Landlord/Leaseholder disputes, where a Managing Agent has been appointed

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    Landlord/Leaseholder disputes, where a Managing Agent has been appointed

    I own the freehold on a property consisting of my house, adjoined by two apartments, one of top of the other, connected by a communal lobby and having a communal bin store at the end of the building. There are long leases on both apartments and leaseholders occupy them.
    When I purchased the property 3 years ago and realised the complex nature of managing such a property and collecting service charges etc, I made the decision to appoint a Managing Agent.
    I also contribute to the service charge (not sure that is correct).
    The Managing Agent has given terrible service and now the leaseholders are hounding me to sort all the issues out and hold me responsible for responding to their complaints.
    I have escalated the complaints to the Managing Agent and they are investigating, the MD is now involved, but the Leaseholders are insisting on me replying to their complaints.
    Do I personally have to respond to them, or am I entitled to expect the Managing Agent to deal with the whole issue under their complaints procedure?
    They use demanding and letigous language in their emails to me and I’m getting stressed by it all.

    #2
    If you have appointed a managing agent which is giving terrible service, then you are responsible for the appointment and you have powers to replace the managing agent by another agent .

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      #3
      The key word is "agent", the managing agent is simply acting on your behalf. The leases will require you to carry out certain obligations and if you don't the leaseholders will have a claim against you, not against your agent. It is in your best interests to communicate with the leaseholders, understand their complaints and either ensure that the agent deals with them or replace the agent as suggested by Gordon.

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        #4
        Thank you, I have met the MD of the Managing Agent on site and discussed all the issues and he has prepared a good response and promised to put all the issues right, but the leaseholders are insisting that the response to the complaints come from me, not the Managing Agent.

        Are they being pedantic?

        Should I just instruct the Agent to send the response?

        Do you consider it acceptable to also provide the leaseholders with the Agents full complaints procedure, which includes ombudsman assessment and FTT if required?

        Comment


          #5
          No , not pedantic.

          The Lease is contracted between you and the leaseholders and not contracted with the Managing Agent which you have said " given terrible service". The Managing Agent is probably giving terrible service to other blocks of flats. You should be replacing the current managing agent by a better agent because the service charge account is paid by the leaseholders.

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            #6
            There is no reason why the agent cannot contact the leaseholders on your behalf and the leaseholders rights should be explained to them It will be up to you however to ensure that the agent does deal with the problems and to change the agent if necessary. Some direct communication with the leaseholders will help you to avoid the problems from escalating, for example you may wish to ask them if they consider that the agent's service is improving in order to support your own view,

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