Frequently Asked Questions
Read our frequently asked questions below, click a question to be taken to the answer.
Q1) Who should I contact regarding my property
Each development we manage has a specific Property Management Team operating from our offices in Birmingham (Summer Row), London, Loughborough, Southampton and Stratford Upon Avon. You should be aware of the members of the Team from correspondence we issue or from a Notice board which most developments have displayed in the common areas. No matter where in the Country your property is located, if you are unsure of the specific Property Management Team dealing with your property please contact our Property Maintenance Line 0121 710 1980 during office hours [Mon – Fri 9:00 am – 5:15 pm] or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q2) How do I report a repair
Please contact your Property Management Team. When contacting us please ensure that you provide us with the full address for the property, details of the repair and your contact details. Please note that your contact details may be provided to the contractor to contact you directly, if appropriate. We operate an out of hours emergency line although please note that this is an optional service that is not taken up by all our clients. If your property is signed up to this service then you can be connected to it by contacting our maintenance lines for your local office or by calling directly on 0843 50 60 166. Please note that if this service is used then repairs that are not the responsibility of the service charge account, or are not emergencies, will be recharged to the person reporting or causing them if appropriate.
Q3) What do I do if I have condensation in my flat
Please contact your Property Management Team. They will send you a form to complete and return to us, following which our Building Surveying department may contact you to investigate.
Q4) How do I make an insurance claim
In most cases, we will arrange the buildings insurance cover for the property where the property is Leasehold. However some of our clients do arrange insurance directly. Please contact your Property Management Team who will be able to check who arranges the insurance and can then advise you of the correct claims procedure. Please note that the buildings insurance cover will not include your personal contents and you should have your own cover.
Q5) How do I find out how much Ground Rent, Service Charge or Insurance I owe
Please call our Property Accounts Line 0121 710 1981 and select the relevant option from the list. Alternatively, please email email@example.com and your email will be forwarded to the correct team who will be able to email a statement to you.
Q6) How can I make a payment to you
We accept payment by cheque or electronic bank transfer or by debit/credit card over the telephone. Please call our Property Accounts Line 0121 710 1981 and select the relevant option from the list. Alternatively, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and your email will be forwarded to the correct team who will then liaise directly with you.
Q7) How do I make a formal complaint
Our complaints procedure can be found by clicking the relevant link below:
Q8) Why have I received an invoice for a balancing charge
This is an invoice sent when the final service charge year-end accounts are produced. In simple terms, the balancing charge will be because there was more money spent during the year than was estimated. The accounts that should accompany the invoice, or may have been sent prior, will show the details of the actual expenditure. The Property Manager for your development will be able to provide more detail in each case. Please remember that the normal service charge invoices are based on an estimate and we cannot foresee all eventualities that may occur during the year ahead.
Q9) Why have I received an invoice for a balancing charge prior to my ownership of the property
This can happen if there are service charge accounts published after your purchase for a period before you owned the property. This can also happen in odd cases where the service charge is due in arrears. In such cases you should refer to your solicitor who acted for you in your purchase as there should have been a retention agreed between the solicitors for such a situation.
Q10) Why are my payments due on set dates
The lease or freehold deed will set the due dates for payment of charges such as ground rent, service charge, insurance etc. It is normal policy for these to be the dates on which we will accept payment. Payment in advance of the due date is acceptable and the money will be held against your name until due when it will be set against the relevant charge. Payments after the due date can cause cash flow problems for the service charge or insurance and can prevent us from paying the bills we received. Late payment can result in interest or penalty charges being applied to your account.
Q11) What do I do if I cannot make the payment in full on the due date
It is essential that you contact us to discuss such situations. Please call our Property Accounts Line 0121 710 1981 and select the relevant option from the list. Alternatively, please email email@example.com and your email will be forwarded to the correct team who will liaise with you directly. We are required to have a strict credit control procedure in place. If you fail to contact us you can become liable for additional costs. Ultimately, we may have to write to your lender and be forced to take legal action against you.
Q12) How do I extend the lease for my property
In most cases, we act for the freeholder in connection with lease extensions. Please put your request in writing to your Property Management Team and ensure you provide the full address for the property and your contact details.
Q13) Why have I received “consultation” documents regarding future building works
The law requires us to undertake quite complicated and lengthy procedures where we propose to undertake building works over a certain value. In simple terms, we must write to you to advise you of what work is required and why, and at that time we must invite you to nominate suitable contractors. We then have to obtain competitive tenders for the works and write to you again with details of the prices received. Depending on which contractor is appointed, there might also be a third stage in the consultation. If you receive these documents and are unclear on what you must do, please contact your Property Management Team.
Q14) I have noisy neighbours, what should I do
Often, a polite conversation with the neighbour can solve these problems. We can issue a letter to the owner if requested to do so by you, but you must be prepared for us to give your contact details. If this is unsuccessful, then the local Environmental Health Department can becomeinvolved. They can install noise measuring equipment in your property to monitor the noise levels and can then take enforcement action if appropriate. In some cases, if we are to take further action, then the lease or freehold deed can require you to underwrite the costs of this action.
Q15) What do I have to do if I want to install double glazing or make other alterations
You will require consent from us on behalf of the landlord. Please contact your property management team who will send you a letter setting out the terms on which we allow alterations to be undertaken.
Q16) What do I do if I want to sublet my property
Some leases do not allow subletting. Most that do allow subletting require the landlord’s prior written consent. Please contact your Property Management Team who will send you a letter setting out the terms on which we allow subletting to take place. If you are interested in renting out your home, then our Residential Lettings department will be pleased to advise you, please contact us here.
Q17) Correspondence from SDL Bigwood isn’t addressed to me. What should I do
This is usually either because your solicitor hasn’t notified us of your purchase or because there are problems with us undertaking the transfer on our computer systems. This can be for a number of reasons, but is commonly because there is money owing on the account. Please contact our Pre-Sales Team via 0121 233 0500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q18) How do I get a new key to the main entrance door or a new fob for the gates
Please contact your Property Management Teamand speak to the Property Assistant. They will be able to advise you of the cost which must be paid in advance.
Q19) Can I have a pet at my property
Some leases have an absolute ban on the keeping of pets. In some cases, there is some discretion and consent of the landlord is normally required. Please contact your Property Management Team who will send you a letter setting out the terms on which we allow pets to be kept.
Q20) Can I put up a satellite dish
Normally the answer to this question is “no”. Most leases prevent individual owners from putting up satellite dishes. This is for a number of reasons, not least of which are that they can make the building look unsightly and also because there can be planning permission issues. In the first instance, please contact your Property Management Team who will advise in your particular circumstances. It may be that if there is enough interest in the building, we can put up a communal satellite dish to which all properties can be connected. You will be aware of “digital switchover” which may mean that there could be changes to the current television aerial at your property in the next few years.
Q21) Are you regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
CPBigwood Management LLP (Reference No. 403989) T/A SDL Bigwood is an Appointed Representative of Jobson James Insurance Brokers Ltd. Jobson James Insurance Brokers Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
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