Posted by Caroline Preist, Partner
Rights of leasehold flat owners
In a report out today the Competition and Markets Authority have noted that many of the five million leasehold flat owners in the UK suffer from poor service and excess charges from the property managers who look after their properties. The Authority have recommended changes to the law to help flat owners in changing or getting rid of poor managers by a simple majority vote.
While changes to make matters easier for flat owners are to be welcomed many still do not know about the action they can take right now under the current law:
- Right to manage
Qualifying tenants can already take over the management of their freehold by setting up a Right to Manage Company which they control and which takes over the obligations to repair and maintain, manage and provide services. This company can then either manage the property itself or appoint new managing agents to act for it. The existing landlord will retain the freehold of the property in this case.
- Buying your freehold (enfranchisement)
Tenants can also buy their freeholds – you can find out more about this in my previous blog http://www.roydswithyking.com/buy-my-freehold-enfranchisement/
- First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)
Service charges can be challenged through a First-Tier Tribunal (previously called Leasehold Valuation Tribunal). These tribunals can decide whether service charges have been reasonably incurred and if the services provided or works done are of a reasonable standard.
If tenants are concerned about their property managers they do not need to wait for the law to change, there may very well be action they can take now.
If you’re unhappy with the charges and services on your flat contact our Property Disputes team for advice on right to manage, enfranchisement or leasehold valuation tribunals
0800 923 2070 Email us