Leaseholders, Are you ready , willing and able to manage your building?

Every Leaseholder thinks he or she could mange their building or block better than their Landlord or managing agents. How do they do this? If they can afford it and are eligible they may use a right to buy the Freehold. If the management is particularly poor they may ask the Residential Property Tribunal Service to replace the managing agent. However most leaseholders have a right to manage (RTM) their own building without the Landlord being at fault or giving consent.

To use this option, certain criteria must be met for the building, its occupancy and who can apply. At least half of the “qualifying” Leaseholders must join the RTM company that must be set up to carry out the management function. There is a lengthy procedure to follow that involves service of notices and, if opposed, a Tribunal hearing before the RTM Company can take over.

The advantages of the Leaseholders managing their own building are that they will have a personal involvement in managing their building, greater control over the costs that they incur, may run it more efficiently and may enhance the value of their property. They will however still be liable for service charges if their Landlord provides estate services beyond the Leaseholder’s building.

However there are weighty time commitments and responsibilities involved. Company Directors will have to be appointed and have personal liability for their actions. Building works, both urgent and substantial, and long term maintenance contracts will have to be arranged and supervised, consultation procedures followed, service charges calculated, accounts filed and even fellow Leaseholders sued for service charge arrears or other breaches of their Leases. Not surprisingly some Leaseholders decide to appoint their own managing agents. It is not for the faint hearted. It is essential that independent legal advice is sought. Prince Evans’ specialist Property Solicitors advise on all aspects of RTM applications and have helped many Leaseholders make informed and successful applications to manage their own building.

If you want further information please contact Jeremy Teall, Partner, Prince Evans Solicitors on 020 8567 3477 or email him at