FAQs

Selling your property

I’ve sold my property so why do you keep writing to me?

The transfer of Leaseholder details can often be a lengthy and complex process. We may not have been informed that you have completed your sale. Please contact our Leasehold Transfer Team who will be pleased to help.

I’ve recently purchased a property but the bill you sent me refers to arrears for a period before I was the owner?

We advise you to contact your solicitor who should have made arrangements for payment of any arrears on completion of your purchase.

I am selling my property, what do I need to do?

You should continue to make payment of your ground rent, insurance and service charges until you complete your sale. Your solicitor must make arrangements to recover any overpayment from your purchaser on completion.

Your solicitor should contact our Leasehold Transfer Team to obtain replies to the usual enquiries and details of the steps which need to be taken before and after completion of the sale.

How do I obtain a copy of the Lease?

You should ask your solicitor for a copy. Alternatively, you may be able to obtain a copy from the Land Registry. If you cannot obtain a copy from these sources, please contact our Legal Team who may be able to help.

Sub-Letting your property

Do I need to tell you that I have rented out my property?

Yes. As a responsible agent for your landlord we securely record information on who lives in a property for a number of purposes. These include being able to accurately inform emergency services if there is a serious event, and ensuring that the insurance cover in place reflects the occupancy rate.

Your lease may contractually require you to inform or seek consent from your landlord. We ask you however to inform us regardless, so that we can carry out responsible management.

Do I need consent from my landlord to let my property?

Your Lease will govern whether letting your property is prohibited all together, whether your landlord’s consent is required or whether you are required to formally serve notice on your landlord that you have let your property. If you are unsure please contact our Subletting Team via our online form who will be able to assist you further.

Where consent is required we may perform checks with the managing agent of the property to ensure that consent can reasonably be granted.

Is there a charge?

Where your Lease requires your landlord to grant consent or provide formal receipt of a notice (or both) there may be charges payable. Your Lease may state the charges payable, however, typical charges are £55 plus VAT per tenancy agreement for the provision of a consent and £85 plus VAT for the receipt of a notice.

What do you do with the information?

The information is securely stored on our internal database and is governed by our data privacy policy.

We do not share personal information other than with the appointed managing agent for your property unless an authority (e.g. local authority; police; fire brigade; etc) with the relevant powers requires us to do so.

The percentage of apartments sublet within buildings impacts on insurance risk and whether an HMO licence is required, dependent on the local authority. We therefore may share aggregated data with insurers and local authorities as required.

Making payments

How can I register for paperless billing?

To receive rent invoices by email please complete this form.

What happens if I don’t pay my Ground Rent?

If there is a late payment and we have to chase a ground rent debt, we incur costs, which we will recover where your lease or rent charge deed permits. We also reserve the right to approach your mortgage company if you have one, details of which we can obtain from the Land Registry. The mortgage company will normally add their own administration charges in these circumstances. If you dispute the amount of rent claimed, please make a payment for the part which is not disputed together with an explanation of why you dispute the balance. Ultimately, non-payment could lead to forfeiture of your lease and repossession of your property.

Can Ground Rent Payments increase?

Ground rent is a regular payment made by the homeowner to the landlord or their agent, as specified in your lease. By purchasing your property you have agreed to pay the ground rent and to carry out the other requirements of your lease.

The ground rent due is either fixed throughout the life of your lease, or increases at set times, by a specified amount or by reference to an index such as RPI.

My payment hasn’t been processed

Please contact the Accounts Team who will let you know if we have received your payment.

This invoice is not for me to pay

Please contact the Late Payments Team detailing why you consider you don’t owe what we are asking you to pay.

When is my Ground Rent due?

The Ground Rent is due on the dates specified in your lease.

Can I pay by Direct Debit?

At the present time we do not have the facility to accept direct debit payments. Instead you can request a standing order mandate or set up a regular online payment through your bank account.

Can I set up a standing order?

Yes. Please note though that mandates will only be issued if your account is clear at the time of the request.

To request a standing order mandate please contact the Enquiries Team.

Can I have a receipt?

If you require a receipt for a cheque payment at the time of paying your rent, please send a stamped addressed envelope. For payments made by other means please contact our Accounts Team for confirmation.

Can I make part payments?

If you are unable to make a full payment, we will consider accepting part payments. Please note that if the remaining balance is not settled on or before the due date, your account will enter the late payment process and charges will be applied.

How can I pay my Ground Rent?

