How Does Right to Manage Actually Work?

There are qualifying rules laid forth in the Act which provide criteria that must be met, by both the property in question and also those residing within.  The qualifying rules are found within Sections 72 – 77 of Chapter 1, however in short the main items are:

  • The property must be a self-contained building, or part of a building, either with or without surrounding estate areas.
  • At least 50% of the leaseholders within the property must sign up for the process and become members of the RTM Company.
  • At least two thirds of the leaseholders within the property must have long leases (a long lease being defined as having a term greater than 21 years at the time of issue).
  • No more than 25% of the property may be used for non-residential use (excluding car parks/garages and common areas associated with the flats).

In general, meeting the above requirements means there is a good probability that the Right to Manage process would succeed for the property, although it would be wise to seek the advice and input of a professional party first, such as an experienced managing agent, with respect to the specific circumstances surrounding your property and the obligations the Right to Manage Company would inherit.

As with many things in life, the Right to Manage process has the potential to be either relatively straightforward, or somewhat complex.  This can depend on a number of factors, including the research carried out before the process is commenced, the accuracy when undertaking the procedure, and even the actions of the Landlord during and after, the latter party often wanting to frustrate matters.  A successful Right to Manage process starts off with as much knowledge about the property and its residents as possible.  This can be gained either from what is already known by the existing residents or from Government organisations such as the Land Registry, for example the owner names and registered addresses for each flat in the property.

Philip Sherreard AIRPM is Head of Property & Systems at Sterling Estates Management Ltd