Leasehold Life is very pleased to introduce Colin Stokes, co-founder of Adiuvo, with not only his story of how the company was created but with (as he puts it) some shameless promotion and good advice thrown in....
Adiuvo (which is Latin for 'to help or assist') was formed in 2006 when two London Property Managers decided there must be a better solution to managing agents 'out of hours' provisions. Both myself and my wife were working on-call via mobile phones, which was one way agents dealt with the necessity of out of hours emergencies. Other options included answer machines or using contractors to speak to residents but none of these were satisfactory - even if an experienced Property Manager took the call they would need to be in possession of all relevant information and numbers which was not always possible. So with several mobile phones, but permanently based in an office/kitchen table we began to offer a 'professional' out of hours service; agents would provide us with portfolio details and their preferred contractors and we would progress calls suitably if and when necessary and email agents with the information.As the first (and only) company to offer this service with only trained and knowledgeable property managers we have soon grown to managing 112,000 properties out of hours and are open 128 hours a week, 365 days a year with a fully reviewed and quality controlled bank of contractors. In place of the kitchen table is a fully functioning service centre, 10+ staff, bespoke IT systems that automatically updates designated contacts and a phone system with call recording and 100 virtual lines. We deal with true emergencies from fire to flood and health and safety issues including unfortunately, vomit and (human) excrement in common parts, politely refering non-emergencies back to the relevant office during the next working day (we cannot progress service charge enquiries at 2am!). The value comes from swift actions preventing further damage and costs plus the fact that as experts we only send contractors when really required. We work by charging a fixed yearly fee for call handling and not directly employing contractors or earning commissions from their instruction means we have no conflict of interest. Although we can do all this (obviously at very reasonable rates!) we would say there are several key things buildings can do in order to reduce the need for call outs and more importantly reduce possible costs when emergencies do occur if sites do not have cover via their agents or self manage;
We primarily offer our service at present to managing agents but are as happy to work for individual buildings/RMC's as well. If any buildings/lessees/Directors would like further (and free) advice then please contact us on
While this website is constantly checked and updated for accuracy, the information and articles provided by Leasehold Life and it's guest contributors are not to be construed as legal advice.
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