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Right to manage: helping leaseholders take control of their block

Right to manage: helping leaseholders take control of their block
20th June 2016 Editor

For leaseholders wanting more say over the day-to-day management of their block, obtaining ‘the Right to Manage’ is an option that can do exactly what it says on the tin.

Ian Hollins of Manchester property management specialists Clear Building Management explains.

Anyone buying a leasehold property should go into it with his or her eyes open, not least with regard to the service charge. Yet even the most well informed leaseholder can feel frustrated at the lack of control over day-to-day decisions over how their property is managed, and the service charge budget allocated.

By applying for the Right to Manage (RTM), leaseholders can take control and ensure that the block is managed in the best way for the leaseholders and tenants that live within it.

Securing the Right to Manage (RTM) isn’t without its challenges, as scaremongering articles will gleefully point out, but – with the right support and guidance – RTM can give leaseholders the control they need to ensure their block is effectively managed to the benefit of all tenants.

First introduced into law in 2002, RTM gives leaseholders – providing certain conditions are met – the opportunity to take control of the management of their block, including how their service charge monies are spent.

The process involves setting up a Right to Manage Company (an RTM Co), with some of the leaseholders as directors – and it is both during and after this process where you need a supportive and proactive managing agent, who understands the RTM process and can help you clear the following hurdles:

Right to manage: how to get other leaseholders on board

Applying for the Right to Manage needs leaseholder support but gathering this support can be one of the biggest challenges. If you can involve a proactive managing agent from the early stage, they should support you with this process and are likely to have sensible ideas about how to communicate with busy – or even absent – leaseholders. Once you have sufficient leaseholders on board you then need to maintain communications and keep them informed throughout the process.

Accuracy and detail are key to a successful RTM

Right to Manage is a highly procedural process and you must make sure that all the notices and documents comply with the letter of the law; the slightest spelling mistake or deletion of a seemingly innocent or irrelevant note can invalidate the entire notice. If you suspect the freeholder is likely to challenge your RTM claim it’s vital to get the detail correct.

Support for volunteer RTM directors

Being an RTM director can be a busy job; directors act in a volunteer capacity and many need to fit in their role around a busy career and/or family life. To make this possible – and to ensure the role is enjoyable rather than onerous – it’s helpful to work in partnership with a helpful and communicative managing agent.

Additionally, whilst the duties and obligations involved with taking on a directorship should not be considered lightly, with training and guidance, these obligations can be seen as positive responsibilities.

A good managing agent will recognise that directors are volunteers, with limited free time; arrange for Directors & Officers cover, and provide you with the support and guidance to ensure that you can benefit from having control over your block and meet your obligations without it becoming onerous.

‘Those who pay should have the say’

Above all, RTM should be seen as a partnership between the RTM company and the managing agent, with the directors retaining oversight over decision-making whilst being able to delegate the day-to-day tasks and hassles.

The property management specialists at Clear Building Management have helped hundreds of leaseholders to secure the Right to Manage their blocks and have provided ongoing support to help deliver and maintain strong communities and well managed buildings.

Choose Clear Building Management to manage your block and we will guide you smoothly through the RTM process. We can do the work based on appointment when the RTM is successful, meaning that leaseholders will only need to pay disbursements and risk is minimised.

If you are considering applying for the Right to Manage or are an existing RTM director looking for a more supportive building management company then we’d be pleased to talk to see if we can help.

Click here to contact Clear Building Management