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Bristol-based BNS Management Services has praised a television documentary that highlighted the problems leaseholders face over the management of property.

Channel 4 Dispatches’ ‘Property Nightmare: The Truth about Leaseholds’ looked into large property management agencies which fail to put the leaseholders first and charge unreasonable and unfair service charges.

Andrew Simmonds from the Downend-based BNS has stressed the importance of looking into property management agencies and picking one which keeps the resident in mind.

He said: “I can’t stress enough how important it is to thoroughly look into a property management agency before signing up with them. It is a billion dollar business these days and the sad fact is that some of the larger agencies are all about the money and less about the service.

“We have noticed that a lot of agencies are somehow linked to various contractors and other related businesses, meaning any work done is not always in the best interest of the residents. Service charges are hiked up for no good reason meaning people can be stung out of the blue.

“The Dispatches programme has really highlighted this problem and I hope it makes people more aware when signing up. The approach we saw on the show was very dictatorial which is a completely different approach to how we work and the way it should be done.”

Around £25 billion is spent on property service charges every year in England and Wales and new figures suggest that 40% of new builds are leasehold properties, meaning it is a growing industry.

Andrew continued: “Property management agents are essential when the job is done right. We save people time, money and stress and ensure the building is kept safe, attractive and functional.

“The way we manage property is by being totally transparent; we choose our contractors on their merit and we work alongside leaseholders rather than dictating to them. We conduct monthly visits to our 160 blocks in Bristol and the surrounding areas and create a list of things to address from there.

“If leaseholders are unhappy with their current building management there is a way out through the Right to Manage scheme which allows leaseholders to regain control of the building and choose their own management agency. It’s a lot of work but we can handle the whole process and it can save money and distress in the long run.

“It’s sad that our sector has been given a bad name but we’re working hard in Bristol to ensure our blocks are kept in the best standards possible.”

Now managing over 160 buildings in the city and surrounding areas, BNS offers different levels of service for both large and small properties. The bespoke service can be tailored to suit the varied buildings, management companies and leaseholders involved.