The Client

The Residents of Carlton Court

We received instruction in 2009 from the Residents’ Management Company of a building of 37 units that had been neglected for some years. The building was a glorious former hotel on the Bournemouth / Boscombe border, having been converted in to residential units in 1990. The Residents’ Management Company had appointed 3 agents in the previous 10 years and none had made impact at the site.

Issue Raised

The stark neglect of the site meant that Buy To Let landlords were not vetting tenants adequately. Poor choice of tenants, meant lots of visitors and vandalism. Fire alarms were regularly sounded in error, criminal damage happened almost daily. There were a small number of owner occupiers who were suffering a poor quality of life. The Buy To Let landlords, liable for the service charges at the building, were also suffering financially as service charge funds were drained by the constant vandalism, littering and fly-tipping at the site.

Our Solution

Initiative teamed up with the Residents’ Management Company and Dorset Police to begin a clean-up exercise at the site. CCTV was installed and Buy To Let landlords were encouraged to manage their flats better. Service charge funds were prioritised through the production of a 10 year maintenance plan which focussed on the neglected Health & Safety issues first. Initiative worked with Dorset Fire & Rescue to re-configure the external fire escape was made safe which had been subject to a liability claim under the prior agents. Regular on-site meetings with the RMC directors and newsletters to all residents began to breed a community at the site.

What Happened

  • 2010: EICR test certificate.
  • 2011:   Internal Redecoration & CCTV installation.
  • 2012:   50% external redecoration.
  • 2013:   50% external redecoration.
  • 2014:   Entrance steps replaced, front entrance door replaced.
  • 2015:   Planning for full re-carpet and internal re-decoration.

The Longer Term Effect

The site is now an attractive prospect for professionals which has seen the value of each flat increase. Vandalism is now at a 6 year low which means services charge funds can be allocated to proactive long term maintenance plans rather than reactive repairs to criminal damage.

What The Client Said

When Initiative came on board as our management company it was the start of transforming the block for the 37 landlords and the owner-occupiers.  There’d been serious historic and entrenched issues with arrears, anti-social behaviour and a lack of director input and Initiative set about working closely with the chair to address each of these with fantastic results. We now have a very active group steering decisions, service account arrears have been reduced phenomenally and the anti-social behaviour has been eradicated. These successes have been down to Initiative’s carefully chosen strategies, their sheer tenacity and focused persistence over the years and their administrative expertise. Initiative completely transformed the block and the directors are delighted that as one of their first-ever clients six years ago, we will be continuing to move the block forward in their very capable hands.

Ms Walker – Carlton Court