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How to change your managing agent

Change-your-Managing-Agent--Flowchart

Sometimes you just decide, sometimes it takes a process, what is the right route for you will depend on the legal structure of your block.
If you have a tri-party lease (3 parties: the freeholder, a management company then the 1st leaseholder) then you’ll have the right to appoint an Agent of your choice, you just need to talk to the directors on the management committee propose a change.

If you have a 2 party lease, the freeholder and the 1st leaseholder then you’ll need to

  • get the freeholder to agree
  • claim your right to manage,
  • buy the freehold, or
  • or get the Tribunal to appoint a Manager

Check out our how to change managing agent flowchart >>> to see what is the right route for you

Understanding how you can be best protected

We recommend that you look for a Managing Agent who is a corporate member of the:

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) represents an international community of property professionals working in professionals involved in land, valuation, real estate, construction and environmental issues. The RICS requires its members to work in the public interest, regulates Managing Agents, sets the highest standards and requires members to adhere to a code of ethics and standards.

The RICS provides you better security because all RICS regulated Managing Agents:

  • are subject to the Client monies they hold being inspected by the RICS
  • are required to pay into the Client Money Protection Scheme,

and  RICS require their corporate members to hold professional indemnity insurance

What consultation does a Residents or Freehold Management Company need to do to change Managing Agent?

The Directors of a management company are empowered by the members or shareholders to appoint contractors and the managing agent. There is no need to specifically consult with leaseholders, but it is good practice to do so. The Directors do have a duty of care to the leaseholders and should be satisfied that they have made a safe and reasonable choice, after reasonable due diligence.

How to change your managing agent – 6 steps

  1. Create your list of tender questions or download our free tender pack
  2. Invite 2 or 3 agents to present to your board
  3. Visit the offices of your managing agent(s)
  4. Negotiate an initial contract for 364 days, to avoid serving a consultation notice
  5. Send owners a newsletter explaining your reasons for appointing you know who
  6. Instruct the new agent to manage the setup for you

Want to read more……

Ringley MD Mary-Anne Bowring writes regularly on leasehold issues, here’s a few articles relevant to changing managing agent

How to change your managing agent This article explains the background, the basics and how to get started.
Claim your ‘right to manage’ If you don’t have a management company you can claim your ‘right to manage’ instead – as this article explains.

10 Tips for interviewing a prospective Managing Agent

We recommend that you create some questions around these areas:

1. The Agent’s financial probity

  • their professional indemnity insurance,
  • whether your funds are protected by the RICS,
  • ask about the results of the Agents last RICS inspection,

2. Service charge collection

  • what is included within the fee,
  • if your money is held in a bank account just for you,
  • if you get the interest on the money they hold,

3. Credit control

  • financial hardship policy,
  • Solicitors charges,
  • timescales and how these are reported to you,
  • experience in obtaining County Court money judgements

4. Court & Tribunal experience on issues of

  • reasonableness of service charge
  • recoverability under the lease
  • strategies for enforcing lease covenants

5. Methods of procuring maintenance

  • contractor selection,
  • willingness to deal with contractors you nominate

6. Experience in procuring cyclical maintenance and project scopes

  • scope – lead water mains replacement, re-lining drains, re-roofing, roof cap sheets, window replacement, render applications, rebuilding elevations
  • access methods – cradles, abseiling, towers, scaffolding
  • issues – planning permission, building regulations, conservation area consent, listed buildings

7. Competence at reserves planning

    • and …whether a reserves plan is part of their fee
(on most buildings this alone could save the cost of a CAPEX survey)

8. Procedures for dealing with lessee complaints and quality issues

  • The firms complaints procedure, and
  • membership of the Property Ombardsman, RICS and organisations that can apply sanctions for you

9. Inspections on site

  • how often the agent will visit site and how you will know
  • the detail of the inspection and whether you get to see the reports
  • and, whether this is included in their fee (watch the HML group)

10. Meetings & reporting

  • what will I be able to see on line and when
  • what meetings the agent attend (daytime/out of hours) and at what cost
  • who checks that meetings are actioned
  • what and when you get to see the results are achieved

We hope these 10 questions get you started. For a more comprehensive tender pack try our free download designed to assess the competency of any potential Managing Agent.

Download a free tender pack

This key guide is designed to assess the competency of any potential managing agent.

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