Our Credit Controller, Nichola, chats to us about payment plans for service charges and ground rent.
As I’m sure many will imagine, a typical day in Credit Control can be very challenging! However, what may seem like many less positive days is outweighed by Walton & Allen as a whole being a rewarding company to work for. I have worked here for almost four years and, although when I first began as a Credit Controller I found the role daunting I have learnt a lot about Service Charges, Ground Rent and Leases which has in turn helped my confidence to grow within the daily workloads.
The basic description of my job role is to ensure Lessee’s are paying Service Charges and Ground Rent within the time frames stipulated within the individual Lease Agreements to each apartment. Should a Lessee fail to pay on time, unfortunately they will follow our Debt Collection procedure which consists of the following:-
- 1st Reminder – Sent 14 clear days after the due date should no payment or contact be received from Lessee (no admin fees added)
- Final Reminder – Following on from the 1st Reminder if no further payments or contact has been shown a Final Reminder will be sent to the Lessee in question after a further 7 days and a £60.00 Admin Fee will be added to their account.
- With Solicitors – In addition to the above steps, after a final 7 days if no progress has been shown following the first two reminders the account will then be passed onto our third party Solicitors to deal with the case further. An additional £60.00 fee is also added to the account.
As you can see, from the procedure stated above this can be a lengthy process in order to collect arrears on the 38 different buildings we manage. This therefore can make my inbox and telephone extremely busy during the due dates! Although the work load can become over whelming, once the procedure has come to the end it is rewarding to see the arrears percentages drop and individual accounts be brought up to date.
Another extra to my duties as a Credit Controller is to arrange and monitor payment plans. Usually this is the total Service Charges spread over a number of months to help ease the pressure of a large payment in one go. This is offered as a good will gesture from Walton & Allen as the Lease states payments must be made on the date they become due, however as a company we work towards helping make payment methods that little easier by offering this option. After any payment plans have been agreed I ensure this is put in writing to each Lessee, so this can be easily understood and managed.
In addition to chasing non payers, I also update new owners to our systems and ensure any monies outstanding are correctly outlined to the new Lessee of the property. I also send out Emergency Contact Forms to confirm we have the correct correspondence details.
Overall I must admit I do enjoy my job role, this is greatly encouraged by the Walton & Allen staff members. Since day one I have felt welcome and part of the team who are always willing to help out and muck in when large printouts are being sent out for Service Charges & Ground Rent (this can take a while for one person alone!).