Questions & Answers
First of all talk to other leaseholders and see if they feel the same.
Also, if you have a residents association, discuss it with them. If there is a general consensus that you aren’t getting value for money then contact us and we can help by having an informal meeting with you and coming up with a completely free proposal.
ou must seek legal advice as you are in breach of your lease if you do not pay your service charges and your landlord can take legal action against you. If you have a mortgage, they can also apply to your mortgage company to have a charge put against your mortgage. So never just stop paying your service charge.
If you think that your landlord has been charging you the incorrect amount, you can file a claim with the First Tier Tribunal (previously known as the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal), but this can be very costly and time consuming.
Our advice is if you have an issue, talk to other leaseholders and see if they feel the same and then come and talk to us regarding your collective options. Right to Manage is your way of taking over responsibility of running your building.
In certain cases when a group of leaseholders are unhappy with the way their building is managed, the First Tier Tribunal can issue an ‘appointment of a manager’ until either a residential management company or right to manage company is set up to take over.
This means that the tribunal appoints an organisation to take over the management of the building.
The Federation of Private Residents Association can help : http://www.fpra.org.uk/ They have helpful information and guidelines on exactly how to set up an effective Residents Association.
We have been working with residents associations for many years and have been members ourselves so can definitely help.
Contact us for an informal chat about your concerns with your block.
You have the right to be consulted about charges for running or maintaining the building if you have to pay more than:
– £250 for planned work
– £100 a year for work and services lasting more than 12 months
There are steps your landlord must follow when they consult you, known as a ‘Section 20’ consultation. If you aren’t consulted properly, there’s a limit on how much you have to pay.
If you are a landlord and are not happy with your current property management company, you should engage with your leaseholders initially to see what their concerns are.
You could then form a decision committee for with a nominated number of leaseholders and yourselves and put together a proposal document for how you would want the building to be run along with service level agreements (www.arma.org.uk) can help with this.
You should then contact a number of property management companies and undertake a pitch process.
Talking is always the best bet, so try and contact whoever is responsible for the management of the building/estate before you take any action. There really should be no reason why freeholders, leaseholders and property management companies cannot work together for the good of the building. However, if all else fails, you may have to take legal action or decide that Right to Manage is your only way forward.
We cover the following area: