Advice please

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    Advice please

    I live in a block of (11) privately owned flats.
    I am a resident and a director of the flats maintenance company.
    About 5 years ago, the company engaged the services of a local estate agency to purely run the maintenance side.
    So They just collect the monthly fees and look after the maintenance
    Our contact is the MD of that estate agency.

    Through an incident that occurred in mid-Jan that aroused my suspicions, I asked him if I could see a statement and 2 suspicious invoices.
    He wouldn't let me see anything.

    I am very, very disabled, in a wheelchair and just on benefits.

    I involved the local CAB, and we agreed not to do anything until the end of the financial year, and then I was to ask him for an appointment to view all the 2018/19 financial documentation.

    I have and he still won't let me.

    He holds all files concerning the maintenance company, so I can't view anything.

    He has also said that I can see things, belong to the company, but I must pay him first.
    (He knows my money is tight and I doubt he would be forthcoming anyway.)


    This is a leaseholder owned RMC?

    How many other directors are there, and do your suspicions involve any of them?

    The managing agents work for the management company, and all information they have should therefore be given to the comthey's directors on demand.


      Report this matter to the other leaseholders in the block , the Housing Officer at your local Council and to your local MP.


        Just suspicious of the management company.

        The Man Co manager runs a local estate agency. He or them have nothing else to do with the building

        He won't let me see any company documents, only the annual accounts.
        I have asked to see documents, but he demands I pay him first and then he just ignores my requests.

        I have pointed out that these are company documents and I have a right to see them, but he just ignores me

        I really don't know what to do.
        As for the other residents/lease holders, they don't want to get involved
        I called a residents meeting the other week and out of 11 flats, 2 people showed up!
        They just can't be bothered,

        I very much doubt my local MP or the Council would be interested.


          Don't hold doubts in your mind . You don't seem to know or understand the power of being a director of a block of flats maintenance company . The Director can serve notice and terminate the agent for failing to comply to the "RICS Residential Management Code".

          You can report your problem to your local MP and ask if your MP is a member of APPG ( for leasehold reform ) and for your problem to be raised to the next meeting of All Party Parliamentary Group ( which has 160 MPs joined up ) in Parliament .

          You can get more information from the leaseholdknowledge website. You can sign the petition for ending the leasehold system and wants to add your name to the 25K names so far. Look for the thread started by Michelle on this forum.

          You can report your problem to the Trading Standards at your local council and the Housing Officer has powers to prosecute under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 ( difficult to happen due to no budget ) .

          You can report your problem to HMRC ( Money Laundering Office ) at Swindon ? Estate Agents . Surveyors and Solicitors are now regulated under the Money Laundering Act.

          If you are Director of the Maintenance Company , you have power as Director to serve notice to terminate the agents service agreement and appoint another firm. But before you do this, get quotes from 3 prospective managing agents and call a meeting of leaseholders to pass a proposal to change the current managing agent.

          You can search the maintenance company details for your name as Director at Companies House website.


            There is no legislation that writes a clause into managing agents that allows them to be cancelled for failure to comply with the RICS code. Failing to comply with the legislation that underlies the mandatory parts of the code might be a different matter, but even then your right might only be to compensation for actual losses.

            When you talk about payment, is this payment for the service of providing the documents, or payment for the whole service. Typical MA contracts allow the agent to hold onto information if you fail to pay their fees, but it would be a very bad contract that allowed them to charge extra for the information that should be providing anyway. Basically, any sensible contract would include providing access to such documents in the standard fee.


              As a director, you are entitled to inspect the records of the management company and the agent is not entitled to impose conditions.

              The records belong to the management company and the agent is no more than that, he acts and holds information on behalf of the management company.

              You should check the management agreement, the ARMA model agreement states

              “The Manager will, during working hours and with 24 hours’ notice at all reasonable times allow the Client access to all records and accounts appertaining to the management of the Property.”

              It also states

              “The Client may end this agreement at any time in writing if:

              (a) The Manager is in breach of this agreement, and the Client has notified the Manager of that

              breach in writing, and the breach has continued for 30 days after that notice”

              The managing agent may well be in breach of the management agreement.

