In partnership with urbanbubble, property owners achieved:
- An immediate annual service charge reduction of £10,000
- Transparent use of service charge
- A reduction in onsite laundry costs
- A makeover and refresh of communal areas
The full story:
Situated in the heart of Leeds, Britannia House is made up of 42 apartments plus commercial units at street level in a vibrant and popular area of the city.
urbanbubble was approached by the Directors of the Residents’ Management Company at Britannia House in 2012.
They were concerned that the managing agent in charge of the development at that time weren’t operating in the best interests of leaseholders, with a list of problems that seemed to be growing by the day.
Firstly, communal laundry facilities in the block, the only onsite place to wash clothes due to the design of the apartments, were deemed overly expensive to use.
Then, the decor of the building seemed to have remained firmly in the past, with old-fashioned colours and fabrics giving the wrong impression to potential purchasers or people interested in renting an apartment.
This uninviting atmosphere was made worse by a series of break ins that had highlighted security issues within the development.
Despite raising their concerns with the managing agent, the leaseholders felt these problems were being ignored which made them even harder to live with.
urbanbubble took over as managing agent at Britannia House in November 2012, and immediately set to work ensuring Britannia House ruled the roost of places to live in central Leeds.
Working closely with the RMC Directors, a series of changes was implemented to meet the concerns highlighted by them and also resolve problems spotted by urbanbubble on takeover.
The cleaner was changed to one recommended by the Directors, resulting in an immediate improvement to public areas. Then, all public areas were refreshed and redecorated to make corridors, landings and the foyer area a lighter, brighter place for residents and visitors.
Internal doors were fitted with code-activated locks to enhance the building’s security and prevent the risk of ‘tailgaters’ having a free run of the building once inside the development were installed.
urbanbubble’s initial assessment also showed that door codes had not been changed for a long time meaning ex-residents and unwanted visitors could easily bypass security. This was put right to ensure that only residents could gain entry.
The urbanbubble benefit
This Director-led initiative resulted in more effective maintenance and cleaning of the building which was appreciated by leaseholders, residents and visitors alike. urbanbubble also lowered laundry costs and put Directors in charge of collecting funds for complete transparency.
Plus, to save further funds a full energy analysis was carried out which pinpointed areas for future improvement that could reduce annual energy bills.
Result? An immediate reduction in the total annual service charge for upkeep and maintenance by £10,000 in the first year, followed by £2,000 in the second year achieved with clear and open accounting throughout.
Not forgetting the final crowning touch; a bespoke artwork based on the Royal Mail’s famous version of the Queen’s head was commissioned by urban bubble to really put their stamp on the building.
“Paying less per month on my service charge is great. Getting even better services was on top is wonderful.”
Sian Wright, Britannia House RMC Director
“Using the laundry room isn’t a choice, so it’s good to know the prices are now fair ”
Heather Bell, Britannia House resident
“urbanbubble are easy to contact and always ready to listen”
Suzanne Patnelli, Britannia House RMC Director