For the different payment options to pay the Ground Rent please click here.

How can I be sure that you are entitled to a payment from me?

The landlord’s title to the property in question is registered at Land Registry and all related entitlements in respect to the landlord are detailed in your lease.

What is the difference between a statement of account and an invoice?

A statement provides you with the balance on the account as at the date of issue. An invoice is a document detailing the charge which is required to be paid.

When do I have to pay?

It is important to ensure your rent payments are made on time and in accordance with the lease or deed documents for your property. You should be aware that late payments may incur interest and administration charges.

Please ensure that you have your tenant reference to hand, essential for making payments. This can be found on any correspondence from us.

What happens if I don’t pay on time?

In the event your payment has not been received on time, your account will enter the late payment process. Full details are explained in our Collection policy. Click here.

You have been writing to my old address and I did not know when the payments were due?

It is your responsibility to ensure that the correspondence details that we have on record are kept up to date. Should you not advise us of any changes this may result in a delay in invoices being received and costs may be incurred. Please refer to Sections 166(5) and 166(6) of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.

I have never received any letters from E&J Estates

We send all correspondence to the address you provided. Legally it is the Homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that the correspondence details that we have on record are kept up to date. Should you not advise us of any changes, this may result in a delay in invoices being received by yourself and further costs being incurred.

Sections 166(5) and 166(6) of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 requires us to address all correspondence to the Homeowner at the property unless the Homeowner has notified the Landlord in writing of a different address in England and Wales at which he wishes to be given notices including payment demands.

We regret that unless there is proof that you have advised us in writing of a change of address, all ground rent notices will be served on Homeowners at the address of the property.

Can I pay in instalments?

We are unable to accept payment of an outstanding balance by on going instalments, ground rent is payable in full on or before the due dates set in your lease which is a legal document that you have entered into on purchasing your property.

Why am I being charged interest?

Interest is charged in accordance with the terms of your lease on overdue amounts. Interest is charged monthly in arrears and therefore if payment is received late, interest will automatically accrue. If payment is received by the due date no interest is charged.

Why have I incurred a Late Payment Charge?

Payment has not been made in accordance with the terms of your lease. Both the invoice and 1st reminder letter forewarn of this charge being added to your account should payment not be made.

What is a tenant reference number?

The tenant reference number is the sequence of letters and numbers assigned to each property and can be found at the top right of our correspondence, labelled “Tenant Ref.” The tenant reference needs to be quoted in any communications with E & J Estates

How do I change my address?

We can write to you at any correspondence address you wish but for us to update this all address changes are required in writing.

You can notify us of the change of address by contacting Enquiries.

New to E&J Estates

What is the relationship between E&J Estates and your new Landlord?

We are employed by your landlord to act as its agent. Our professional team is dedicated to providing an effective service to homeowners in connection with your landlord’s interest in the property. Key services administered include the invoicing and collection of ground rent, providing landlord consents, arranging block maintenance and insurance, assisting with property transfers and arranging lease extensions.

You are writing to me at an incorrect address or with an incorrect name

Please contact us using this form to update your details.

You have billed me for ground rent that I have already paid to the previous landlord or their agent

Please contact us using this form with evidence of payment including a receipt statement of account from the previous landlord or their agent and a copy of your bank statement (and copy cheque if relevant) clearly showing the payment with beneficiary details. We will contact that party to request transfer of those monies.

Your rent demand is incorrect

Please check your lease in the first instance as your new landlord will have carried out its own checks prior to instructing E&J Estates. If you believe that we have any incorrect information please contact us using this form and provide the correct details with evidence where appropriate.

Do we need to pay our Service Charges to E&J Estates as well?

No. We do not provide property maintenance services and will appoint specialist managing agents on behalf of your landlord where appropriate. If our clients have recently purchased the superior interest to your property then your current service charge arrangements will remain in place unless otherwise advised by E&J Estates.

How can I pay?

Please visit our ‘Making Payments’ section of the website here.

Can invoices be emailed to me?

Yes, we support email billing and the environmental benefits linked to it. Please visit the ‘E-Billing’ section of our website and fill out the short form.

Any other questions?

If you have any other queries regarding your account following the purchase by your new landlord, please contact us using this form and we will be happy to assist.

Alterations to your property or your lease

Can I buy the freehold of my property?

Your Landlord has acquired the freehold of your property as a long term investment however, you may have statutory rights to purchase it. We recommend you seek independent legal advice.

