Draft: Block Management Sector Code, 1st edition


The Block Management Sector Code ('this Code') has been developed alongside the Overarching Code of Practice for Residential Property Agents ('the Overarching Code'). The Overarching Code sets out the high-level principles that underpin the standards of professionalism expected of all property agents.

This Code takes the principles set out in the Overarching Code and applies them to agents involved in the management of leasehold and commonhold property, and estates of freehold houses.

The principles apply to the conduct and behaviour of managing agents (as firms) and staff (as individuals), and comprise a framework for ethical and competent practice.

What this Code covers

This Code applies to:

  • leasehold: property agents engaged in activities relating to the management of leasehold properties
  • commonhold: property agents appointed by a commonhold association to carry out activities related to property management
  • freehold estates: property agents engaged in activities relating to the management of freehold estates.

This code does not cover:

  • management of individual tenancies (such as assured shorthold, assured and secure tenancies) within a block
  • commonhold properties managed by the commonhold association itself
  • freehold estates managed by the freeholder itself
  • build-to-rent properties.

Key definitions

In this code:

  • 'Homeowner' means a person who owns a long lease or the freehold of an individual flat or house.
  • 'Leaseholder' means someone who owns a property on a lease, typically for 99, 125 or 999 years. The length of the lease decreases year by year until it eventually runs out.
  • 'Building or estate owner' means the person who owns the long lease or the freehold of the building or estate containing the flats or houses, or is a management company that is a party to the title documents, and in each case is responsible for providing services and/or insurance to the homeowners.
  • 'Title documents' means the legal documents governing the relationship between the building or estate owners and the homeowners, and may include leases, freehold transfers, deeds of covenant, rentcharge deeds and in some cases the articles of association of a residents' or management company, or the constitution of an association.
  • 'Managing agent' means the company employed by the landlord/client/management company to provide services and/or manage a building or estate.
  • 'Client' means the landlord or the freeholder of the building or estate.
  • 'Complaint' is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the managing agent or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual homeowner or group of homeowners.

A list of other definitions can be found in the glossary at the back of this Code.

'Terms marked (*) the first time they appear are defined in the Glossary.'


Agents (*) must exercise their judgement in applying the principles and standards in this Code to the situations they are in and deciding on a course of action. They must bear in mind their role and responsibilities, as well as the nature of the client and consumers they are dealing with.

Agents are personally accountable for compliance with this Code, along with other relevant codes and future codes. Agents are also personally accountable for following all other regulatory requirements that may apply - and must always be prepared to justify and evidence their decisions and actions.

A serious failure to meet these standards or a serious breach of regulatory requirements may result in regulatory or criminal action being taken against an agency (*) and/or staff. A failure or breach may be serious either in isolation or because it is part of a persistent or concerning pattern of behaviour.

Note that this Code contains links to specific pieces of relevant legislation. The links should not be considered an exhaustive summary of the legal requirements applicable to property agents, agencies and/or staff.

Special provisions for housing associations

Registered social providers that manage private residential leasehold property not only have to adhere to this Code, but also the Regulatory Framework of the Regulation Committee of the Homes and Communities Agency. The Regulatory Framework contains the fundamental obligations of housing associations that are registered social providers in meeting their regulatory requirements.