Why claim your Right to Manage?
If you live in a block of flats and do not have a say in who runs that block then you can benefit from the Right to Manage process. The right is available to all flat owners, in all blocks, where they fulfil the following criteria:
- At least 50% of the flat owners within the physical block of flats must want to go through the process.
- At least two thirds of the flat owners within the physical block must have long leases ( more than 21 years at the time of issue).
- No more than 25% of the block may be used for non-residential use (excludes car parks and common areas connected with the flats).
If your block fulfils these criteria then it is highly likely you will be able to go through the Right To Manage process with 100% success. There are a small number of technical legalities that can prevent some being eligible so you should discuss with our sales team beforehand whether to progress your claim as one claim or several for your complex.
If you find that you are not eligible for the process, we may be able to help by offering to assess the issue you have for a fixed fee and then in come cases, it may be possible to make an application to the First Tier Property Tribunal - please contact our
Sales Team for further information.
Other Costs & Information
There are a few other things that you must know before proceeding with the Right to Manage process:
The freeholder’s reasonable legal costs
If you go through the process, you are liable to pay the reasonable legal costs of the freeholder. These, in our experience are claimed in most cases so you need to ensure you are prepared for the possibility of additional costs. This is, however, a charge levied by the freeholder’s solicitors and so we would have no control over this. If they do levy a charge and you consider it too high then you can apply to the First Tier Property Tribunal for them to determine this. We can do this for you but only if you are successful in the Right to Manage claim and we are appointed as managers for your block.
First Tier Property Tribunal
If a counter notice is received then an application must be made to the First Tier Property Tribunal. There is no alternative to this, even though it is highly likely that the freeholder will have no valid reason for the counter notice. Canonbury charges £1500 including VAT for the preparation of the application and attendance to the hearing. It is always advisable to attend the application to argue the case otherwise all details may not be fully considered by the panel. As we have all the information to hand, applications are likely to be cheaper and more accurate than those prepared by a solicitor. The application should be made immediately as there are time limits, so we would advise that you decide promptly. In the rare event that your claim may not be successful at the tribunal, you would be liable to pay the reasonable legal costs of the freeholder in attending the hearing. We would estimate that these are likely to be around £1500 + VAT but in some cases they could be higher.
Canonbury Management has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this field and much of this information is on our website. We constantly review the data on the site following reviews of case law, however, if you can’t find the answers you are looking for, please give us a call on 0207 1188 400 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our experienced staff members will get back to you.
Frequently asked questions about Right To Manage
How long does the Right to Manage process take?
The Right To Manage process takes 5 months from payment of the invoice to you receiving your final letter from us. If the freeholder contests the claim then it may take a further 3¬–4 months for the LVT application to be concluded.
Do we need a solicitor for this process?
The simple answer to this is NO and we would advise against using them for this process. We are a specialist legal service provider and will have more experience in this field than a firm of solicitors as we conduct around 85% of all RTM claims at the time of writing. We have done more RTM Claims than any other company and have a 98% success rate for this process. Our applications to the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTT), in the event of a counter notice having been provided by the freeholder, are prepared by qualified barristers, and our experienced staff will attend the hearing to ensure that your claim has the best prospect of success.
Do I have to pay the reasonable legal costs of the freeholder and what might they be?
Yes, the law requires that you pay the reasonable legal costs of the freeholder and we would say that costs should be around £600 + £25 per flat up to a cap of £3000. If costs are higher than this formula then you may want to consider making an application to the LVT to have the reasonableness of the costs assessed.
What are the legal responsibilities of the RTM Company and its directors?
The directors of the RTM Company have the normal responsibilities of any limited company, however, they also are responsible for the maintenance of the building as the freeholder would have been before. They effectively replace the freeholder with regard to insurance and maintenance. We would always advise you outsource this role to a managing agent, as they will have the necessary systems, expertise and insurance cover to assist in the collection of revenues, and insurance and maintenance arrangements.
Should we continue to pay service charges during the RTM process?
We recommend that the service charges continue to be paid to the incumbent agent during the RTM process to ensure continuity of services.
What annual returns do we have to file for the company?
Our advice would be to appoint a managing agent who can take care of these matters for you and would allow you to make the company dormant and thereby reduce accounting costs. If you decide to manage the building yourself, you will need to file annual accounts and an annual return and you would be responsible for the maintenance of the statutory register of members and filing of HMRC tax returns for the bare trust.
What happens after we have filled in our online questionnaire with Canonbury?
