Bristol business welcomes new self-regulation regime

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By sophia1980 | Friday, November 16, 2012, 09:45

A Bristol business has welcomed a new self-regulatory regime for residential managing agents which will improve protection for people who live in leasehold flats and homes in the city.


At present, the leasehold management sector is unregulated so anybody can set up as a managing agent and start trading.


The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) is unable to regulate the whole sector so has set up ARMA-Q to uphold standards and penalise those who provide poor service.


BNS Management Services, based in Downend, say that the new scheme will allow leaseholders to identify the best agents through a kite-mark that they will recognise and understand.


BNS managing director Andrew Simmonds said: "As members of ARMA ourselves, ARMA-Q is going to be great for us as a business and for the sector in general. This is the first time managing agents have been subject to independent regulation and it will provide worthy members with accreditation while giving leaseholders added peace of mind.


"ARMA-Q will bring together a set of standards promoting honest, fair, transparent, timely and professional conduct by ARMA members.


"The unregulated nature of the sector so far has been a real problem with unprofessional and inexperienced agents causing stress to leaseholders and giving the industry a bad name. At BNS we welcome the chance to highlight our standards and quality."


ARMA-Q is due to be introduced in May 2013 with an independent regulatory chair and supporting panel which will operate the new self-regulatory regime and enforce compliance with the standards.


Current estimates are that there are between 1.6 and 1.8 million private leasehold flats in England and Wales a large proportion of which employ managing agents to handle the day-to-day running and ongoing maintenance of the building on their behalf. That could be anything from organising and overseeing repairs and redecorations of the communal areas, to providing accounting facilities and managing cleaning, gardening and other services.


BNS' strong local connections, rapid response times and reliability has established its reputation as one of the region's leading property management agents.


Now managing over 160 buildings in the city and surrounding areas, BNS offers different levels of service for both large and small properties. The bespoke service can be tailored to suit the varied buildings, management companies and leaseholders involved.


Andrew continued: "We have always been about keeping the leaseholder happy so this move, which is completely in the leaseholder's best interest, is great.


"It's been a long time coming and I look forward to 2013 when we can better protect leaseholders in Bristol and when we can promote ourselves as independently regulated, quality service providers."

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