Case Study: Cromwell Drive, service charge confusion

Name: Cromwell Drive
Location: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Property: 97 freehold houses and leasehold flats, two commercial units, children's playground


Located near the Cambridgeshire market town of Huntingdon, the area is popular with families due to the presence of Grafham Water Centre and Houghton Mill, a National Trust property. Nearby Portholme is the largest lowland meadow in England and is a popular place for peaceful walks.

The RMC (residents' management company) directors of Cromwell Drive contacted us through our online Quotation Form as they were unhappy with the estate management that was being carried out by the current managing agents, put in place by the developers.

In May 2015, Block Management UK took on full management of the estate's communal areas, plus full management of the leasehold blocks' communal areas.

Service charge confusion

The main source of handover complications was down to the fact that this development had an extremely complicated service charge history. There were in fact over 20 different schedules payable by different residents. Unsurprisingly, there were some service charges overdue at the time of handover. In addition, wear and tear had begun to take their toll on the site much quicker than residents might have liked. Following initial snagging issues, a new estate tends to run quite well as everything is new. It is important that a property management company does not get complacent over a site that has previously been no problem to run.

Having implemented our Direct Labour team to cover the grounds, Block Management UK directly employed a cleaner via Direct Labour to attend to the leasehold blocks. This lead to significant savings.

Putting in systems

Early maintenance jobs on behalf of the residents included faulty intercoms, repairs to boundary fencing, drain covers, brickwork and lampposts. Other issues addressed includes pest control and repairs to bollards, guttering and parking mirrors.  A routine maintenance schedule was implemented which includes health & safety assessments, emergency lighting testing and fire alarm servicing.

Finally, the service charge schedules were simplified in our first year of management allowing our in-house accounts team to collect 2015's service charges in a much more effective manner.

To see Block Management UK Ltd at work watch the recent business case study video that our communications partner Vodafone made about us.


"The time and effort you have invested in our estate and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend you."

The Directors and the local residents have appreciated the work and effort that has gone in to our estate since you have come on board to manage the day to day running of the estate for us.

Since Block Management UK Ltd has been onsite we have noticed a change in just how clean and orderly the estate has become. Under the old estate management company, the estate had begun to go in to decline with rubbish not being cleared away, fly tipping was starting to become an issue, residents felt they weren't getting value for money etc. But with Block Management UK Ltd now active on the estate the difference is night and day!

People have noticed how clean and tidy the estate has become and I've not heard any grumblings from anyone in a very long time.

I would like to thank Block Management UK Ltd for the time and effort you have invested in our estate and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend you to other estates as their estate managers.


- Scott Boswell, Cromwell Drive, Huntingdon.

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