Challenge landlord (local housing authority) on the property management services

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    Challenge landlord (local housing authority) on the property management services

    Hi all,

    Context
    - 4-storey building in London, total of 15 flats: all qualifying tenants with mixed of leaseholders / shared ownership
    - Landlord is Metropolitan Housing Association
    - Building is managed by a branch of the Metropolitan Housing Association
    - Built 15 years ago, long lease (about 100 years)
    - Only private residents, no council tenants, no commercial property, landlord does not live in the building

    The problem is that all long tenants are dissatisfied with the property management carried out by Metropolitan Housing Association.

    Ideally we (all qualifying tenants) would set up a RTM company and be fully in control of the services provided (repairs, cleaning, gardening, etc).
    Given that the landlord Metropolitan is a local housing authority I can't figure out how to challenge effectively (legally?) the services provided (despite numerous complaints emails, calls, etc).
    It seems also impossible to request the appointment of a new manager, for the same reason above.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    #2
    You can challenge the costs at an FTT, if you can all get together you may have good resources to fund the fees and make a good case.

    What items of the service charge do you specifically want to challenge ?
    Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

    I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

    It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

    Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Andy. I want basically to challenge some additional costs incurred without leaseholders consent on some services provided not required to me and poor services performed by their contractors. We have also some requests to add value to the building, such as installing a storage bike and a CCTV, but they don't consider responding or making improvements to the building. It seems to me that it's a long and costly procedure to go at a FTT.

      Why can't a RTM be established when the majority of flat are private owners or owned partially their flat? Can it be challenged?

      Comment


        #4
        RTM is not applicable to a Local Housing Authority, which is under a local council.

        In Ireland and the United Kingdom, housing associations are private, non-profit making organisations that provide low-cost "social housing" for people in need of a home.

        I suggest you send an enquiry about setting up RTM to legal advisor ( www.lease-advice.org ) .

        Comment


          #5
          Housing Ombudsman after following the HA complaints process will probably help with getting the complaints and lack of effective management dealt with.

          Comment


            #6
            You can complain directly..include evidence of how costs could of been less or where the work is poor etc. All management companies must belong to a redress scheme so thats your next step..and I assume the council must have a complaints process too.

            https://www.gov.uk/government/public...edress-schemes

            Yes FTT can be a bit pricey..although if successful you can get fees and costs back in certain circumstances....you could also force them to start the claim by not paying..but this is generally not advisable, a better path might be to withold sums you think excessive and/or not payable.

            One possible option is to see if a tenant is unemployed/on benefits and eligible for a fees waver...and they put in the claim.
            Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

            I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

            It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

            Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
              RTM is not applicable to a Local Housing Authority, which is under a local council.

              In Ireland and the United Kingdom, housing associations are private, non-profit making organisations that provide low-cost "social housing" for people in need of a home.

              I suggest you send an enquiry about setting up RTM to legal advisor ( www.lease-advice.org ) .
              Do you mean that a RTM is possible when building is owned by a housing association?

              Comment


                #8
                A lot of landlord and tenant legislation doesn't apply to housing associations. I'd be surprised if RTM was possible.

                Also, shared ownership is actually a situation in which the primary leaseholder is the housing association and they sub-let (on a long lease) to the actual tenant, with a reduced premium and a high rent, by normal leasehold standards. As such, the actual tenant doesn't have a half share in a leasehold title, but a whole share in a subordinate leasehold title.

                Comment


                  #9
                  See item 3 in the free guide on RTM - https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/right-manage/

                  Send your email enquiry to LEASE asking if "housing association" is separate from "Local Housing Authority" for the purpose of setting up RTM.

                  Alternatively, you can consider setting up a "Residents Association" for your block and ask recognition by the Housing Association.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The definition is given in https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/68/section/1 and doesn't seem to include housing associations.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/15/section/75 would appear to say that, in the case of shared ownership, the housing association's long lease sub-tenant is the qualifying tenant, not the housing association.

                      Comment

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