The properties of Devington Park are 'Leasehold Properties', in that the ownership is retained by the Freeholder who has sold leases to the leaseholders in order that each leaseholder has the right of tenancy for periods up to 999 years.
Thus each leaseholder has the right to own the lease for individual properties and has the right to sell on that lease to another potential owner. Each leaseholder is bound by a lease document and also has membership of Devington Park Management Company, which was set up at the start of the Devington Park development in order to manage the running of the site including the maintenance of the external fabric of the buildings. Each leaseholder pays an annual service charge to the Company as a share of the anticipated running cost for that year.
The Freeholder is entitled to receive an annual Ground Rent from each leaseholder. This is a relatively small amount, compared to the service charge, and could be described as annual rent for the property. The ground rent is administered by the owner of the freehold and, in the case of Devington Park, this is carried out via an agent who may be contacted by leaseholders via our Links page.
The Devington Park Management Company Limited (DPMCL) is the body responsible for the running of the Park and comprises of Directors who are also individual leaseholders. Generally any leaseholder may be a Director, this being the only qualification required. Directors are voted onto the Board at Annual General Meetings of the Company.
DPMCL currently employs a 'Managing Agent', an outside property agent who may also run other similar developments. The Agent generally handles the 'off-site' business including company secretariat, financial and budgetary control and the engagement of sub-contractors to provide services to the Park such as gardening, specialist maintenance, tree surgery, etc.
Up to early 2015 The Company also directly employed two staff who were on site and responsible for the day to day management of the site.
Our Park Manager, David had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Park and it's buildings, many of which are very old and complicated requiring detailed knowledge particularly with regard to the maintenance and also with respect to the English Heritage Grade II listing status of the buildings . David took responsibility for Managing the on-Park activities including the supervision and quality control of the Park's contractors and the health and safety requirements associated with their activities. There are many service attached to the Park such as drainage, sewers, electrical, mechanical, road and surface water soakways which require maintenance sometimes at short notice. David was an expert regarding the upkeep of such items. Watching our staff replacing loose roof tiles on the dozens of roofs on the estate was a sight to see, and such skills are very expensive to buy in. Almost all projects relating to the management of the Park property and services were managed and supervised by David.
David was ably and enthusiastically assisted by Matthew, a time-served Painter and Decorator who specialised in, guess what, the care and attention of the painting of the windows, doors, common area walls, railings - in fact all and everything which is painted on the Park. This is something like 'The Forth Bridge' which is a never ending activity. Matts' painting and decorating work relied on the provision of scaffolding, scaffolding towers, mechanical hoists and various other means of accessing the varied and many parts of the residential buildings. All of the scaffolding towers were owned by the Park and were maintained by Matt and David. Both men were trained in the use of scaffold towers, cherry picker and other mechanical handling related machinery and were trained and qualified in Health and Safety for their respective duties including, as necessary, first-aid training. Prior to the employment of our own painting professional (Matthew), the cost to Devington Park was the highest expenditure we had. Thanks to Matt the Park got more for less.
Between them they ensured that the Park service activities, maintenance and general care of the buildings was carried out in a safe and economical manner. This covered areas from the decoration of the building to repairs to the building fabric and included the more mundane jobs of ensuring our bins were emptied and cleaned every week, drain clearance, road maintenance, footpath and walk-way pressure washing, in fact every and all of the many and varied activities required to keep a high level, high quality Park such as Devington in good condition and to make residents proud of their homes and environment.
Their continued presence on site throughout the working week gave friendly support and suitable advice to residents and they used to provide a quick and efficient conduit for the reporting of problems on the site from outages of road lighting to damage of the entrance gates (yes, it is not unknown for the occasional resident/visitor to hit a gate).
All in all, their work was invaluable to the smooth running of the Park. We did not want to be without them and, indeed the cost of many of the Parks' major maintenance work would escalate out of proportion without their input.
Why is this article written in the past tense?
Because at the beginning of 2015, the board decided, without consultation with the leaseholders of Devington Park, to make our park manager redundant as they considered that the arrangement was “unsustainable financially, and somewhat ineffective”. A short time afterwards, our assistant manager, Matt, decided that he did not wish to continue at the Park and hence left us a month or so later.
Since then, the park services have been provided by non-directly employed staff.
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