Block Management. It can be very tumultuous, but who's really in charge and who makes the decisions?
On LinkedIn a few days ago, I came across a post of a Lady lamenting how her Managing Agent had been ignoring her dumped items issue on her block. This particular Lady was a Tenant, so she felt at loss with the situation. I feel sorry for her, so what could she or someone else do in those circumstance?
Sadly, unless you have an RMC [Residential Management Company] meaning that you all have a Share of your Freehold or you have a Tri-Party Lease [a Lease with three parties] it most likely means that you as the Leaseholder do not have a say in how your Block is run.
Does that mean that all is lost and that you should accept everything that happens in your Block?
First of all, if you are a Tenant, your first port of call would be to contact your Landlord and ask them to report the issues you are having. Depending on the Landlord you have you could even ask for yourself to be put on their account. Please be aware however, if you are put on the account your reporting of issues and maintenance can affect the Service Charge your Landlord will have to pay.
If you are a Leaseholder and you are unhappy with how your Block is run, we would suggest the first thing you do is turn to your Lease. Understanding the obligations of your Managing Agent and your Freeholder can help you immensely. Look for Lessor or Landlord Obligations. If you have a Tri-Party Lease look for Management Company Obligations. This details what they can and cannot charge for and what maintenance the Lease stipulates should be carried out.
Once you have a good understanding of your Lease. You need to contact the individuals in charge of your Block. If you are an RMC that would be the RMC Directors, if you have Freeholders it would be your Freeholders who make the final decision. Advise them of your grievances in line with your Lease. Hopefully this will resolve all the issues you may have.
If you still don't have any luck try speaking with other Residents, see if they feel the same. If enough of you feel the same and you have an RMC, at your next AGM put yourself or another forward as Director. Maybe you can be the force of change?
If you have a Freeholder, maybe you can form your own RTM [Right to Manage Company] and take over the decisions for your Block.
Please note that whatever you decide your Lease and Legislation such as the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, govern how your Block should be managed. Legislation such as Health & Safety Directives will trump whatever your Lease says, especially after Grenfell.
If you're thinking of changing your Managing Agent and would like a FREE 5 year maintenance plan and budget that could help you get your block in order. Give us a call on 0208 138 1990 or email us at email@example.com