Get professional help

Your flat is probably your biggest personal investment and for many people, it's their pension. It's worth getting professional help to protect your investment, get best value for your money and avoid making costly mistakes.

Your building is a complicated structure so get help from professionals to plan and carry out repairs from the start. While there may be an upfront cost, tackling the right things, at the right time, in the right way will result in medium, long and maybe even short term savings.  Why not start with a professional maintenance survey?

It can also be complicated to manage all the relations between owners in your building. If you don't have the skills and time to manage your building and your co-owners yourselves, if necessary using technical professionals to assist your owners association, then use a professional property factor.

Management professionals

Property Factors/Managers will communicate with owners, inspect your property, deal with accounts and arrange repairs.

Solicitors can advise you when you are considering taking legal action against your co-owners or builders.

Advice centres can help you with a wide range of personal issues as well as help with dealing with your co-owners.

Technical professionals

Architects and Surveyors carry out very similar roles in terms of identifying, organising and supervising maintenance.  You should get them involved in any repair costing over a few thousand pounds as they can help you get value for money and deal with Health and Safety regulations.

Quantity Surveyors help manage building contracts, particularly controlling payments.

Clerks of Works are the architect's or surveyor's eyes on the ground when builders are working on your property.

Structural Engineers give advice on cracks, settlement, bulging walls and making structural alterations.

When to get professional technical help

There is no hard and fast rule about when you need technical help.  Much depends on how much you know about your building and your own skills to find and manage really good trades firms.

If you have a professional property factor, they will make all the appropriate arrangements though they may charge an additional fee.  If you are "self factoring", then use some of the money you are saving by not paying management fees to help you get a good job.

Throughout the text, recommendations are made about whether you should get professional help for particular jobs.

More about your health and safety responsibilities