Recently Allan Watson (Chair of ReACH) interviewed Adam Wanklyn from Chamonix. Here is what he had to say.
Q1. Good morning Adam, could you firstly tell the Residents your full name, position and the Company you work for?
Firstly I would like to introduce myself and some background information. My name is Adam Wanklyn, and I am a regional manager for Chamonix Estates Property Care. Chamonix Estates manage developments and Property Care provide caretaking and grounds maintenance services.
I have worked for Chamonix Estates for over 7 years, and have been able to build some great knowledge of the property management sector over this time. I have seen Charlton Hayes progress from the very first parcel that was completed (Charlton Hayes no.1), where I actually worked within the customer property care role then, cleaning the apartment block, and tending to the gardens around Ringsfield Lane, and along the Wood street area. Therefore I feel I have some great knowledge for all the issues here as well, that I want to try to resolve, by ensuring all residents have the correct information.
Q2. Most Residents know your Company as the main Contractor for grass cutting and ground works in Charlton Hayes. So, as the main plan shows, do you cover all of Charlton Hayes and what type of work do you do?
Firstly I would like to point out two separate facts here. We (Chamonix Estates) are appointed the managing agent for the ‘management companies’ across the Charlton Hayes development (thus far). We submit tenders to the developer ‘Bovis Homes’, and work from the plans, and information they send us, to create estimates for the service charges for individual management company area’s across the development. The services delivered on these areas are set out in the communications directly to owners and are paid for through service charges.
Secondly, Property Care have been appointed (since mid-2015) as a contractor for Bovis Homes, to tend to the open space areas. These areas will either fall in to an adoption process, that eventually the local authority will maintain, or they will fall in to the ‘Charlton Hayes Community Management Company’, that is currently a dormant company, that will become active once more plots on Charlton Hayes are sold.
The main plan you hold, is the latest version of all the parcels within Charlton Hayes. We have walked the entire development with Bovis Homes this year, and marked areas on the plan that they would like us to maintain. We have also agreed with Bovis Homes, that any grass areas that come on in the future, or that would require attention (if they have been missed) can be added to this plan, and maintained by ourselves, as the contractor, on behalf of Bovis Homes. We have agreed with Bovis Homes that we are only to look after grass areas for the time being, due to the vast influx of work here. Therefore any flower beds within these areas, will not be maintained by ourselves, but by Bovis Homes still (who are using their own labourer to do so). We have discussed that if we can take on this extra capacity of work in the future, then we will do so.
The specification of this work, is to cut the areas fortnightly, clearing up after each area, and to also ensure litter picks are undertaken within those areas.
Q3. Most Residents also find it complicated that you work for different Management Companies in different areas of Charlton Hayes. How does that work?
I can appreciate that people find it confusing. Simply put, the whole of Charlton Hayes has been split into 15+ parcels of houses that are in their own Management Company i.e. Charlton Hayes No1 MCL. Chamonix Estates manage many of these companies. In addition, there are areas of land across the development that are not in the smaller individual companies but will go into Charlton Hayes Community Management Limited. These areas are currently under Bovis’s control, and Property Care are employed by Bovis as a contractor to maintain them.
It is important to note that your service charge relates to your specific management company only. For example, if you are a member of Charlton Hayes No.1 MCL, your service charge is a contribution towards the areas under CH1 only. Each management company has its own plan and budget that are entirely separate from one and other.
Q4. Some Residents feel annoyed that they have to pay an annual Service Fee for your work, but don't get their money's worth. How would you answer that?
Firstly I want to say, that I want to ensure all residents feel they are getting value for money. A lot of our reputation, as a company, factors on this. We want to strive to deliver the best customer service, and to do this need to ensure residents are feeling valued. I feel that there is a lot of confusion amongst the different management companies within Charlton Hayes, and as residents may not fully understand this, they feel they are not getting the value they rightly deserve. I would hopefully like to think that residents may now understand the different areas that are being maintained within Charlton Hayes, and how the setup is working. If they have issues within the own ‘management company’ areas, then we have dedicated lines of enquires for them to pursue, to ensure that their issue is dealt with, promptly. I would also encourage residents to ensure they have looked at the budget in detail, and understand that. This is as there are many different costs that are broken down in to the budget that requires residents to pay, by becoming part of a management company. Request of budgets can be made if needed (by the leaseholder/freeholder), and residents also have the dedicated customer enquires team, within Chamonix to address any questions too (firstname.lastname@example.org). Residents also have a dedicated property and estates manager (Holli Waibel) who frequently visits the development and is available to answer questions if needed. Lastly there is myself, who I am trying to exhaust as much effort and time here that is required, to ensure residents know all the information for what they are contributing towards at Charlton Hayes. I have made myself available to many residents, to meet on site and discuss matters, and am happy to continue to do this. I would also like to point out, that we have individual management company meetings, and people who attend these and read the minutes usually leave better informed on this complex area.
Q5. Finally, are you involved in looking after the Green Spine areas and what does that involve?
This was an interesting topic that initially stalled me to be honest. We had yet to have any discussions with Bovis Homes, regarding the Green Spine areas, until last week. I have had a conversation with the Landscape architect, Christopher Trollope, about this and he has been able to shed some light here for me to respond. Bovis Homes have now had planning permission approved for the works, within the Green Spine. There will be ‘phased’ clearances for the Green Spine, with the areas within H15 and H16 starting first, then moving on to H14 and H17. We will have no involvement with the clearing here, but have discussed the possibility to maintain these areas, once they have been brought up to a standard. This will be announced to yourselves, for the benefit of all the residents to know, should it happen. The central part of the Green Spine, has ‘advanced planting’ and will have a 1 year maintenance programme assigned to that, Chris has confirmed.