Sterling Estates

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Sterling Estates's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Sterling Estates is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

SEM, proud partners with
Watford FC Business Club
Large-scale projects
Sterling Estates Management has been providing a high
standard of property management services for its clients
since 2005, in both residential and commercial property.
It believes that providing a professional, efficient and honest
service will result in steady, secure growth, despite difficult
financial, economic and political times. Co-founders Shalim and
Antonio Ahmed discuss the firm’s ability to grow and develop –
a reflection of its safe working environment and the investment
in staff development.
Our ethos and perspective have helped bring continued growth, obtain new
business and recruit and retain the best staff. It ensures we keep striving to
implement better, more proficient and professional services within our industry. We
provide clear routes for our staff to obtain and maintain professional qualifications,
and we have also taken advantage of the government’s apprenticeship scheme as a
useful tool to recruit, train and build our workforce for the future.
We continue to be grateful for the dedication and hard work of our workforce,
who allow us to achieve our business goals. Our growth can also be directly
attributable to our business model, which, at its core, is about providing
professional, effective and transparent services and placing the needs of anyone
we deal with at the core of our activities. In recent years, we have recognised that
we must also evolve and adapt to our environment and surroundings. This does
not mean that our core beliefs will take a back seat. Rather, they will form the
foundations and building blocks of our future.
»Co-founders: Shalim and
Antonio Ahmed
»Founded in 2005
»Based in Stanmore, London
»Services: Management services
for residential and commercial
»No. of employees: 16
Sterling Estates
Highlighting best practice
Meshing procedure with
personal approaches
We differ from our competitors in the
way in which we take on and deal with
properties managed within our portfolio.
While we subscribe to and implement
standard property management
procedures and policies to ensure
proper and efficient management,
we also recognise the importance of
understanding each particular building,
estate, its occupants and location. This
allows us to understand any potential
positive or negative impact on the
managed property and its residents.
In this regard, we pay particular
attention to both the legal obligations
prescribed within title documents
and the human factors at play. By
understanding how the occupiers and
users need to be identified and catered
for, we provide both an effective
and proficient service to achieve our
goal of creating a positive impact.
We also recognise the importance
of understanding the surrounding
environment of a managed property
and how these factors can have
We recognise that a property is not a
static building. Alongside its residents,
it changes and evolves over time and
has its own pulse and rhythm. We pride
ourselves on being able to identify the
character of a building and its residents
and manage it appropriately in response.
Over the years, as our managed
portfolio has expanded, we have seen
incorrect management procedures being
implemented for long periods of time
by other managing agents. This results
in a failure to correctly identify the legal
obligations and practical needs of a
particular property.
We do not shy away from recognising
our shortcomings. When this occurs,
albeit rarely, we use it as an opportunity
to grow and improve. This attitude
is also reflected in the way we train
and nurture our staff. Mistakes do not
define you as a professional person, but
the manner in which you deal with the
mistake does. This is not an invitation
for mistakes, but staff know that
they can approach us with a view to
resolving issues and movingon.
We have grown our knowledge and
expertise, so we are able to specialise
Reception area
Our growth
can also be
attributable to
our business
in helping lessees exercise their right
to manage, extend their leases or
enfranchise. We are also able to sit
and act for our landlord clients on
the opposite side of the table when
dealing with such matters. The unique
manner in which we view and identify
our clients further sets us apart from
the competition. We view our clients
as more than the person or entity
who is formally instructing us, and we
place great value on the leaseholders
and residents within our managed
portfolio. We have received a number
of referrals as a result, which continues
to contribute to our growth.
Learning from tragedy
Since our inception we have
encountered a number of challenges,
but we use these challenges as
opportunities to grow, expand and
improve. Sadly, we find ourselves
unable to avoid mentioning the tragic
events surrounding the Grenfell fire.
Words cannot provide any solace for
what occurred and the systematic
failures that allowed such a tragedy.
We find ourselves offering criticism of
the manner in which local authorities
and the government have reacted and
are subsequently dealing with similar
buildings that possess dangerous
cladding. They are failing to identify
the implications to privately owned
managed properties with dangerous
cladding and have not made it clear
who will fund replacement costs.
With privately owned buildings, it
would appear, given the current
legal framework, that liability falls
on the leaseholders because of their
obligation to pay through the service
charge mechanism. This is a bitter blow
for leaseholders, but the alternative
is their homes or rental investments
being unsafe for occupation. In some
instances, however, it is unreasonable
and uneconomical to expect that the
building owner should be responsible
or liable for such costs. In most
instances, a landlord’s interest in a
particular property is subject to the
value of the ground rent income. The
ground rent income for a block of
200 flats, where each lease contains a
ground rent of £250 per year, equates
to a total income of £50,000, before
expenses. The replacement costs of
this dangerous cladding well exceed
this amount. If the building owners are
liable, they do not have the income.
We have discussed this topic with the
Ministry of Housing, Communities and
Local Government to ascertain whether
the government will provide funding to
assist privately owned flats and buildings.
No clear response has been provided.
We suggested that during periods of
financial hardship, the government
should purchase buildings at market
value and then look to provide funding
for the building works with a view to
the costs being paid over a period of
time. A variety of compulsory purchase
schemes should be investigated with
end goal lessees acquire an interest in
the freehold building.
Our long-term goals are to grow
our managed portfolio, increase our
workforce and have a noticeable
positive impact on our industry. Growth
is a balancing act, and our core goal
remains to provide a high-quality service.
Mistakes do
not define you
as a
person, but
the manner in
which you
deal with the
mistake does
Modern properties

This article was sponsored by Sterling Estates. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister