So what's this weeks hot property management topic. To me it seems to be the increasing number of Freshwater blocks we are talking. All of whom seem to be waking up to the realisation that they don't need to be subserviant to Freshwater any more.
How so?, you may ask. Well since the introduction of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 property management of your block is probably your absolute right. I know there's a contradiction there so let me explain.
You need a few friends, democracy and all that. In fact you'll need 50 percent of the block to be in it with you. Your friends, like you, need to be qualifying tenants. I know leaseholders don't like to be called tenant, nowdays we think of tenants as people who rent flats, but in this case it means that originally the lease for your property was a long lease (more than 21 years) and that the rent you pay (ground rent) is low. Again in simple terms let's take that for now as well below the weekly rent you could get.
So long as any commercial parts of the building do not exceed 25 percent and your building is capable of being separately managed you are probably away.
Examples of capable of being separately managed is not defined in law. Horizontal separation is important, beware of communal heating systems shared with other buildings and ask a professional if your building has unusual features.
Motivations to getting on with the Right to Manage that seem to keep repeating themselves include; repairs lessees believe are excessive or unwarranted, the Freeholder trying to raise money and start works when there is an ongoing Right to Manage Claim. Headleases suddenly getting registered to vary liabilities or obligations and muddy accounting leaving leaseholder's unsure whether they are paying towards their communal heating or secretly the heating to the block next door as well.
It seems that Ringley's property management packages, we call them BlockCare, give leaseholders such a contrast in transparency it is literally liberating.
Why should there be any mysteries? At least that's what we say.
For example, with Ringley every leaseholder can see a copy of every invoice we pay on the web area we maintain for them 24/7. For Directors there's expenditure lists, arrears lists, court action on arrears and analysis of spending against the budget too. Also we have an agreement with our bankers that a Director of the RTM Company can receive a copy of the bank statement direct from the bank to their home. Better still you set the expenditure limit for us to adhere to.
It upsets me that some Freeholder's choose not to work with leaseholders. After all surely property management was intended to be the freeholder providing services to and for leaseholders. Surely, good property management has to be a partnership in ideals, a match in expectations and a transparency in dealings.
If you and your fellow leaseholders think Right to Manage might be for you then check out our self help packs at www.leaseholdersupport.co.uk or see one of our Solicitors at Ringley Legal LLP could help you.
Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
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