The Right to Manage is a legal provision allowing leaseholders of flats to take control of the management of the building where their flats are situated. It was introduced as part of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 with the aim of giving leaseholders greater control over the management of their homes.
Since its introduction, many leaseholders across the country have exercised the Right to Manage. It allows them to make decisions about the management of their building, such as appointing a managing agent, setting service charges, and arranging maintenance and repairs.
By exercising the Right to Manage, leaseholders can ensure that their building is managed in a way that meets their needs and priorities. The updated legislation has been a significant move forward for the rights of leasehold property owners.
Do I need the landlord’s consent for the right to manage?
Exercising the right to manage as a leaseholder can be straightforward without needing your landlord’s consent or a court application. However, it is essential to note that you must obtain a majority vote from the other leaseholders in favour of the decision. There are additional qualifying criteria to consider. These include:
- At least two-thirds of the flats must have leaseholders whose lease term was more than 21 years and are considered “qualifying tenants.”
- The non-residential part of the building cannot exceed 25% of the total floor area, excluding common parts.
- The right to manage does not apply if any qualifying tenant is a tenant of a local housing authority.
- The Resident Landlord Exemption may also prevent the right to manage from being granted. This exemption applies if the premises are not a purpose-built block (e.g., a converted house), comprise no more than four flats, and at least one flat has been occupied by the landlord or an adult family member as their only or principal home for at least the last twelve months.
What is the process involved in Right to Manage?
To exercise the Right to Manage (RTM) for a building, the law requires that at least 50% of the flats must participate. Every leaseholder should be invited to become a member of the RTM company. Once 50% of the leaseholders have joined, you will need to serve a legal notice on the freeholder or the current management company (depending on the situation) to initiate the process. The notice will provide a four-month window for management to transfer to the RTM company. Upon serving this legal notice, the transfer of management is automatic.
What are the next steps to a Right to Manage Claim?
When a claim notice is served, the landlord can either admit or dispute the claim by serving a counter notice before the deadline specified in the claim notice (which should not be less than one month after the service of the claim notice). Failure to serve a counter notice within the specified time frame will result in the right being deemed admitted.
If the landlord serves a counter-notice disputing the RTM claim, the RTM Company has two months from the date of the counter-notice to apply to the First-tier Tribunal for a determination.
If the RTM claim is admitted and not disputed, the acquisition date is at least three months after the date for service of the counter-notice.
After service of the claim notice, the RTM company can serve an information notice on the landlord to request delivery of essential management information vital for property management functions. The landlord is also entitled to become a member of the RTM Company from the acquisition date.
Enfranchisement and Right To Manage Solicitors
To ensure a successful Right To Manage notice is served, it is crucial to acknowledge the significant groundwork required beforehand. This is a complex area of law, and it is highly recommended that you instruct a solicitor with specialist knowledge early in the process, ideally as soon as you have enough qualifying tenants on board. Our highly experienced property team will assess whether you meet the qualifying criteria and, if so, will guide you through the right-to-manage procedure.
If you are considering making a Right to Manage application, please contact a member of our team below or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial consultation to discuss the best way forward for you, and we will provide you with further and specific advice tailored to your circumstances.
Our skilled and understanding team are here to help you. We will work with you to ensure the best possible outcome.
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This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors