Thousands of leasehold flat and apartment owners are far from happy with the way their block is managed.
Some are paying excessive service charges. Others are handing over vast sums to their property management company for maintenance work they don’t feel is being carried out to the expected or required standard.
Thankfully, it doesn't have to be this way, as under the Right to Manage regulations, it is possible for leaseholders to break away from such companies.
At Garness Jones Residential, our specialists regularly advise unhappy property owners across Yorkshire who find themselves in this difficult situation.
What is the Right To Manage?
Under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, the Right to Manage (RTM) gives leaseholders the right to remove the company managing their property and take over the management of it from the freeholder themselves.
This is done by setting up a special company – known as a Right To Manage (RTM) company.
RTM is an important right which was introduced to empower leaseholders, giving them a way to wrestle back control from bad landlords or managing agents. It is only available for leaseholders of flats and apartments, not houses.
A building can be part-commercial, but if more than 25% is non-residential, you cannot apply.
Serving notice on your property management company
As a leaseholder, you are likely to have a majority stake in the overall value of the property. So, it’s probably in your interests to be responsible for managing the block where it sits.
You don’t need the landlord's permission to do so. You don’t have to obtain a court order. And you don’t need to prove any mismanagement because your Right To Manage is unaffected by whether the property has been managed poorly or effectively.
However, if you are thinking about exercising your right, don’t take the decision lightly. If the takeover is to be successful, a fair amount of work must be done before serving notice.
Should you wish to press ahead, here are 5 essential steps to follow:
1. Assess the level of concern by calling a meeting of fellow leaseholders (some properties may be rented)
2. Find out who’s willing to assist in a challenge - the move must be supported by more than 50% of leaseholders to go ahead.
3. Form a Recognised Tenants' Association (RTA) – giving you the right to be consulted by the freeholder about any major issues.
4. Set up an RTM company with fellow leaseholders.
5. Exercise your Right To Manage by serving a formal notice on the landlord.
What happens next?
The landlord may challenge the notice, but a valid application tends to see the RTM awarded to leaseholders.
After a period of notice, the property management responsibility will transfer to the new RTM company.
Once RTM has been acquired, the freeholder is entitled to become a member of the RTM company.
Although the Right To Manage process is fairly simple, complying with all the necessary rules and regulations can be a bit daunting.
At Garness Jones Residential, we can help take the stress and hassle out of changing management company by acting on your behalf.
We currently provide leasehold management services for blocks and developments of varying sizes.
Some of the larger well known buildings we manage include Queens Court Apartments in Hull (a building the BBC occupy part of), City Exchange Apartments in Hull, Raywell House in Raywell and St Mary’s Manor in Beverley, East Yorkshire.
For help or advice about the Right to Manage process, please call 01482 564564 – we’ll be more than happy to help.