As creators, maintainers and future-proofers of property, we offer a variety of services to many different clients.
We can provide any or all of the following services, depending on what your requirements are:
Giving landlords, residents and communities peace of mind.
With Kingston, you’re in safe hands. Think of us as your property management partner, working with you to deliver a seamless and efficient service that keeps everything in order.
We’ll appoint a Property Manager, who will be your main point of contact, and will be responsible for regular inspections to make sure services are being provided and repairs have been carried out to the high standards we aim to offer.
Taking care of property and estates
From large, national companies to smaller, bespoke companies, we’re the first choice for most North East housebuilders.
At Kingston, we work with developers from the planning stage to make sure we provide an effective, bespoke service for each site we manage. This ensures clients know exactly what services Kingston provide on site, along with the expected costs.
Kingston can purchase freeholds of apartment blocks and are happy to take ownership for communal freehold areas on estates, subject to some conditions.
A wealth of property knowledge
From sales and profits to working with a reliable company, Kingston understand how important it is to have effective and successful estate management. Through our experience of new–build estate management, we can deliver a service that’s tailored to your exact requirements and fully complements your own skills as a developer.
The earlier you reach out to us in the process, the better, so we can work together as effectively as possible, with a smooth transition.
We understand that residents are your priority, and we’re here as a point of contact for both your residents and developers. Not only do we help you communicate with your residents, we also go out of our way to assist and help them settle into their new homes. We’ll also set up and establish estate and rent charges on your behalf, helping the site run more efficiently before, during and after it’s completed.
With us, you’re in safe hands.
Kingston manage portfolios for some of the most reputable ground rent investors in the country. From small house redevelopments to large, purpose-built apartment blocks, we offer a bespoke, professional and efficient service.
Not only do we work with you, we also work with your leaseholders, so you can concentrate on your core business of developing your property portfolio.
Take control of what’s yours
Are you unhappy with the current management of your property and want to take control of your development? By letting Kingston help you with the process, we’ll:
What is Right to Manage?
The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 lets some leasehold property owners take over the management of the building (even without the agreement of the landlord) through the transfer of the landlord’s management functions to a Right to Manage (RTM) company set up by the leaseholder. The Right to Manage is available to leaseholders of flats, but not leaseholders of houses.
This new right was introduced, not just as a means of wrestling control from bad landlords, but also as a way of empowering leaseholders, who generally hold the majority of value in the property, to take responsibility for the management of their block.
The Right to Manage process
The process is relatively simple, and you don’t need permission from landlords or a court.
Leaseholders also don’t need to prove how the landlord’s been managing the building. The right is available, whether the landlord’s management has been good, bad or indifferent.
The process is carried out by serving a formal notice to the landlord, and after a set period of time, the management transfers to the RTM company. Once the RTM has been transferred, the landlord is also entitled to membership of the company.
Things to consider
There are important issues to consider and a substantial amount of work to be done before serving the notice, if the takeover of management is successful.
The building must meet certain conditions and a minimum number of leaseholders are required to take part. At least two-thirds of the flats must be let to ‘qualifying tenants’* – it can be part-commercial, but the non-residential part can’t exceed 25% of the total floor area. RTM doesn’t apply where the immediate landlord of any qualifying tenant is a local housing authority.
The Right to Manage may only be carried out by a RTM company, and the company members must have a sufficient number of qualifying tenants. The minimum number of qualifying tenants must be equal to at least half the total number of flats in the building. The right relates to a building, so in an estate of separate blocks, each block would need to qualify separately, and an individual RTM notice would be served. In the case of an estate of flats under the same management, it would be sensible to take over the management of the whole estate, but this would have to be done by application for each separate block.
*A ‘qualifying tenant’ is a leaseholder whose lease was originally granted for more than 21 years. There’s no requirement for any past or present residence in the flats, or any limit on the number of flats that can be owned by one person. Kingston may be able to assist you with funding the RTM process. To discuss this further, please contact us.
