It’s official - ARMA and the IRPM are to merge. Following votes among members of both organisations last Thursday the two bodies say they will now “work to progress the approved merger to completion”.
So what will that mean for their customers? In the short term, probably nothing much. If your property manager has IRPM qualifications, as many of ours do at Ringley, nothing will change. They will continue to do their job in exactly the same way and to the high standards required by their professional body. For ARMA-regulated firms, again nothing will immediately change. If residents have a problem or need to make a complaint they will still be able to do so via the existing channels and the quality of service will remain the same as it is now.
So what’s in it for me, I hear you say. Flat owners and RMC directors may not know how much work goes on behind the scenes at both organisations on their behalf – but this is a major part of IRPM and ARMA's remit. They both spend a huge amount of time and energy lobbying government to take the interests of leaseholders into account in their policy-making, developing new training courses to improve the standard of service and contributing their specialist knowledge to the drafting of new legislation and industry regulation.
During the pandemic it was the IRPM and ARMA that lobbied for property management to be categorised as a ‘essential service’ allowing managing agents to continue to operate and maintain blocks as normal. Both organisations have been vocal in support of leaseholders trapped by the cladding crisis. They have provided their members with swathes of information around fire safety and have been instrumental in helping to design the new building safety regime and the new regulations that will in future govern the way that property agents work with landlords and residents.
The IRPM and ARMA have argued for leasehold reform for many years and gradually the changes they have called for are starting to filter through. These things may not always be obvious to leaseholders but they are very important to the residential management sector and to flat owners and tenants. As long ago as 2008, I wrote a paper suggesting the two bodies should merge, so I will be delighted to see IRPM and ARMA join forces so that they can speak with a single, strong voice on behalf of our clients and customers.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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