Keeping accounts

Maintaining a common bank account to hold advance payments for repairs is recommended. This account could be managed by your owners’ association or property manager. Creating a Building Reserve Fund provides a way to save for large future repair projects.

Floats

A float is a small advance payment kept in your maintenance account or by your property manager/factor. It is used to ensure that money is available to deal with minor repairs quickly, without having to take time to contact each owner.

Maintenance accounts

A maintenance account is used to hold money for upcoming repairs. It is where you keep the float paid by each owner and advance payments for upcoming repairs. The Tenements Act sets out the rules for setting up and managing maintenance accounts.

They must:

  • be held in a bank or building society
  • be interest-bearing accounts
  • require at least two owner signatures or the property manager’s authorisation for making payments

When a repair is planned, and owners are asked to make an advance payment for a repair, they must be told, in writing

  • what the repair is
  • why it is required
  • the estimates received
  • their and other owners’ shares
  • who made the decision to carry out these repairs and when
  • a timetable for the work
  • refund arrangements if the work does not go ahead

Download our repair notification template letter

When you set up a maintenance account, you should ask the bank for a Treasurers Account. You will probably need to have a constituted owners’ association to do this. You will also need a minutes of the owners’ association meeting, showing who is nominated to manage the account.

Next steps

Download a document of the rules for running a Maintenance Account

Legal reference

Building reserve or sinking funds

A building reserve fund or sinking fund is a way of saving for future major repairs. It must be written into your title deeds as this is the only way to ensure that new owners are obliged to pay into the fund.

The building reserve fund is for major repairs, such as replacing lifts or reroofing. Your maintenance account and float are for minor, day-to-day repairs.

When you come to sell your flat, you will be able to tell prospective buyers of the arrangements for keeping the property in good repair, the amount of money in the fund, and what they need to budget each year for repairs. This will be a positive feature in any sale.

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