Ringley Group has secured the UK’s largest apartment complex to be managed by leaseholders as a franchisee client. The Century Wharf Estate in Cardiff is formed of 945 apartments and houses spread across 19 buildings. In 2011, leaseholders on the estate started legal action to take over responsibility for the management of the buildings from the freeholders - under a process known as Right to Manage (RTM) - and in 2014 took formal control. Century Wharf Estate is now managed by three RTM companies - one for each of the freeholds - representing the 906 apartments on Century Wharf Estate. As franchisee clients of Ringley Group, the Century Wharf Estate RTMs will pay to use Ringley’s operating systems. Ringley Group currently manages over 12,000 homes across the UK and group managing director Mary-Anne Bowling says: “Right To Manage is a useful corrective in the leasehold system that gives residents the ability to either replace their managing agent or take over responsibility for managing the building from the freeholder. “We are thrilled to be working with what is the largest Right To Manage company in the UK, who will be using Ringley’s bespoke operating systems that have been developed in-house and draw from our many years of managing residential property.” The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 created the right for leaseholders to change the appointment of the management of their building to another provider by setting up a special company (known as Right To Manage company or RTM) to take over from the freeholder the rights of appointment of management. RTM also only applies to leasehold flats and not to leasehold houses or bungalows. In order to be eligible for the RTM both the properties and the applicant leaseholders must meet certain statutory criteria. Properties will qualify if they consist of a structurally detached building or part of a building that can be served independently, they contain two or more flats held by qualifying tenants (leaseholders whose lease was originally granted for a term of more than 21 years), and at least two-thirds of the flats are leased to qualifying tenants. Properties will not qualify if more than 25 per cent of the building’s floor area is non-residential, if there are self-contained parts owned by different landlords, if the property is owned by the local authority, or if the building of four or less flats with one flat being occupied by the landlord as his principal home.
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