Why Do I Pay A Service Charge?
Your Service Charge is your share of the costs of maintaining the communal areas of your building, e.g. cleaning, ground maintenance, lift maintenance, etc. Your Lease will provide details of the items covered by the Service Charge and how they are apportioned between the flats.

Who Do I Contact Out Of Hours?
When the offices are closed we have a company who offer a twenty-four-hour Emergency Service to deal with the inevitable issues that occur. Please call 07972 360 355 (Bristol only). Give details of your location and the problem and the appropriate contractor will be contacted. It should be noted this service is only to deal with issues that affect the communal areas and general fabric of the building and not for issues within the flats themselves.

How Is The Service Charge Calculated?
Hillcrest Estate Management prepares an estimated Budget for your property each year, based on actual expenditure for the previous years and this will be approved by representatives of your Management Company or Residents’ Association. This is then charged out to each individual owner based on the apportionment stated in your Lease.

How Do I Know What My Service Charge Is Spent On?
At the end of each financial year, Statements are prepared by an independent accountant showing Income and Expenditure for your property. The Statements are circulated to all Leaseholders. Owners can also request to see financial information throughout the year and we can provide this promptly by email or post.

What Happens If I Cannot Afford To Pay My Service Charge?
Please contact your Accounts Manager to discuss payment options as soon as possible. Here at Hillcrest we understand that owners may go through difficult times and we will do our best to set up a payment plan with you.

What Should I Do If I Want To Discuss A Maintenance Problem?
Initially, please contact Lorraine Robson, who is the Office Manager and she will contact the appropriate contractor. This can be done by phone on 0117 973 0600 or by email to maintenance@hillcrestestates.co.uk

How Does Hillcrest Estate Management Charge For Their Services?
We take our fees on a quarterly basis and these costs will have been accounted for in your property’s estimated annual Service Charge Budget. A portion of the overall cost you pay will be to cover the cost of Hillcrest managing the property.

Why Do I Pay An Insurance Premium?
Leases usually dictate that the building be insured as a whole and the cost included in your annual Service Charges. This, therefore, insures all parts of the property are insured. Contents of the individual flats should be insured by the flat owner.

Can I Make Alterations To My Property?
Your Lease will give details of your specific obligations. It is usual that the Landlord’s consent will be required for most alterations and that any structural alteration will be prohibited. Please contact us for further information.

Can I Have A Satellite Dish?
Most Leases will not allow individuals to erect aerials. Here at Hillcrest we are looking into new ways to allow access to new media including looking at communal dishes where possible. Please contact us for further information.

Do You Charge For Registering A Change Of Tenancy?
We do not charge Landlords or the Management Company any fees for a change of Tenancy. This is a practice undertaken by some agents purely as a money making exercise, which we feel is absolutely unnecessary.

How long is the contract with Hillcrest?
We only require clients to sign a twelve month contract which is reviewed annually by the Directors.

Who deals with the handover?
Hillcrest will liaise the current agent in order to ensure a smooth handover is completed. We will try and do this in a timely manner to ensure there is no interruption of service received or monies being collected.

‘I hope my findings will be helpful to any perspective self-managing group of apartment owners who may be finding that the operating and day to day issues need to be handled by a professional organisation. This, in fact, is where we arrived at some five years ago.

Charborough Court, in Charborough Road, Filton, South Gloucestershire, consists of 18 flats, most of which are owner occupied, and some are now under rented short hold tenancies. So this does have a bearing on how you can impart a level of control over the whole site. Hillcrest has the level of expertise with many similar properties under their control.

Having a dedicated Estate Manager is, I believe, the most important liaison. Understanding the different requirements are all part of the management angle of approach from Hillcrest. The other important requirement for us has been the consistency of staff. Who have always been found to be knowledgeable and helpful.

I have spoken to many different secretaries and directors of properties during the past twenty years, of my chairmanship. Most questions asked , follow a pattern that generally come from people who have a lack of willingness to take responsibility for their own dwelling and maintenance issues, and particularly the exceptional expense items. Hillcrest will always be able to arrange and control anything of this nature; they have a dedicated portfolio of trade experts to call upon.’

Mr Alan Gregory, Chairman of Charborough Court Management Limited