RICS Fire safety: a clear, impartial guide

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published clear and impartial fire safety guide for the general public which highlights the responsibilities of landlords and tenants in keeping properties safe.

You can read the guide by clicking on this link: RICS: A clear, impartial guide to Fire Safety

Advice to Leaseholders in High Rise Apartment Blocks

The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) is a trade body for firms which manage apartment buildings and which one of our Directors is a former Chairman.

ARMA produces many Guidance Notes for its Members and also Advice Notes for Leaseholders. In December 2018 the Government issued Advice Note 14 (AN14) concerning wall covering systems that do not incorporate Aluminium Composite Material (ACM). The emphasis was on combustible systems such as wood and High Pressure Laminate (HPL) installations. Although only an Advice Note, this document is causing issues in the sales and re-mortgage areas as some valuers are returning a £0 value on flats, thereby holding up sales. Please remember that by the valuer putting a £0 value doesn’t necessarily mean that a property is considered worthless, it is a technique used by valuers to place a hold on a valuation pending further information. Not all valuers and lenders are taking this approach and people trying to sell or re-mortgage would be advised to shop around at this time.

ARMA has been very active and vocal on the matter, taking the matter up with No. 10 and MHCLG. Recently a cross industry working group has been set up by RICS and the Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings Group is also engaged in discussions. We hope to have a way forward to unblock the valuations shortly, although it must be said at this point that there is no easy and obvious way forward.

ARMA has produced Advice to Leaseholders in High Rise Apartment Blocks



Advice Note on Balconies on Residential Buildings

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has produced an Advice Note which provides advice on the risks arising from balconies on residential buildings.

This Advice Note is written for residents and building owners of residential buildings with multiple dwellings (i.e. blocks of flats), although the principles may also apply to other building types.

You can read the Advice Note here: Advice_on_Balconies_on_Residential_Buildings

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this matter, please contact us using the enquiry form on the Contacts page of our website.

What does a Managing Agent do?

The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), of which one of our Directors is a former Chairman, has excellent resources available.

Please click So what does a Managing Agent do? to read this useful booklet.

We’d be pleased to answer any questions you may have on this.

Principle welcomes clear government guidance for leaseholders

A new government guide created for people living in or thinking of buying a leasehold property has been praised by experts at Principle Estate Management.

The guide, entitled “How to lease”, is published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and explains leaseholders’ rights and responsibilities, what questions to ask, and how to get help if things go wrong.

Ian Smallman, a director at Birmingham-based Principle, said: “We welcome the clarity and usefulness of this new guide which is exactly what existing, new and would-be leaseholders need.

“There has been a lot of talk about the leasehold sector over the last few years with several government consultations on different aspects, and it’s good news that the information gathered has been used so efficiently.

“This easy-to-understand guide will be really helpful in what can be a confusing sector that uses lots of specialist jargon and involves so much detailed legislation.

“Here at Principle, we already try to ensure our communications are in clear, plain English and are always happy to explain legislative and best practice requirements to our customers.

“The government should be praised for taking the time to carefully create and publish this ‘How to lease’ guide which will complement our efforts.”

Principle is an associate of the Association of Residential Managing Agents (AMRA), is regulated by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and employs Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) qualified staff.

Mr Smallman, who himself sits on the IRPM’s Leasehold Working Group, added: “Principle is set up to manage leasehold properties properly whether that be for developers, freeholders or resident management companies.

“We have a wealth of experience and are committed to making this simple to understand for all our clients.”

Principle Estate Management was launched in 2018 by Brett Williams, the former head of residential property management at CPBigwood in Birmingham, and a past-chairman of AMRA.

The company is based at Cornwall House in Lionel Street, Birmingham, and offers a national property management service.

RICS Client Money Protection Scheme Rules

In accordance with the RICS requirements regarding their Client Money Protection Scheme Rules for firms Regulated by RICS, please see a link to the rules.

RICS Client Money Protection Scheme Rules

Leaseholder Library

The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), of which one of our Directors is a former Chairman, has excellent resources available.

Please click Leasehold Library for some of their useful leaflets.

Owner & Occupier Contact Details Form

If you own an apartment or house on a development managed by Principle Estate Management, please complete this form and email it to our office so that we can record your full contact details on our system.


Living in Leasehold Flats

A guide to your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder

As a leasehold homeowner, it’s in your best interests to understand the legal nature of this type of ownership. What exactly do you own and what are the associated rights and responsibilities?

This guide aims to help you to understand residential leasehold and what your rights and responsibilities are.

You can download this excellent six page guide produced collaboratively by ARMA, ARHM & LEASE by clicking here.

Please check back regularly for more resources to be posted on this page.