About the role
In this newly created role you will be our in-house expert on service charges and rent setting, working as part of our experienced operations team to maximise Sage’s service charge and rental income. You will also work closely with the new Service Charge and Rents Accountant role in our Finance Team, to set up our processes to the highest level of compliance and accuracy.
You will be responsible for setting service charges for new homes handing over from developers, including analysing any management company charges and identifying any additional services which need to be provided by Sage and estimating their cost. You will be responsible for producing clear and accurate service charge budgets, which are simple and easy for residents to understand. You will use your knowledge and understanding of legislation, regulation and best practice to ensure Sage’s rents and service charges are compliant and will provide advice and assistance to colleagues across the business on these matters, such as advice on potential service charges on future bids.
You will act as the lead client for Sage of management companies in relation to their billing, checking and approving invoices, monitoring their costs and reviewing the actual audited Service Charge accounts for all residents. You will be responsible for setting and applying the annual rent review for all rented and leasehold residents of Sage, ensuring increase follow regulatory and legal requirements.
- Responsible for maximising Sage’s service charge income through accurately estimating all service charges based on actual costs where possible for all tenure types (i.e. tenants, leaseholders, shared owners and freeholders) with reference to financial budgets, current legislation and agreements
- Responsible for preparing the service charge budgets for new schemes liaising with internal and external clients to ensure management agreements & leases are appropriate.
- Responsible for regularly reconciling various data sets to ensure that charges are appropriately applied.
- Responsible for ensuring that any changes to service charges are made accurately and communicated clearly so that residents are charged the correct amounts and understand what they are being charged.
- Responsible for creating processes and systems to be able to monitor actual costs against estimates and keep records in order for information to be used and provided to residents, for the annual audit process.
- Responsible to act as the lead client of management companies to ensure that they are providing the services they are supposed to, charging accurately for them and verifying, challenging and approving the payment of invoices.
- Responsible for creating clear guidance information for residents on how service charges are set and collected, which gives them assurance of Sage’s commitment to delivering services in a way which provides a high level of customer satisfaction as well as value for money.
- Assist with service charge cost reduction exercises to improve efficiency, liaising with and supporting other staff on service charge procedures, issues and complaints and attending resident group meetings as required.
- Responsible for ensuring Sage’s rents are set compliantly with legislation, regulatory requirements and our policy for shared ownership leases and rented tenancies. This includes ensuring Sage achieves high assurance in internal audits and follows exemplary practice.
- Responsible for setting and applying Sage’s annual rent review, ensuring compliance with legislation, regulation and our policy requirements. This includes communicating the approach for Board approval, and in a clear and simple way in the notice to residents.
- Responsible for continuously identifying ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our rent setting, whilst maintaining the highest level of compliance, for example exploring ways to achieve RICS approved valuations of re-lets, without requiring property (surveyor) valuations each time.
- Establish excellent working relationships across Sage to best achieve the role and support colleagues in their roles to achieve Sage’s collective strategic priorities.
- Take lead accountability for ensuring service charge and rent setting policy and procedures are effective and up to date, and being adhered to by contracted providers, testing this regularly through the quality assurance approach.
- Provide information and assurance to Sage’s Management Team, to in turn provide assurance to our investors, Board, Exec and other key stakeholders. This includes providing both regular and adhoc reports to a range of audiences
- Be responsible for your own health and safety, for adhering to Sage’s Health and Safety policies and for your colleagues.
- Knowledge of the affordable housing sector, regulatory and legal requirements and an expert understanding of service charge legislation and practice.
- Experience in developing internal processes and resources for effective service charge management, including creation of procedures, sample budgets and costs of particular items.
- Acting efficiently and pro-actively within defined decision-making processes and working to establish and then deliver to defined service charge service.
- Behavioural Skills
- You will be known for your attention to detail and ability to work in the detail, but communicate clearly and easily with colleagues and customers
- You are organised and efficient with your time and self-manage, whilst being comfortable asking for help or guidance when you need it
- You are self-driven, accountable and embrace change and opportunity
- You’re pro-active and take a creative approach to relationship-building and problem solving
- You are decisive whilst working at a quick pace
- You have a natural customer focus and it is a consideration in all that you do
- You are self-assured and tenacious as a lot of what you’ll be doing will be following up with colleagues and/or third parties such as management companies or developers.
To apply for the above role please send your CV and a cover letter to our Head of Human Resources by clicking here.