Can I extend my Lease?

You can extend your Lease whenever you wish but sometimes you will have to extend it because, for example, this is a requirement of your bank or building society or because you want to sell the property and your buyer is unhappy with the length of the Lease. Please see our lease extension factsheet for information on the procedure.

I want to make some alterations. Do I need the Landlord’s permission?

Because the Landlord owns the building and will own the property when your Lease ends the Landlord needs to ensure that you do not make alterations or additions which may adversely affect the Landlord or damage the building. Some alterations or additions do not require the Landlord’s permission. For example, internal painting and decorating, minor plumbing and electrical works, upgrading of kitchens and bathrooms on a like-for-like basis and new interior doors do not require the Landlord’s permission. If you are thinking of making any other alterations or additions you should ask the Landlord for permission before you carry out any work. If work has been carried out already without the Landlord’s permission, you should ask the Landlord for what is called retrospective permission. Alterations and Permissions Factsheet and Form.

Property

My property requires maintenance and repair?

E&J Estates do not provide property maintenance services. If you have a query regarding the management of your property, you should contact the company to which you pay your service charges.

If you do not have an agent in place, please refer to your lease as to where the management obligations sit. Some leases include self maintain and repair obligations where lessees themselves are responsible for maintenance issues such as drains and roof, as well as routine services, e.g. gardening and common part cleaning to the building.

If you are unsure who manages your property, please contact the Property Team who will try to assist.

What do I do about unacceptable noise levels?

If you have a managing agent, they will be able to assist. If not the following documents may help: Noise and Anti-Social Behaviour.

What do I do if I need my Landlord to take Legal action against my neighbour?

If you want to ask your Landlord to consider taking such steps, please refer to the Breaches document.

Insurance

Penult Capital Partners Ltd arranges the insurance on our behalf.

Penult Capital Partners Ltd is an Appointed Representative of our insurance broker, Arthur J Gallagher (UK) Ltd, and under this FCA regulatory status arranges our group insurance programme.

What is happening with the 2022 insurance renewal?

Many homeowners in residential blocks have experienced sharply increased insurance premiums.

This situation is common across the UK, not unique to your landlord’s insurance programme.

The Grenfell Tower tragedy highlighted the extent of fire safety problems in blocks across the country. Insurers are now less inclined to cover such buildings and require increased pricing to do so.

Actual levels of increase are driven by several factors:

• Cladding and related fire safety problems.

• The building sum insured – a high sum insured represents a greater risk to insurers.

• Converted buildings such as former mills are considered higher fire risks.

• Historic claims experience.

• Flood risk profile.

The more of these factors affecting an individual building, the higher the premium rise has been.

Even buildings with none of these features have generally experienced some increase, since premiums have risen across the residential sector.

E&J Estates regards it as a major priority to achieve the best possible terms for homeowners at the March 2022 renewal and beyond.

We have again instructed two of the world’s largest insurance brokers, AJG and Lockton, to find solutions and to conduct a full market tender.

We have updated underwriting information on all of our buildings, to allow existing and alternative insurers to understand the risk.

The renewal exercise is complex. Final pricing may not be known until mid- March. We cannot speculate in advance on the result for individual buildings. We also cannot consider any homeowner sourced alternative quotations until after renewal.
We must manage expectation on premium levels. While we hope to improve the position for some buildings, market pricing has not generally eased. Until cladding replacement and fire safety improvements are complete, insurers will require higher premiums than in the past.
Even when remediation is complete, pricing is unlikely to return fully to historic levels.

We recommend that homeowners budget for similar premiums to last year. Obviously, we hope to achieve better than this.

E&J Estates regrets that insurance is not available for some homeowners at reasonably affordable prices. As stated, improving this situation is a major priority for this company.
We will update this information as the renewal process progresses.

How are premiums apportioned between the homeowners in my block?

Premiums are apportioned according to the terms of the lease.

How is my excess determined?

If a building has one or more claims, insurers may increase excesses to reflect this. Insurers maintain large amounts of data on the probability of incidents such as flood, escape of water and other claims affecting particular areas or types of building. Excesses imposed reflect insurers’ view of these risks.

Am I in a flood risk area and how does that affect my insurance?

Insurers maintain detailed flood mapping data, categorising regions as high, medium and low risk. This data is compiled from years of information on the actual flooding experience in different areas, as well as individual homes. Both premiums and excesses may increase in higher risk zones, or where an individual property has suffered flooding.

