Property gets 96% of £32k lift repairs covered by insurance, thanks to Principle

A £32,000 bill for major lift repairs at an office and apartment block in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter was 96% covered by insurance after prompt action by Principle Estate Management.

Principle was appointed last autumn to manage the four-storey Altitude building on Powell Street knowing there were some immediate issues – including the broken lift.

The problem was quickly reviewed, insurance claims made for the repairs and the contractors commissioned, resulting in a working lift and happy clients.

Ian Smallman, operations director at Principle, said: “This was the first time we’d ever taken on a development where the lift was out of order following an escape of water – a severe issue that needed focused management.

“A leak from the tank room next door had damaged the electrical equipment and motor which was sub-ground level beneath the lift shaft, as often the case in modern lifts.”

He explained how Principle quickly reviewed the issues and lodged notification of a potential claim on the freeholder’s buildings insurance, which hadn’t previously been done.

A specialist lift consultant’s report was then commissioned to detail the extent of the damage, a  quote was obtained from a lift maintenance company and the insurance claims process was managed.

Mr Smallman said: “We kept our client, the director of the management company, and all residents advised of progress, including the delay needed in works while specialist replacement parts were manufactured.

“We monitored works progress, liaising with the lift maintenance company, consultant and insurers all the way to recommissioning, including an independent lift inspection meeting relevant safety standards.

“The cost was more than £32,000 but insurance covered nearly 96% thanks to our careful management and claims, and all is now back in order.”

Margaret Cattell, a director at Altitude Property Management Company, said: “We’re delighted at how proactive Principle has been, not only on the significant issue of the lift but also various other more routine items.

“We would be happy to recommend them to other resident management companies looking for a specialist managing agent.”

Other issues tackled by Principle at the Altitude block in its first year of management include:

  • Planned replacement of post boxes for all 32 units.
  • New guttering, downpipes and other works to stop water cascading into the basement car park.
  • Appointment of new cleaners who now do a quarterly clean of staircase carpets.
  • Sorting out poor refuse and recycling collections.
  • Internal painting of internal staircase walls.
  • Plans for future redecoration of external rendering.
  • Frame adjustments to prevent recurring damage to a pedestrian gate.
  • Resolution of a long-standing electricity payment dispute.

Brett Williams, managing director at Principle, added: “The directors of resident management companies rarely move the management of their development when things are running smoothly.

“We were pleased to have been able to successfully push through the reinstatement of the lift and feel that our approach has now won the trust of everyone at Altitude.”

Mr Williams is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a past-chairman of the Association of Residential Managing Agents.