Estate and Property Management
Common Ground is a property management company specialising in the management of leasehold estates and blocks of flats located in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, West London and Surrey.
Estate and Block Management
We provide a full estate and block management service for properties located in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, West London and Surrey.
We offer consultancy services to self managed leasehold estates and blocks and property developers.
Services for Property Developers
We can work with ethical property developers at the start of a new build to ensure the design, construction and legal framework create the lowest possible service charge.
Common Ground is a property management company specialising in the management of leasehold estates and blocks of flats located in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, West London and Surrey. With offices in Oxford and Henley on Thames, we focus on estates and properties in close geographical proximity to our offices so that we can ensure a quality, personal service for our clients.
Our individual and transparent property management style gives you a greater say in the management of your estate but without the burden of day to day management. Please take a moment to read the service summary pages below to understand how our friendly team could help you maintain, manage and enjoy your property.
MIRPM AssocRICS, founder and Managing Director of Common Ground
As a leaseholder myself, I had sought to replace the managing agent of the block where I was living but was unable to find one offering the services I felt should be available. Having seen the service charge double in a two year period for no apparent reason, I wanted greater transparency and realised no one was offering this. In August 2008, getting nowhere and following a heated conversation with a representative of an estate management company, I realised I could do the job far, far better. It was a eureka moment!
Further investigation into the estate/block management market highlighted widespread poor levels of service, lack of communication and financial transparency. I set up Common Ground Estate & Property Management in October 2008 to address these shortcomings in the market and the rest, as they say, is history.
The business model is really quite simple. We visit the properties we manage regularly to ensure that standards of maintenance and repair are high. This approach also ensures that we understand the culture of each site we manage and we are able to tailor our approach accordingly. We focus on relationships with directors and residents and never lose sight of the fact that we are managing YOUR home.
We use cloud based IT systems to enable clients to access financial data and information about their estate in real time. These same systems ensure that our property managers are field based rather than tied to the office.
Common Ground has grown year on year since its formation and now manages estates of all shapes and sizes across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, West London and Surrey.
Why Common Ground?
We focus on relationships with directors and residents and never lose sight of the fact that we are managing YOUR home.
A professionally maintained block or estate will add value to your property, improve relationships with neighbours and allow you to enjoy your home.
Financial Transparency and Control
Directors of Residents Management Companies can track financial information in real time. This means no nasty surprises after year end.
Our unique portal system allows all stakeholders to track progress of news, events and maintenance 24/7
The Common Ground Leasehold Library cuts through archaic legal jargon to enhance your understanding of all things leasehold.
As a general rule of thumb, a leaseholder is usually responsible for everything inside their property and the freeholder for everything outside of it. Always refer to your lease for clarification as there are...
Residential Buildings Insurance Residential Buildings Insurance is for landlords that own – unsurprisingly - entire blocks of flats. The policy will provide comprehensive cover for the entire building, factoring...
Fire Safety The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (England and Wales) became law on 1 October 2006 The Order applies to all non-domestic premises, including common parts of blocks of flats or houses in...
Frequently Asked Questions
Check our frequently asked questions and knowledge base for information about Common Ground and the services that we offer.
What are your fire saftey tips for leaseholders?
- All escape routes and electric cupboards must be kept clear at all times. If you have any items of storage, combustible items or any obstructions in the stairs, electrical cupboards or escape routes, please remove them immediately.
- Door mats are provided by some flat front doors. If you have a door mat outside your flat, please remove it, as in the event of a fire they could become trapped in a flat door and allow fire or smoke to spread into the corridors or stairs.
- Read the Fire Action Notices in the communal areas to familiarise yourself with the action to take in a fire, and the location of the designated fire assembly point.
- Flat Fire Doors: All flat entrance doors that open onto the escape route must be fire doors fitted with a serviceable self-closing device and an intumescent strip/cold smoke seal with a 30 minute fire rating. It not, a fire occurring within one flat could spread into other dwellings and also compromise the means of escape. All flat entrance doors that open onto the escape route must be upgraded ASAP to include a self-closer and a third fire rated hinge if these are not already fitted. Please check your door for combined intumescent strips/cold smoke seals; these must be fitted if they are not already. If your flat door has a letter box this must be filled over or have fire resisting letter boxes fitted on the inside of the flat doors.
- The standards are (serviceable self-closing device and an intumescent strip/cold smoke seal with a 30 minute fire rating installed into either the door edge or doorframe) conforming to BS 476 part 20:22 and BS 476 part 31:1. BS 476 – Fire doors and doorframe, BS EN 1154 – Self closers, BS EN 1154 – Hinges, BS EN 1906 and BS EN 12209 – Door handles and locks.