Why do I need terrorism cover?

Sadly, the UK remains at high risk of terrorism attacks, and the landlord insures against this. The premiums charged for individual buildings take into account that some areas may be more at risk than others.

Why does the landlord place insurance for its whole portfolio, not separately for each building?

There are economies through buying in bulk, and generally homeowners get a better service, including in claims settlement. All buildings are priced individually however, according to their own risk profile.

Can I arrange insurance myself, without involving the landlord?

No, it is the landlord’s obligation under the lease to arrange insurance. The landlord is in any case better placed to achieve acceptable cover.

When do I have to pay my premium?

The terms of credit are 14 days from date of invoice, as confirmed on the invoice itself. If you anticipate difficulty in settling the premium, please speak to our Late Payments Team or the Managing Agent from which you received the invoice.

How can I obtain a copy of my insurance certificate?

This can be provided by e-mail request from the Insurance Team or Managing Agent which sends your insurance invoice.

How can I ask any insurance questions not covered here?

By e-mail only please, to the Insurance Team insurance@eandjestates.co.uk.

Why did my premium increase this year

The residential buildings insurance market is currently very challenging. There is much concern regarding unsafe cladding and other fire safety issues on some blocks of flats. Insurers are also targeting mill conversions, timber framed buildings and the like. Such buildings are classed as higher risk. Sites with a poor claims history may also face increases. In response, most insurers have reduced their involvement with residential buildings, particularly higher risk, and are increasing premiums significantly. This is an industry wide problem and not exclusive to your freeholder.

I live in a house, not a higher risk block with cladding problems. Why did I receive a premium increase?

Some level of increase is being applied to most residential properties, but at much lower levels than apply to higher risk buildings. Insurers have also index linked sums insured by 5.7% this year, to reflect increases in construction market costs.

I have never made a claim, shouldn’t my premium be lower?

Your premium takes account of claims history, but also other factors such as type of construction, flood risk, location and other underwriting considerations.

Could alternative insurers offer a better price?

We believe not. In this environment, insurers are focussing on supporting existing insureds rather than on new business. There is little alternative capacity or competitive pressure to moderate price rises.

My block is awaiting removal of unsafe cladding. The building is safe to occupy however because we have waking watch/an upgraded fire alarm. Why did my premium still increase?

Although your home is safe for occupation, insurers still face an increased risk of fire damage.

Can I see the quotations provided by the insurance market?

As stated above, we have not been able to find viable alternatives this year.

Complaints

How to make a complaint?

We aim to provide our landlord and homeowner customers with a quality service but accept that things do go wrong occasionally.

If we do not meet your expectations and you are dissatisfied in some way, we wish to know. We have adopted a procedure to ensure that any complaint is dealt with fairly and that anyone with a grievance is aware of the procedure to follow.

We ask that you please ensure your complaint is made using our Complaints Form, which you can request by e-mailing us on enquiries@eandjestates.co.uk and return by post or to the same e-mail address. You are entitled to make your complaint via post, email or phone (where we will guide you towards our Complaints Form).

If you require this policy and a complaints form in an accessible format, such as large print, please sent a request via email to enquiries@eandjestates.co.uk

Complaints Procedure

The complaint will be logged and forwarded to the relevant department head for their review.

You will receive an acknowledgment within 3 working days and we will inform you of the person appointed to deal with your specific complaint. We endeavour to ensure the person appointed, where possible, is not directly involved in the matter which is the subject of the complaint.

Within 15 working days of receipt of your completed complaints form, the person dealing with your complaint will write to you, in order to inform you of the outcome of the investigation and to let you know what actions have been or will be taken or reasons that the complaint investigation is set to take longer than expected.

If you are not satisfied with the findings of our internal complaints process, or if we have not acknowledged or resolved your complaint with 8 weeks from its first notification, you may refer the matter to The Property Ombudsman Service (TPOS).

TPOS is a free and impartial service that resolves disputes between consumers and agents fairly.

You must refer the complaint to TPOS within 12 months of issue of our final response to your complaint (the “final viewpoint letter”).

You can bring the complaint to the attention of TPOS by writing to them at:

The Property Ombudsman
Milford House
43-55 Milford St
Salisbury
Wiltshire SP1 2BP
or e-mail to admin@tpos.co.uk.

Further details on how the scheme works is available at www.tpos.co.uk.

We’d love to hear your views about your experiences communicating with E&J and how we can improve going forward.

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