This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
OpinionPatrickWard


ARMA-Q was announcedin2012


reassuredthatwehavevoluntarilysigned up to alevel of scrutiny that thoseoutside of ARMAhave not. It is very difficult to imagine howany currentARMAmembercannot sign up to ARMA-Q and not face somevery searching questions fromitsclients. Wearedoing allthatwecan to ensure


that our customers are very aware of ARMA-Q.Wehopetheywould notconsider changingtoanagent that is notsigned up andwewillalsobepromoting this guaranteeofprobity andservice with everypotential customer that we talk to. Wearehopeful that leaseholderawareness of ARMA-Q will grow to such a level that the timewill comewhen they simply will notcountenance theuse of anon-ARMA-Q accredited agent. Certainly we will be doing ourbit to help speed up this process. All leasehold flats that aremanaged by a


professional propertymanagershouldbesafe, secure and happy places to live. At the same timeleaseholders should feel they aregetting valueformoney fromtheirservice chargeand are included in the way inwhich their homes andinvestmentsaremanaged. To achieveall this successfully requires


notonlygood communicationskillsand excellent customer servicebut also agreat deal of technicaland legalknowledge.For themajority of companies like ours, this is attained thanks tomembership of ARMA.The organisation nowhas well over 100guidance notesavailabletoitsmemberscoveringareas as diverse as Forming Residents Associations and Refurbishing andModernising Lifts to Accounting for Lessees’Money and Solving Noise Problems. ARMAalso runsawidevariety of training coursesthatweensureall of ouremployees areput through. Oneofthe real challengesofproviding


atruly compliantservice is thatmany areasofthe lawoverlap inmuch ofwhat a


30


propertymanagerdoes. It is allverywell having an excellent knowledgeoflandlord andtenantlegislation butwithout an in-depth understandingof, say, disability discrimination legislation, theuneducated canquickly becomeunstuck. This iswhere we findARMA’sguidancetobesouseful;itis aimed specificallyatcompanies doingwhat we do. It focuses on a topic such as Long Term MaintenancePlans and provides guidance as to howtoachieve theend resultwhilecomplying with allofthe various areasofthe lawthat applytothe task at hand. Allofthisfiltersdowntoprovide


tangible benefitstoour clientsand those


downto provide tangible benefits to our clients


living in properties that wemanage. The responsibility that we takemore seriously than any other is that everyone going to bed tonightinanapartment that ismanaged by Premier Estates, relies upon us to ensure that they wake up safely in themorning.We aregreatly assisted in dischargingthislife or deathobligation by theinformation that we areabletoaccessasaresultofour ARMA membership. Ourmembership of ARMAalso guarantees


ourcustomers that we areappropriately insured, hold theirmoney in theway that thelaw requires andthattheyhaveaccessto someoneindependent of us in theevent that they wish to complain aboutour serviceand we areunabletosatisfy them.Obviously these


allthisfilters


arebenefits thatmany non-ARMAmembers mayalsoprovide.However with anon-ARMA member thecustomerwould have to drill downinto thesethingsthemselves,whereas theARMA“badge”means they don’thaveto; they can take themas read. Sadly, in our experience questions about


insurance, complaints procedures and banking probityare rarely askedwhenblocks arelooking foranew propertymanager. Wesuspectthatisnot becausewecarry the ARMAbadge and so people have no need to ask; instead we have an idea it is because potentialcustomers don’tthink aboutthese things.More often than not the value of appropriate insurance, legallycompliant client accounts andmembership of an OmbudsmanSchemeonlyenter peoples heads after somethinghas gone wrong-whenitis too late to discover that your agent didn’t have such things in place. Weare nowlooking forward to the ARMA-Q


erawithgreat excitement becausefor thefirst timeclientsand leaseholders will be able to judge ourperformance againstapublished customer service charter and bespoke set of standards. Anycomplaints arisingfrom non-compliancewiththese standardswill be independently adjudicated by a former HousingMinister, theRtHon Keith Hill and steps will be taken against any ARMA memberwho flouts the rules. This has to be good forusand forthe end


usersofour services.Soifyou arethinking of appointingamanagingagent forthe first time– or replacing one that has notmet your expectations,make sure you ask the rightquestions andcheck they areARMA-Q certified before youmake a final decision.●


PatrickWard OperationsDirector PremierEstatesLimited Patrick.ward@premierestateslimited.com


Issue 16 Flat Living


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64