,500 was raised for the cause.

Full list of winners:

  • Smaller Managing Agent of the Year - Plymouth Block Management
  • Medium Managing Agent of the Year - Realty Management
  • Larger Managing Agent of the Year - Rendall & Rittner
  • On-site Staff Member of the Year - Jamie Whalley, Braemar Estates
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Firm of the Year - Rendall & Rittner
  • Service Charge Accountant of the Year - Charlotte Perrott, FirstPort Bespoke Property Services
  • Apprentice of the Year - Oliver Fanthorpe, Michael Laurie Magar
  • Property Woman of the Year - Emily Orner, SPL Property Management
  • Customer Service Award - Rendall & Rittner
  • Unsung Hero - Tom Dugdale, Braemar Estates
  • Provider of the Year - Cleankill Pest Control
  • Service Charge Accountancy Firm of the Year - Haines Watts
  • Industry Supplier of the Year - Future Lighting

The Awards are open to ARMA members, associates, partners, affiliates and external suppliers to ARMA members and include several categories not covered by other awards. Entries into the 2018 Awards will open later in the year: www.awards.arma.org.uk

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13th July 2017
Resident joins the RICS Technology Affiliate Program
 Resident joins the RICS Technology Affiliate Program

Resident® is proud to announce that it has joined the RICS Technology Affiliate Program intended to increase awareness and adoption of technology in the Real Estate and Built Environment sectors, benefiting both RICS professionals and the wider market.

Director, Kate Boyes MRICS, who has been a member of the RICS since 2004 and whose firm Resident® is regulated by the RICS states "I have been a proud member of the RICS since qualifying in 2004 and my sales and lettings business became regulated by the RICS when I became a partner in 2007 as I have always been committed to promoting their standards and best practice throughout everything we do. I founded our proptech business, Resident®, in 2014 as I saw the impact technology was having on the industry, something that is gathering in pace everyday. I am therefore extremely proud to become a member of the Technology Affiliate Program to further promote RICS awareness and standards in the proptech world."

On the launch of the Tech Affiliate Program, Dan Hughes Director of Data and Information Product Management at the RICS commented "Data and technology has been used for many years across the built environment and has, to a degree, changed how we do things. However, more recently we have seen a faster pace of change in the built environment and how professionals carry out their roles.

In recognition of this change and the importance that technology companies have on our sector, we are delighted to launch the Tech Affiliate Program (TAP). The purpose of the program is to support awareness and thought leadership across the sector, specifically relating to the impact of technology, and to support professionals with the adoption of standards."

Further information on the RICS Technology Affiliate Program can be found on the RICS website

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28th June 2017
The Unsolvable 30 London Buildings Puzzle!
The Unsolvable 30 London Buildings Puzzle!

People are losing their minds over a simple collage competition that no one can solve.

Marketers at Vivacity London, a marketing consultancy for the property and construction sector, set about launching a simple ‘identify-the-London-buildings’ competition and discovered they’d created an unsolvable puzzle that has left participants “utterly addicted and committed to cracking it” – Matt Acton MRICS, Project Manager, Heriot-Watt University.

Choosing 30 iconic London buildings to create a beautiful, eye-catching collage, Jennifer Evans, Managing Director of Vivacity London, hoped to launch a pertinent competition for London’s challenge-loving Property and Construction sector…. only to find that literally no one can solve it.

“It’s clever, beautiful, and enraging all at once – I’m devoted to solving it, if I have to walk the width and breadth of London!” Julian Davies MRICS, Managing Director, Earl Kendrick Associates.

“I’ve been very close to throwing my laptop out of the window, it’s that infuriatingly complex and addictive…I won’t give up! Sarah Fisher, Director/Owner, MIH Ltd.

The proposal is simple, identify all 30 buildings for the chance to win a business consultancy package worth £7,300, but whether anyone wins it remains to be seen.

At first glance, you don't imagine it to be that hard as you immediately recognise such landmarks as The London Eye and Tower Bridge. However, as you tick off the first ten or so, it becomes harder to identify where in London you've seen that building before and what its name is.

