Flat owners unaware of their rights

Through the Right to Manage (RTM), brought in under the 2002 Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act, leaseholders can take control of their block from the freeholder, and decide how it is to be managed.

Only half of a block’s leaseholders are required to support the RTM process, and there is no need to prove incompetency on behalf of either the freeholder or managing agent, meaning it is a straightforward option for most blocks of flats.

However, new research by Urban Owners has revealed widespread ignorance in the area, with seven in ten leaseholders unaware of their right to take control through the RTM. This is despite the fact that only 31% are satisfied with the management of their property and less than a quarter (24.1%) feel that their managing agents’ service charges represent good value for money.

Furthermore, almost 40% (38.7%) of leaseholders surveyed believe they would be unable to make any reduction to their service charges if they were to take control of their block, when in reality each flat owner can save an average of £400 per year after taking control

Director Steve Wylie said:

“The Government brought in legislation eight years ago because it recognised that a huge number of leasehold flat owners were being ripped off by freeholders and their managing agents. This research shows, however, that many leaseholders are still suffering high charges and poor service from managing agents and are unaware of their power to take control. Our Block Administration Services are completely transparent, giving leaseholders full control over the management of their block without any hassle. They direct how their own money is spent and save money as a consequence.”

Have your say on this story using the comment section below

2 thoughts on “Flat owners unaware of their rights

  1. Ms Tarune Patel

    Ms Tarune Patel, 21 Highcroft Avenue, (Ground Floor),
    Wembley, Middlesex. HA0 1TF
    Tel: (0208)782 2224 Mobile: 07904282704
    E-mail: righttomanage_avinyapatel@yahoo.co.uk
    http://WWW.Right to Manage – Avinya Patel
    tarune_patel@yahoo.co.uk

    The Legislations Acts for Leasehold Properties (Flats) needs to be reviewed. Unfair not to separate the purchase of the freehold between two flat (ground floor and first floor). The first floor leasehold owner gets all the priority and ground floor owner who is able to purchase the freehold has no priority if not purchased as a whole. Unnecessary to purchase as a whole when one owner does not agree or is ignorant of the law and the complications of the future…taken over by unauthorised freeholders and fraud is increasing (buying and selling without permission from the owners residing in the flats).

    We are unable to buy the freehold individually and the pressure of the freeholders harassing us as owners while we settle a whole purchase price of the flat with a mortgage. Unfair Justice from the County and High Courts when unable to find the right Lawyer or Solicitor to handle the dispute matter to the purchase of the freehold.

    To discuss the topic in detail; recommended to Ministry of Justice.
    Any further statements welcome…

  2. Tarune Patel

    STATEMENT:
    Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
    (121 Right Exercisable clause (3))
    Exercise of right 121Right exercisable only by RTE company
    Section 13 of the 1993 Act is amended as follows.
    (2) In paragraph (b) of subsection (2), after “given by” insert “a RTE company which has among its participating members”.
    (3) After that subsection insert—
    But in a case where, at the relevant date, there are only two qualifying tenants of flats contained in the premises, subsection (2)(b) is not satisfied unless both are participating members of the RTE company.”

    •When there are only two flats in the building and one of the flats is owned by the freeholder (generally the first floor flat) and there are no majority, you cannot exercise the right to manage.
    •When the landlord’s flat (or interest in a flat) is not held under a lease, but part of the freehold flat (usually the first floor flat), to exercise the right to manage there must be at least 2 leasehold flats in a building. The landlord or freeholder cannot exercise the right to manage or appoint any managing agent to exercise the right to manage.

    That means the freeholder cannot appoint a managing agent to exercise the right to manage as one leaseholder out of the two does not want to participate.
    I find lease is referred to for insurance and ground rent purposes only, and not the above Legislation/Acts. Needs to review further from the Ministry of Justice/Leasehold Property.

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