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High-value London properties added to portfolio

Several high-value London properties are part of a major new national contract won by Birmingham-based Principle Estate Management.

Principle will be looking after a development of apartments each worth more than £1.5 million on America Street, just off Southwark Bridge Road – near the famous Borough Market, Tate Modern art gallery and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. 

Other properties in the portfolio are a mixed use development comprising a restaurant and with apartments above on Poland Street, off Oxford Street in trendy Soho; and another mixed use development with including offices and apartments in Hamond Square, near Hackney’s renowned Hoxton Street market.

Principle will also look after a further mixed use building including retail and apartments on the Old Brompton Road, in the prestigious Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

Outside of Central London, the contract includes other developments in South Croydon, Crawley, Portsmouth, Slough, Wickford and Godalming.

Principle’s appointment comes after the Wallace Group purchased Gray’s Inn Holdings Ltd which owns 20,000 leasehold properties. The management arm of the Wallace Group, Simarc Property Management Limited, then moved to change some of the managing agents in order to ensure standards complied with their internal code for agents’ conduct.

Brett Williams (pictured), managing director of Principle, said: “Mixed use buildings require a specialist management approach to ensure the needs of all users are catered for and properly balanced, and it’s this expertise that Simarc was impressed with.

“I’ve known senior people at Simarc for many years and they were aware that I’d recently set Principle up. They’d also seen me attending high-level meetings following the government’s various consultations into leasehold reform.”

Natalie Chambers, director of Simarc, said: “Principle has a reputation for managing properties on behalf of freeholders who need to be comfortable that their agent is on top of health & safety compliance, finance and maintenance.

“We also want an agent that provides outstanding service to our customers, and we know Principle has been built to deliver that.”

Principle was launched earlier this year by Mr Williams, the former head of residential property management at CPBigwood in Birmingham and an experienced chartered surveyor. Although based in Birmingham, Principle offers a national property management service and has already won a series of contracts across the UK.

Mr Williams said: “This contract includes our first instructions in the capital, although we have plenty of experience of managing a national portfolio and are in London every week. We have another South East portfolio going live next year.

“As for the other areas, the Surrey and Sussex properties are very close to where I grew up, while Slough is near other properties we have and Portsmouth has previously been one of our core areas.

“We are experienced in managing portfolios at distance, treating them all as if they are five minutes-walk from our office and ensuring we have regular site inspections and are very contactable.

“We’ve already been working on a few maintenance matters at a couple of properties ahead of our commencement as we’d rather get things moving than wait until we take over, and residents have appreciated this.”

Mr Williams added: “It’s fantastic to have clients instructing us on new properties on a weekly basis. We are well set up to deal with handovers from other agents and to proactively manage properties from the outset.”

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