No pain without gain: attractive communal areas

Rickman Properties Managing Director, Kieran Ryan, is here to explain to us the importance of observing communal areas when buying a property in London. 

How do we, the property consultants, gauge the impact of selling a property with attractive communal areas? 

When we first enter a large building, the communal areas are the first thing we see, even before the actual property in question. It is this view, and feel, that can easily make or break a London property for sale

Yet here in London, we are seriously lagging behind Europe & Asia in this field. Neglecting the condition of communal areas has become a terrible “habit” in London. 

Whether the actual apartment in question is in excellent condition or not, the circumstances of the communal areas have a far bigger impact on a successful sale than people think. 

The main issue with this, is of course firstly cost, secondly managing agents’ neglect in maintenance and thirdly, not enough in the sinking fund?

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Service charges have to be calculated by keeping up to date with the internal decoration. When we value an apartment, of course, service charges are taken into consideration together with the condition of the communal areas.

 We have valued many, many apartments where the communal areas are in poor condition and this can be reflected in a 5% – 10% price difference! An inappropriate agent will probably state that: “ The communal areas are going to be done” but, that may not be a fact!! 

One of the glorious buildings in London is the Albert Hall Mansions, it is such a pleasure to walk into that building as everything is immaculate. Definitely, it sells itself. Makes our job easier? Yes!

So, if you live in an apartment building, whether it is six or sixty units, please budget for the upkeep of these important areas. You won’t regret it. No pain without gain, as they say. I promise you will see the benefit in the value.

 Kieran Ryan (Managing Director, Rickman Properties)