We were contacted by a leaseholder of an apartment in a medium sized block in Tonbridge. He complained that the service charges were increasing every year and did not feel the current managing agents provided good value for money.
He supplied copies of his service charge accounts and we analysed the expenditure. We identified items being charged at exorbitant rates and obtained estimates for the same expenditure, calculating that we could make significant savings for the leaseholders.
We helped the leaseholder canvas other leaseholders for support by providing them with the tangible benefits of carrying out Right to Manage. It made the Leaseholds comfortable with the idea once we highlighted that the Right to Manage process would be carried out by our Legal Services Director. Most leaseholders didn’t know it was possible to carry out the Right to Manage.
The leaseholders were asked to get in touch with their telephone numbers/email addresses so that we could organise a meeting to discuss next steps.
70% of leaseholders responded to our letters, saying they wished to find out more. We liaised with them all to organise a meeting on a weekday evening to discuss the RTM and our services. We prepared the documents required to set up the RTM company and had them signed by the leaseholders at the initial meeting. Two individuals volunteered to be appointed as directors and all those at the meeting signed up to be members of the new RTM company.
We immediately applied to Companies house to register the company and prepared Notices to Participate to serve on all those leaseholders who did not attend the meeting, inviting them to also become members. We are obliged by law to wait 14 days before the Notice of Claim can be served on the Landlord.
The Notice of Claim was sent to the Landlord and other parties to the lease. The Landlord did make contact with us immediately after receiving the notice. We explained the process to them and highlighted the Landlord Duties with regards the claim.
The Landlord is given a deadline date to respond which is at least one month after the notice is served. We didn’t here anything else from them until the final day they had to respond. If they hadn’t responded then we would have automatically been awarded the Right to Manage. We received a letter from the Landlords Solicitor on the final day saying they didn’t dispute the claim.
The leaseholders have won there right to manage the flats they own and have appointed Pembroke Property Management to be their managing agent.
We have to wait 3 months now before we can take over the block management. In the meantime we will make a request for information to the current managing agent.
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