We will then set up your property and create invoices online for you to pay. If you have given us your email address, you will receive a username and password and a copy of the invoice. You can then pay by telephone banking or log in to our website and pay your outstanding bill. If you do not have email, you will receive an invoice in the post that can be settled by BACs payment or telephone banking. All payment details are shown on your invoice.
What happens if a counter notice is received?
Unfortunately, at this point, the matter must be referred to the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTT) but we will notify you if this happens. We can also complete the application to the LVT for you for a fee of £1500 including VAT. This figure includes not only the preparation of any legal and factual arguments, but production of the 6 bundles required by the LVT and attendance at the hearing by our experienced staff so that you have the best chance of success.
After the RTM Process has been completed, how do we get our money from the managing agent?
This is a potentially complicated process for a lay person to conduct and we would strongly advise appointing a managing agent such as ourselves to complete this for you. If there are more than 10 flats, we would suggest that the accounting involved would necessitate the use of an agent with good systems to complete the ongoing management and obtain historical fees. If you still wish to do this, you may find some references on our website useful, however, we cannot advise further unless you sign up for our management services.
We don’t have everyone’s details in our building – does this matter?
Our advice would be that as soon as you have 50% participation in the RTM process, it should be started. The cost is usually recovered very quickly and it could be false economy if you hold out until every last person is willing to go through the process. Non-participating lessees should not be looked upon as freeloaders in this process. They are simply, for whatever reason, not eager or willing to participate and we would recommend going ahead with the numbers that are, so long as you meet the 50% criteria.
What about our eligibility for the process?
We will check the land registry for the lease length. We rely on you to provide the data we request in the RTM Questionnaire accurately and to confirm that no more than 25% of the building’s non-common parts are set to commercial use. We will also rely on you to provide the correct names of the persons who are participating in the process and to provide the name and address of the freeholder for legal service, which is only available on your service charge bill or ground rent bill. Whilst we can check some data against the HM Land Registry, you are responsible for the provision of the data and must ensure it is accurate. We do check names and flats but there are cases where leasehold flats are not registered.
What information can we expect from you and when?
We will send you login details within one working day of you having providing us with a completed questionnaire. You will then need to login and pay the outstanding invoices or you can pay these by BACs to our bank account using the details provided in the invoice we send to you. You can follow the progress of the RTM claim online in your secure area and our systems will issue you with a copy of the claim notice and a letter indicating if a counter notice has been received or otherwise, if the process has been successful. All other documents are shown online, however, we do not provide these by email or post to you.
Any other questions?
If you have any other questions, please email or telephone through to us and our sales staff or client services team will be pleased to assist.
Why use Canonbury to obtain the Right to Manage?
There are a number of reasons to choose Canonbury for your right to manage process:
- Up-to-date Legislation process checked for compliance with The Right to Manage (Prescribed Particulars and Forms) (England) Regulations 2010 (No. 825).
- Up-to-date Legislation process checked for compliance with the Companies Act 2006 (c.46).
- Full Directors Register to Comply with 2006 Companies Act.
- We offer a full personal advice service for the Right to Manage process. Just call 0207 1188 400.
- We are the most used RTM service provider - we form over 85% of all Right to Manage Companies and this percentage is growing.
- Fewer LVT applications - Our automated process reduces the potential for your claim to require an application to the First Tier Property
- 99% Success - 99% of our Right to Manage claims have resulted in success for our clients.
- Duplicate claim notices sent – we send all claim notices to the freeholder by both regular post and recorded delivery and provide you with access to the recorded delivery tickets online.
- All documentation online – We provide access to all documents online so you can provide these to your new manager or have easy access for reference. These include M&A, certificates and registers.
- Online Updates– We provide online updates and advise you by email if the claim is successful or if an application to the LVT is required.
- Qualified Legal Staff – Our LVT applications are prepared by qualified barristers who are specialists in this area and we provide staff who attend the right to manage determination hearings on your behalf to ensure you have the best chances.
- Statutory Register Production – We produce all statutory register documents which are required under Company law so that your company starts off on the right footing.
- Post RTM Service – We forward correspondence sent to us for a 3 month period after the Right to Manage has completed, even where you do not use us for management.
- We are the cheapest – if you find a cheaper provider, we will undercut them by 10%.
- We are the fastest – our automated process guarantees that no time is lost from
start to finish.
- We are the best - our automated system reduces the risk of human error in the legal
- We have £3m of professional indemnity cover per claim.
- We can save you money on management in almost all cases.