Principle opens gates to brighter future for Birmingham apartments

New estate gates have been fitted, long-term arrears collected and financial accounts brought up to standard at a Birmingham apartment block, thanks to Principle Estate Management.

The complex set of problems was faced after freeholder Peter Jennings Ltd appointed Principle to look after the apartments at Hawthorn Drive in Selly Oak last autumn.

But swift action by various experts at Principle meant it successfully solved all issues within 12 months – to the satisfaction of everyone involved.

Danielle Lannon, Senior Property Manager, at Principle, said: “Although the client had obtained prices for complete gates replacement, we advised them of the need for a Section 20 consultation with all leaseholders when considering expenditure on major works.

“We followed this procedure, serving all relevant notices with explanatory letters, and received full support from all apartment owners.

“This allowed us to commission the fabrication and installation of new gates, and to reinstate the intercom system which had not been used for some years.”

Principle also tackled a case of long-term arrears and, after discussions with the leaseholder and following strict credit control process, it instructed solicitors for debt recovery and successfully obtained the funds.

Mrs Lannon said: “Swift action was needed on this matter as just one case of non-payment in a small development can really hamper progress.”

Separately, Principle discovered that Hawthorn Drive’s annual accounts and budgeting were not arranged properly and quickly brought these up to standard.

Mrs Lannon said: “Our business development and integration team always thoroughly reviews legal documents when taking over a development, which meant we could advise the client on what was required.”

Peter Jennings Ltd is a second-generation construction business in Kings Heath now run by brothers Mark and Andrew. They built Hawthorn Drive and retained the freehold once individual units were sold off on long leases.

Andrew Jennings said: “I’m really impressed with what Principle have done in less than 12 months and following a difficult start at Hawthorn Drive with no funds, large arrears and a major works project to undertake.

“They worked swiftly and efficiently to solve all the problems and I’d recommend their services to any other freeholder who needs management they can rely on.”

Mrs Lannon of Principle added: “Dealing with a development like Hawthorn Drive with several overlapping problems requires careful thought and a strategic approach to unpick all the issues.

“Because of the skills we have at Principle we are able to tackle difficult cases and make a real difference to clients and customers, which is really rewarding.”