Your Right To Manage
- At least 50% of the flat owners within the physical block of flats want to go through the process;
- At least two thirds of the flat owners within the physical block have long leases (more than 21 years at the time of issue);
- No more than 25% of the block is used for non-residential use (excludes car parks and common areas connected with the flats).
If your development fulfils these criteria then it is highly likely you will be able to go through the Right To Manage process with 100% success. Technicalities can sometimes hinder the process but both our Management Team and our sister company, Attwood & Co Solicitors, are here to advise you on how best to progress your claim.
The process should take around 6 months. However, it is important to remember that the Freeholder may challenge your right and this can extend the process by up to 4 months or even longer. The Attwood Group are also able to assist with the more complicated claims, including assistance at Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, if required.
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There are a number of costs involved in the Right to Manage process, listed below:
The freeholder’s reasonable legal costs
The freeholder has the right to claim reasonable legal costs. These are claimed in most cases so you need to be prepared for the possibility of additional costs. The freeholder’s solicitors decide on this charge and there is no immediate control over this. Typically, costs should be around £600 + £25 per flat up to a cap of £3,000. If a charge is levied and you consider it to be too high, the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal can be approached to determine whether this is too much. Attwood Property Services can help you with this once you have the Right to Manage and we are appointed as the Managing Agent for your development.
Leasehold Valuation Tribunal
The freeholder has the right to issue a counter notice, which would then force the matter before a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT). Despite it being highly likely that the freeholder will have a valid reason to challenge you, this is often unavoidable. It is always advisable to attend the LVT to argue your case. The application should be made immediately as there are time limits, so we would advise that you decide promptly. The Attwood Group are happy to assist you in the process. In the rare event that your claim may not be successful at the tribunal, you would be liable to pay the reasonable legal costs of the freeholder in attending the hearing. We would estimate that these are likely to be around £1,500 + VAT but in some cases they could be higher.
What are the legal responsibilities of the RTM Company and its directors?
The directors of the RTM Company have the normal responsibilities of any limited company. They also are responsible for the maintenance and usually the insurance of the building/s. This is where we come in as your Managing Agent, collecting service charges, arranging insurance and maintenance and ensuring the block is looked after on your behalf.
Should we continue to pay service charges during the RTM process?
We would always recommend that service charges are maintained during the RTM process to ensure continuity of service.
After the RTM Process has been completed, how do we get our money from the managing agent?
This can be complicated and we can assist you in this process. The accounting involved means it is useful to have an agent to complete the ongoing management and obtain unpaid fees.
What happens if I can’t contact everyone in the block?
We would suggest that, as soon as you have 50% participation in the RTM process, it should be started. The cost is usually recovered relatively quickly and holding out until every last person is willing to go through the process will delay the potential savings you will make. Some lessees will, for whatever reason, not be eager to participate. However, a 50%+ take up will be enough to start a successful process.
How do I know if my block is eligible?
Attwood Property Services and their sister company, Attwood & Co Solicitors, can obtain much of the information needed to confirm eligibility and will assist throughout the process at a fraction of the cost associated with employing solicitors and agents separately.
The above is not an exhaustive list of questions and we are always happy to help. Call now on 01375 898879 to speak to one of the team or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why use Attwood Property Services to obtain the Right to Manage?
We offer a one stop shop process with legal and experienced property management advice under one roof.