              As you are a director, I suggest that you ask your fellow directors to call a meeting in order to serve notice on the manager if he is in breach of the agreement. You do have the power to serve notice yourself but it is better to act in accordance with a decision made at a meeting of directors.

              I agree with Gordon999 that you should report the problem to your local MP. The local council is unlikely to get involved so I would not contact them.


                An individual director doesn't have power to serve notice without authority form the board as a whole. However, third parties are not expected to actively research whether they have that authority, so can act on that notice as though it had been validly authorised. This is more general, e.g. a company buyer can make a purchase and without the seller having to check they have the authority to make that purchase; they just need a reasonable belief that they have the authority.

                If anyone does act without that authority, they are personally liable to the company, but company is bound by their actions.


                  An individual director does have the power to act on behalf of the company and the directors can ratify the decision at a later meeting. If a managing agent is not acting in accordance with an agreement or in the best interests of the company, it is difficult to see any valid objection being raised by the other directors.


                    I think a very disabled director is at some disadvantage and needs a couple of other leaseholders present to act as bodyguards at the meeting to discuss change of managing agent.
                    But the other directors of the maintenance company should support you. They could ask for a copy of those documents which you want to see.


                      The thing is, there is 4 directors.
                      An old lady who doesn't want to be a director or get involved.
                      2 other men who don't live in the property and don't want to get involved.

                      So I am stuck.

                      Our local MP is Anne Marie Morris , who is utterly useless.
                      I have written to he twicer b4. About 2 or 3 times each time.
                      Both to do with my disability. (I'm in a wheelchair.)
                      Once I had no reply at all, and the other time I had a letter from her secretary to say she was "too busy."

                      I can't confirm what the contract says about his role as he either won't let me see it and/or demands payment first

                      Can I use the part of the Companies Act that states

                      386Duty to keep accounting records

                      (1)Every company must keep adequate accounting records.

                      (2)Adequate accounting records means records that are sufficient—

                      (a)to show and explain the company's transactions,

                      (b)to disclose with reasonable accuracy, at any time, the financial position of the company at that time, and

                      (c)to enable the directors to ensure that any accounts required to be prepared comply with the requirements of this Act (and, where applicable, of Article 4 of the IAS Regulation).

                      Is this being breached?

                      ​​​​​​​From his emails, I get the impression that he feels that he is above any legislation and that I cannot do anything.


                        You only have a problem if the other directors are active and they disagree with you. I suggest that you inform the other directors that there will be a directors meeting and if they do not attend, you can make a decision to terminate the management agreement.

                        s386 CA 2006 does not help you. You do not know if the accounting records are inadequate and any legal action would be against the Company, not against the agent,


                          As I have said the other directors don't want to get involved and they won't attend a meeting.

                          What about the Landlord and Tennant Act?
                          Does he not act as a landlord in relation to the collection of the monthly maintenance fee?

                          What about this ARMA thing?

                          There must be something I can do as all documents belong to the company, not him!
                          He won't let me see anything.

                          WHAT CAN I DO?


                            It is being breached, but the breach is by the directors, not the agent.

                            If the lady doesn't want to be a director and she knows she is not capable of being one, she should resign.

                            The other two ought to resign, but may leave you with a constitutional crisis. Note, whilst they are directors, they must at least vote on resolutions, otherwise you already have a constitutional crisis, as you have no way of making valid company decisions.

                            Is it possible to get at least two of the others to sign a written resolution. Rubber stamping defeats the reason for having multiple directors and they will be failing in their duties by doing so, but it might be a way (you really did believe they were using independent judgement, when signing, didn't you?).

                            I think you are pushing things in terms of the agent being a landlord, but, in any case it comes down to the same problem; they company needs to take action against the agent.

                            michelle230 This is a good example of why commonhold will not work.


                              You should hold a directors meeting on your own if the other directors do not attend. Ask them for a proxy vote if they cannot attend. Check the Articles to see how many directors are required to form a quorum. You can appoint other directors at the meeting if necessary. You can then make a decision to serve a notice on the managing agent.

                              You can try complaining to ARMA if the managing agent is a member or you can make a formal complaint to him.


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