News

Welcome to our news page, where we share what is happening at Jennings and Barrett, in the local community and some useful information about the property industry.

Please contact us if you have some news to share.


What is Right to Manage and How do I get it?

Apr 05, 2017

What is “Right to Manage”?

Since the 2002 Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act, it has been a relatively simple process to take control of the management of your block of flats or maisonettes.

“Right to Manage” gives Leaseholders the statutory right to take over management of their property from the landlord by setting up a “Right to Manage” company. This means that if you, as a leaseholder of a flat or maisonette, are frustrated with the way your building is being managed you have the right to take over the management responsibilities.

As a leaseholder seeking “Right to Manage”, you do not have to do any of the following:

  • Prove any mismanagement of the premises.
  • Get the landlord’s permission.
  • Obtain any court order.

And it comes as no surprise that more and more people are choosing to exercise their Right to Manage, given that it’s simply a case of following a sequence of clearly set out steps whilst abiding by some well-established legislative requirements.

How to get Right to Manage

There are 5 steps to getting the Right to Manage your building, as follows.

Ensure that your block qualifies

In order to qualify, you must meet the following criteria

  • Your building must be in part self-contained and contains at least 2 flats
  • No more than 25% of the building is used for non-residential use ( not including car parks and common areas)

There are some specific issues surrounding Crown Estate or housing associations, please contact us to discuss these.

Create a RTM Company

The RTM Company is the actual body that will take on the management responsibility and is a relatively low cost process that may be carried out by a company formation agent. When it comes to directors, we recommend a minimum of 3 lessees (or all of the company founding leaseholders for smaller blocks) are appointed. 

Secure participating leaseholders

At least 50% of leaseholders in a block must be willing to become members of the Right to Manage Company. Usually, this number has been confirmed before getting this far through the process as a series of informal meetings will have been held to discuss the prospect. A notice to participate must be issued to all as yet nonparticipating leaseholders who will then have 14 days to respond. The form and content of this notice is dictated by the legislation.

Serve a notice of claim

Once you have the required 50% of leaseholders willing to become members of the RTM Company, a formal notice must be submitted to the landlord informing them that the company intends to exercise the Right to Manage. It is important that this step follows the legislation requirements, the form and content of this notice are dictated by the legislation and must contain certain key pieces of information.

Once the notice is served the landlord has a month to respond. If no response is issued, the landlord is deemed to have accepted your claim.

If the landlord does contest your claim, they will be required to provide the reasons for this. If, having heard the landlord’s contention, the leaseholders wish to continue with the process they must take the landlord to the First Tier Tribunal (property). This tribunal will assess whether the leaseholders do have the Right to Manage. However, there is little basis that is acceptable, other than if the property doesn’t meet the criteria laid out in stage 1.

Prepare to take over management of your property

You would usually have a 3 month period to prepare for the handover. You should

  • Consider whether to use a managing agent and how to tender for this
  • Discuss and agree the level of service required (for cleaning, gardening services etc)
  • Issue a Section 93 information request to the Landlord to receive all information pertinent to the management of the block
  • Arrange for insurance to be in place from the date of acquisition
  • Sign up contractors required to deliver services

The landlord is obliged to hand over all uncommitted service charge funds on the RTM acquisition date or as soon as practicable afterwards.


The Responsibility of Right to Manage

Whilst achieving “Right to Manage” is an accomplishment which will reward you as leaseholders the ability and independence to make your own decisions about the upkeep and management of the flats, it should be noted that assuming “Right to Manage” is a big responsibility that must not be taken lightly. A RTM Company will need to know company procedures (or employ an advisor), RTM officers will have the responsibility of the landlord as well as the normal responsibilities of company directors, and a RTM Company will be as vulnerable to criticism as the landlord was.The RTM company, and therefore the directors of the RTM company, are responsible for the following:

  • undertaking the landlord’s obligations in the block’s leases as if they were the landlord
  • maintaining the building so it does not deteriorate
  • operating the RTM company in line with company law
  • ensuring the block is maintained / serviced in line with the lease
  • ensuring the block is maintained / serviced in line with current Health and Safety regulations

Failure to satisfy these obligations can have legal and / or financial ramifications for the Right to Manage Company and its directors.

However, the RTM Company does not have to carry out the management itself. Instead, you can appoint a Managing Agent to carry out the management of the building. This will bring an organised approach to the duties of the RTM company, such as collection of service charge and management of reserve funds, the creation of redecorating timetables and repairs, inspections and supervision of paid work.

