Maintaining New Build Developments: The Benefits of Resident Management Companies Vs Council Adoption Models

Tuesday 11th June 2024

In the not-so-distant past, local authorities would adopt and maintain open spaces, roads, and footpaths within new housing developments and this maintenance would be funded through the local residents’ council tax. However, due to local authority budget cuts, in order to secure planning permission developers are now often forced to establish Resident Management Companies (RMCs) to own and maintain these assets.

Homeowners automatically become stakeholders in their RMC upon purchasing property. This enables them to decide how these assets are maintained, allowing them to shape their community according to their needs and preferences.

During our years of estate management experience, we have found RMCs to greatly enhance the homeowner experience by promoting collaboration and community through high quality open spaces and resident owned assets

At Preim, we feel strongly that the RMC model is preferable to council adoption and should not be viewed as a negative by potential or current homeowners on developments with RMCs. Here are 7 important reasons why….


  1. Relevant Services & Flexibility: RMCs can direct resources to the specific needs and preferences of residents on specific developments. This flexibility allows for a much more responsive and customised management style compared to the often standardised, one-size-fits-all all approach of councils.


  1. Resident Control and Influence: Residents typically have more control and influence over decisions affecting their estate through an RMC. As stakeholders, they can participate in decision-making processes, ensuring that their interests are directly represented. They feel heard, and more in control of the space they and their families call home.


  1. Enhanced Maintenance and Aesthetics: With maintenance contractors typically attending at greater frequencies to undertake tasks such as grass cutting, and undertaking reactive repair work more promptly, RMCs provide higher standards of maintenance and quicker responses to repair and upkeep needs. This leads to better-maintained communal areas, enhancing the overall appearance and desirability of an estate.


  1. Improved Communication and Accountability: With an RMC, there are often better communication channels and accountability. Residents have a clear point of contact and can raise issues directly with their managing agent. Take a look at our recent blog post on our new Places app, which facilities a much more streamlined communication process and style with residents.


  1. Financial Transparency: RMCs must also provide transparent accounts to residents, detailing how their service charges are spent. This consistent and timely transparency around such important financial matters builds trust and ensures that funds are used efficiently and effectively, and according to residents’ needs and preferences.


  1. Speed and Efficiency: RMC’s can often operate more efficiently and with greater agility than councils, which might be subject to more bureaucratic processes and constraints. Jobs that need doing can be done swiftly, for the good of the wider community and estate.


  1. Market Appeal: Well-managed estates with high-quality communal areas and services can increase property values and make homes more attractive to potential buyers – as well as improving the well-being of those who already live there. In today’s housing market, homebuyers demand more than just a well-built house; they seek a high-quality environment throughout their entire community


How does a Managing Agent like Preim fit in?

Running an RMC involves significant strategic, financial, and managerial responsibilities so working with managing agents can ensure compliance with important regulatory, legal, and financial requirements.

Managing agents also create and execute maintenance schedules for communal areas, detailed in a service charge budget that shows how residents’ fees are spent. They provide advice on fund allocation for community engagement, health and safety, and other key aspects needed for any efficiently run development.

In a nutshell, the managing agent’s role is crucial in maintaining the community’s appearance and helping RMCs operate effectively and meet their obligations to their stakeholders.