Jennifer Evans, Managing Director of Vivacity London, says: we invite professionals from the sector to play it on their commute, during their lunch break or at home with the help of family and friends, with the chance of winning the deserved prize, but we also welcome everyone else who enjoys a challenge to participant just for fun.

Think you can solve the unsolvable puzzle? View the 30 Buildings collage and full competition details here: https://www.vivacitylondon.com/blog/30buildings

Email your entry to 30Buildings@vivacitylondon.com.
Closing Date: July 19th
Winners will be announced on the website: July 21st (if there are any)

“I pride myself on my knowledge of London and I’m pretty hacked off I can’t solve this one!” Laura Passey, Owner, Laura Passey Interiors

“It has me completely flummoxed!” David Graves MRICS, Managing Director, JCF Property Management.

 

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22nd June 2017
Safety checks on private residential blocks
Safety checks on private residential blocks

Letter from Melanie Dawes CB, Permanent Secretary Department for Communities and Local Government:

"Following the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington last week, we want to ensure you are aware of help that is available in checking your buildings.

There has been much public concern and comment about potential flaws in the cladding that was on Grenfell Tower. While the exact reasons for the speed of the spread of fire have yet to be determined, we have concluded that there are additional tests that can be undertaken with regard to the cladding. We have asked local authorities and social housing providers to identify whether any panels used in new build or refurbishment of their own housing stock are a particular type of cladding made of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM). These checks will be relevant to privately owned and managed residential buildings too, so please can you consider carrying out these checks on your buildings.

More details on how to identify this cladding are in Annex A attached. It is important to stress that ACM cladding is not of itself dangerous, but it is important that the right type is used. If you identify that cladding on any of your buildings is made of ACM, then a sample can be tested. This testing facility is also being made available to blocks that are privately owned, and your local authority may already have been in touch to make you aware of this.

The procedures for taking up this offer of testing, which will be paid for by DCLG, are set out in the annex. We are prioritising buildings over six storeys or 18 metres high. The offer is for the initial testing only and the cost of any remedial action will be the responsibility of the owner of the building. The information from the checks will be available to DCLG from BRE. "

Link to full letter and data form.  


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8th June 2017
Masterfix recruits Jonathan Channing
Masterfix recruits Jonathan Channing

Central London based property maintenance company, Masterfix, have announced the appointment of IRPM Fellow Jonathan Channing as Director.

Chris Ball, managing director, told us, “We are delighted to confirm that Jonathan has joined the senior management team at Masterfix. He brings with him two decades of property management experience and a highly respected track record of customer satisfaction, financial acumen and technical know-how which we are convinced will help us strengthen our links with the property management sector”.

Jonathan’s move from managing agent to maintenance and compliance contractor has raised some eyebrows. Chris explains, “In the years we’ve known Jonathan whilst at Farrar and Savills, it’s always been clear he has a passion for property management. He goes out of his way to promote talent in his industry so we’re grateful to have Jonathan promoting the good work that we do indirectly supporting the property managers he’s worked with throughout his career”.

In a notoriously frenetic industry that relies heavily on its supplier partners, Masterfix says it understands what managing agents have to contend with day to day and is therefore well placed to provide a bespoke service. Chris Ball adds, “As our understanding of the residential block management industry grows with Jonathan’s input, we see what a vital role IT has to play. Our proprietary software has been designed to give property managers the information they need to track jobs and communicate the status of maintenance and compliance work to their clients; we want to make maintenance and compliance easier for the property manager and deliver it as a support function as it has been in other sectors for many years”.

Masterfix is a multi-trade contractor covering plumbing to roofing, electrical to ex decs, insurance claim reinstatement to gas safety checks. It employs a 50 strong engineer workforce covering London and the south east from three offices. Jonathan can be reached on 07968 259905 or jonathan.channing@master-fix.com and Chris Ball on 07553 344 124 or chris.ball@master-fix.com

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