- It is recommended that a Grade: D LD3 system in each flat (non-interlinked) with a smoke alarm in the room/lobby opening onto the escape route to protect the sleeping occupants of the flats.
What happens if a landlord proposes major works with leaseholders?
If a landlord proposes to carry out works that will cost any one leaseholder more than £250 or is looking to enter into a long term qualifying contract (Longer than 12 months) that will cost any one leaseholder more than £100, the landlord is required to go through a consultation procedure under section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
A section 20 process is made up of three distinct stages
1) Notice of Intention to Carry Out Works” upon all lessees. The Notice must generally describe the proposed works, state the reasons for considering the proposed works, and invite leaseholders to make written observations within 30 days
2) At the expiration of the 30 day consultation period, at least two estimates should be obtained:
“Notice to Accompany the Statement of Estimates” must also be served in conjunction with the Statement of Estimates, which sets out the hours and place where details of the estimates may be inspected, inviting lessees to make written observations on the estimates within 30 days, specifying the address to which those observations should be sent.
3) Award of contract
If at the expiration of the consultation period, the chosen contractor did not provide the lowest estimate, then a “Notice of Reasons” must be served upon all lessees
Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenants is the subject of a great deal of case law and is a subject of discussion in it’s own right
What is Ground Rent and how is it different from a service charge?
Ground rent is the money that you pay as a leaseholder to the Landlord or Freeholder for basically renting the land that the leasehold property sits on. This is usually a fixed sum and is paid annually.
The service charge is payment for all the services (such as maintenance of gardens and communual areas) that you as a leaseholder will use but will not be specifically responsible for. This will often be an estimate of what the landlord will anticipate will be for the forthcoming year.
Ground rent can be collected directly by the Landlord, by the managing agent or a specialist ground rent collection company on behalf of the Landlord or Freeholder
"I very highly recommend Common Ground. Their conscientious team is highly professional, experienced and efficient, which is extremely reassuring to Directors and responsible owners of properties. They are pro-active, helping to plan ahead and to anticipate problems, which they can deal with firmly but sensitively. They are a pleasure to work with."
“We moved to Common Ground from one of the large national agents. The list of maintenance items that required attention was growing longer and longer as we were moved from one property manager to the next. Common Ground stood out from the day the MD came to assess the site and fixed two of the outstanding maintenance items during that visit.
Common Ground worked through the maintenance items which we were able to track through their portal system. It’s also been a pleasure to have the same property manager and accountant throughout. The continuity is important, so it is good to work with an agent that retains its staff.”
“Our relatively small development was rescued by Common Ground after a disastrous initial situation caused by the inefficiency of the managing agents appointed by the developer. After examining the situation Common Ground came up with a first rate transparent management system which gave directors full and instant access to accounts and other matters, such as legal advice and rights of leaseholders. They make managing easy for directors and attend to everyday problems promptly.”
Property Management Office
Finance & Administration Office
Mirfield Road, Witney
Sandford on Thames - Burra Close
Sandford on Thames - Church Road
Kendrick Road, Reading
Chalfont Saint Giles
Market Pl, Abingdon
West St. Helens Street
Castle St, Wallingford
Kings Cross Rd,
London Road, Headington
59-63 Cowley Road
111 Oxford Road
Oxford Rd, Kidlington
Temple Street, Aylesbury
Seymour Court Road
Marsham Ln, Gerrards Cross
Marlborough Road, Oxford
Hamble Road, Didcot
Ormond Road, Wantage
Stockmore St, Cowley, Oxford
Hollow Way, Oxford
Oak End Way
Bull Lane, Gerrards Cross
juniper court flackwell heath
Thames View, Abingdon
Larch Close, Botley
Northfield Rd, Witney OX28 1FY, UK
Park View Land
John Towle Close
New Barn Place
Elm Farm Close
White Horse House
Sites currently under management
Areas We Serve
One of Common Ground’s service features is regular site visits and surveys which are conducted by an experienced property manager. Regular site visits are beneficial because small maintenance jobs are dealt with in good time and potential problems can be spotted and rectified before they become bigger issues. Our property managers carry a toolkit and can often perform small maintenance jobs at minimal charge. e.g. tightening screws, re-affixing loose carpet, changing light bulbs, fixing door locks, adjusting door closers, adjusting timers and many other tasks.
To ensure we can keep our promise of regular site visits, we will only manage properties within one hours drive of our offices in Oxford and Henley on Thames. Our close proximity to our clients also means that maintenance contractors and service suppliers are normally local. This means quicker response times and cheaper costs.