The Landlord of your building may provide an excellent, value for money management service.
If so, count yourself fortunate.
Other Landlord/management companies generally fall into 2 categories:
Neglectful – you will be charged a significant management service fee, but receive little in return – problems are neglected or ignored and exterior maintenance is deferred. The signs are obvious and directly affects the value of your flat investment – peeling paintwork, uncleared rubbish and litter – an eyesore for potential buyers and tenants.
Greedy – you will be overcharged at every opportunity – from inflated insurance premiums, to unnecessary and inappropriate repairs – with a dubious selection process for contractors and service providers. Again affecting the value of your investment.
Fortunately the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 legislation provides an opportunity for you as flat owners, to run your own affairs and to make your own decisions about the management and upkeep of your flats, including the insurance, repairs and service charges by means of The Right To Manage Process (RTM).
” I cannot thank John Hemingway and his team enough for getting myself and another four leaseholders safely through the Right To Manage process in four short months. He made light of what initially seemed an arduous, complex and frustrating legal process. I would recommend anyone with a lease who is dissatisfied with the freeholder to make use of his simple and effective service. To cap it all we found the costs to be very reasonable and he always answered the phone and helped when we were flummoxed! Well done the Leasehold Doctors!!” Bernard M.
As owners, you can set up and control a RTM company, which will typically save a minimum of 30% and often more on insurance premiums, repairs and general maintenance – cost effectively improving the appearance and value of your flat investment. Right To Manage does not necessarily mean self-management. At its most basic, the right to manage is simply a transfer of responsibility and decision-making. The difference is that whoever is running your building management now reports to you, not the freeholder. There is only a transfer in the practical day-to-day management of the building if the RTM company decides there should be.
Running your own management has major benefits to both yourselves and any future flat purchasers. Often overlooked, the benefits should be explained to those who are not familiar with the issues. As part of our service, we help owners in this regard: http://www.rtminfo.com/lavender/ For no charge, we create a similar website for our RTM clients during the process- (this results in immediate saving to our clients, because a freeholder usually asks their solicitor to validate the RTM claim, and the cost of obtaining the documents is passed on to the applicant). It also supports your application and helps show your flats will be run professionally.
If the landlord has collected service charges in advance as a reserve or ‘sinking’ fund, but not yet spent them all and is holding the balance, he is under an obligation to hand over the unspent balance at time of transfer to yourselves. A Right To Manage Company also allows for the insurance of the building to be taken away from the Landlord. There could be significant savings and benefits to such insurance being placed in the ‘open market’ rather than at the choice of the Landlord who may be receiving insurance commissions.
However, as with the majority of legislation in this area, it can be a complex and time-consuming task, and procedures must be followed precisely, or the management will not be secured.
In cases where the freeholder does not want to give up the service charges, the freeholder’s solicitors can be particularly difficult, with many different challenges to a Right To Manage application. There are various Notices which may need to be prepared / completed (some being in a prescribed form) and served upon which strict time limits apply. If these time limits are not followed then the application will automatically fail. In addition a specific RTM Company needs to be correctly formed, and the company membership and ownership set up in the right manner. If any of these are done incorrectly this could result in the application being unsuccessful, which can require an application to the Property Tribunal.
Right To Manage
QUALIFICATION FOR THE RIGHT TO MANAGE
The building must meet certain conditions and a minimum number of leaseholders is required to take part:
The building must be self-contained, or if part of another building, be capable of being redeveloped independently.
It must include at least two flats.
At least two-thirds of the flats must be let to ‘qualifying tenants’*.
It can be part-commercial but the non-residential part must not exceed 25% of the total floor area.
*A ‘qualifying tenant’ is a leaseholder whose lease was originally granted for an original term of more than 21 years. There is no requirement for any past or present residence in the flats, nor any limit on the number of flats which can be owned by one person.
The right to manage may only be exercised by a right to manage company and the members of the RTM company must comprise a sufficient number of qualifying tenants. The required minimum number of qualifying tenants must be equal to at least half the total number of flats in the building.
The right relates to a building, so, in an estate of separate blocks, each block would need to qualify separately and an individual RTM notice served.
OUR CHARGES AND SERVICES – FIXED FEES, NO SURPRISES
Fees are £590, for a building up to four flats. Additional flats are £45 per flat after the first four. All charges are specified in writing to you and are fixed. There are no ‘extras’ in any way – we do not charge an hourly rate for this service so leaseholders know exactly where they stand regarding our fees from the beginning. No additional charges for Titles, no additional charge for postage, no additional charges for disbursements. Our fee includes your custom Right To Manage website design to save you costs during the process..
If you are in any doubt about your rights and duties then seek specific advice. Lessees exercising this right, by law will be responsible for the Landlords ‘reasonable’ costs in consequence of a claim notice given by the company in relation to the premises. Please ensure you carefully read our Terms and Conditions.
If for any reason your application is refused by a mistake on our part, we will fully refund our fees.
Throughout each stage of the process, we will keep you fully informed. Both by providing detailed descriptions of the process, but also on the progress of each stage. For your convenience, we will provide electronic copies of all documentation.
Call us today on 020 8629 1066 or click here for no-obligation advice on how to increase the value of your flat via the Right To Manage Process..