Jennings and Barrett: Your specialist Block and Estate Managing Agent Local, Professional, Independent .

Jennings and Barrett is proud to be one of the longest established Block and Estate Managers in South East London and Kent and can assist with Right to Manage into Essex too. Established in 1910, we have a proven reputation for reality and consistency in the field of block and estate management, and can advise, assist and support you through the RTM process. Contact us on 0203 598 9665 or email Richard Bould at richard@jenningsandbarrett.co.uk to find out more.

(information obtained by lease-advice.org)

Jennings and Barrett Sponsor Bexley Business Excellence

Feb 21, 2017

Jennings and Barrett proud to sponsor 2017 Bexley Business Excellence Awards category

Jennings & Barrett are the proud sponsors of the Commitment to the Community category for the Bexley Business Excellence Awards 2017 in association with Ocado.

The sales and lettings specialists, who have offices in Erith and Sidcup, won the Best Employer for Apprentices category of the Awards in 2014. Now they are delighted to be supporting a key category in these important business community awards.

“We believe that our community needs good local businesses in order to thrive and that thriving communities are a good place to do business,” said Jennings and Barrett Director, Joanna Bould.

“Jennings and Barrett have been a part of the Bexley community, and doing business here for over 100 years, and we believe that businesses who are committed to the local community need to be celebrated. For this reason, we at Jennings and Barrett are thrilled to be sponsoring the Commitment to the Community category for the Bexley Business Excellence Awards 2017.”

Now in their fifth year, the Bexley Business Excellence Awards in association with Ocado have 13 categories for entry and firms can enter as many as they like.

After the judging and shortlisting process this spring, the winners will be announced at a glittering black-tie Gala Dinner at the Bexleyheath Marriott Hotel in June.

There is a simple three stage process for entering:

1. Register – Register your business online at www.bexleyawards.co.uk, indicating which categories you wish to enter. You will be able to complete the questionnaires online and can enter more than one category. Businesses will need to answer six questions but do not need to provide evidence at this stage. The closing date for entries is Friday 17 March 2017.

2. Selection – Our panel of judges will select a shortlist for each category.

3. Judging – Shortlisted businesses will be invited to complete a more in-depth questionnaire. This includes four questions and requires supporting evidence. Businesses will also attend a judging day for a 30 minute face-to-face interview.

Entry is free. Detailed criteria for each category can be found on the website.

With expert local knowledge Jennings & Barrett is proud to be a local business employing and training local people. Joanna Bould commented: “We were first involved with the Bexley Business Excellence Awards in 2014, when we won the category for the best employer for apprentices. We have found supporting young people coming into employment an exciting and positive process and enjoy watching them flourish.”

The 2017 Bexley awards, organised by White Label, are supported by Bexley for Business, the London Borough of Bexley, the Bexley Skills Charter, Bexleyheath BID, Bexley Times, MiddletonMurray, the Bexleyheath Marriott Hotel, Your Move Petty Freeman, and Jennings and Barrett.

There are still many opportunities for businesses to sponsor the Awards, including the categories for the Gala Dinner. For further details please contact Vivien Newbould (vnewbould@bexleyawards.co.uk) or call 0208 726 7968.

NAEA and ARLA Launch Propertymark

Feb 10, 2017

Jennings and Barrett were excited to be at the NAEA National Conference when they announced the launch of Propertymark. 

PRESS RELEASE: Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) are today moving into a new era, altering their emphasis from industry facing licensing to consumer protection with the launch of Propertymark.

The organisation speaks with a single voice and unites the interests of all its audiences.

For over fifty years, ARLA and NAEA have represented the professional property sector to key audiences within the industry, media and to policy makers. Consumers however have had little awareness of either organisation. Having listened to our members, and, given the significant challenges the industry is facing, it is clear, now more than ever before, the public needs far better understanding of how to choose a property agent that has the consumer’s interest at heart.

The new focus unifies the two organisations, as ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark.

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, and Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive, said: “Having a home is the most important issue for consumers and our members are there to protect and guide people with their property transactions. At present customers don’t know where to go for advice or can’t be sure if they are dealing with a professional. We are changing this. We will reach out to customers directly so they recognise Propertymark and understand that by using a Propertymark Protected agent they and their money are safe.

“Propertymark is a stamp of approval for consumers when they seek professional property expertise in buying, selling, renting, leasing, or valuing a property. It stands for protection for the consumer, and offers the highest standards and qualifications among property professionals. Propertymark Protected agents have opted for regulation in an unregulated sector, and provide reassurance for consumers as well as protection against rogue operators.”

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