Let us help you carry out the Right to Manage with your property.
How can I pay my service charge?
Please note: if your bank returns a direct debit payment or an unpaid cheque an administration fee will be debited to your account and the facility may be withdrawn if missed payments are not covered. Payment will then need to be met according to the terms of your lease/TP1.
What time are Kingston offices open?
Our offices are open Monday to Friday between 8.45am and 5.00pm. We also have an emergency out-of-hours service that runs after 5.00pm and on weekends. This service is for urgent communal repairs and health and safety issues only.
Why do I pay a service charge?
This is to cover the cost of services that are in the terms of your lease. This can include window cleaning, gardening, communal electricity, minor repairs, buildings insurance, agent management and accountancy fees. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to your annual service charge budget, which is issued each year by your Property Manager.
Why do I pay ground rent?
Leaseholders may need to pay ground rent to the freehold owner of their property depending on the terms of their lease. Ground rent is sometimes collected on behalf of the freeholder by Kingston and is separate to any other charges that are used for the management of your development.
How do I change my correspondence/billing address?
If you’re changing your correspondence/billing address, please contact us in writing so we can amend our records. If you don’t tell us you’ve changed your address, we won’t be able to send your service charge invoices to the correct address or let you know of any important issues at your development.
What happens if I don’t pay service charge and ground rent?
If you don’t pay charges on time, which are allocated to you under the terms of your lease, we’ll need to take steps to legally recover the outstanding debt. If you have a query or payment difficulties, please contact us (link to contact page) as soon as possible.
Why do I pay buildings insurance in my charges?
Under the terms of your lease, you’re usually responsible for contributing to the cost of the buildings insurance. If buildings insurance is paid through the service charge, you don’t need to arrange separate buildings insurance yourself. However, you’ll still need to arrange separate contents insurance for your property.
To make a claim on your buildings insurance, you’ll need to contact your buildings insurance provider directly. If you’re not sure who provides your buildings insurance policy, please contact us.
Why do I pay a reserve/sinking fund contribution?
The service charge budget is primarily for the day-to-day costs of managing your property. However, a reserve or sinking fund contribution is usually made each year to steadily build up a fund for future, unexpected or major works. The costs of major works will need to be shared out and charged as a separate, additional item if there aren’t enough funds available.
How do I arrange for the removal of bulky refuse?
Unfortunately, Kingston cannot do this and you should always contact your local authority. Items reported by Kingston require a contractor and will be billed through the service charge. Costs can be passed back to individuals if they don’t make their own arrangements.
Where is my allocated parking bay?
You’ll find your allocated parking bay in the plan, which was given to you alongside your lease when you purchased your property. If you don’t have a copy, please contact us and we may be able to provide a copy. If not, you’ll need to refer back to the developer of your property.
How do I report problems of noise/nuisance caused by other residents?
Unfortunately, Kingston can’t do much to solve this issue. But in the first instance, we always ask residents to try and resolve any issues with their neighbours directly. If the problem carries on, please contact your local authority’s environmental health officer.
You can also find more ways to deal with the problem with help and advice from The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA).
I’m buying/selling a property at a development managed by Kingston?
For legal reasons (subject to the terms of your lease), it’s important that Kingston knows of all sales and purchases. If you’re in the process of selling or purchasing a property managed by Kingston, please contact us so we can advise you further.
There is a problem with anti-social behaviour on my development, what can I do?
We try and help residents take the necessary steps to protect themselves against anti-social behaviour. If you experience any problems of this nature, you should act immediately by contacting your local neighbourhood policing team to report anti-social behaviour. Other agencies such as environmental health can also help residents with these matters.
The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) is a trade association for firms that manage private residential leasehold blocks of flats in England and Wales. It offers high-quality advice, training and guidance to its member firms of managing agents and produces guidance materials for leaseholders and residents management companies. ARMA also campaigns for improvements in the legislation governing the leasehold sector
Here’s some helpful links from ARMA on subjects we’re often asked about.
ARMA Advisory Notes