Freeholders and landlords are probably not your friendly elder family or nice lady that lives on the premise with you and exchange pleasantries when you meet around the neighbourhood. In our day and age, a landlord most probably means a developing company, a pension trust, a group of investors, or mixed entity of all the above and more.
That being said, laws and rules that form the relationship between leaseholders and freeholders are very malleable and leave room for interpretation with every change in government and parliament. Throughout this year, and roughly since 2016, there has been an increasing demand of leasehold advice by leaseholders that want to have more insurance and control of their contracts and properties.Power in numbers?
A common, and age old practice when a group of people are facing the same challenge, is to unite to solve the problem and take charge. Anyone who has been in this situation, any conveyancer, legal aid firm, or property management expert would probably ask if you have considered forming some kind of association or managing company.
Begin where others have ended
On the course of any good leasehold advice, one will encounter many forms of residents’ associations. The most updated and advanced form of them all is the RTM; Right-To-Manage Company.
This form of managing company is best when a group of residents are trying to take control of managing their homes and common areas of a development. Since it doesn’t require consent from the freeholder, an RTM is a great solution in those cases where you have already went back and forth with the freeholder on issues like third party ownership sellouts, service charges, illegal contract changes, poor maintenance, and appointment of management.
Another advantage to forming in an RTM is that, you need as little as 50% of the leaseholders to form one and make it fully legal. In case of huge developments, all residents have to be served the notice of formation but there is no need for hundreds of people to vote for the decisions. Finally, since 2002, if formed under the right legal procedure as a formal company, any and all disputes with the freeholder can be taken to an official tribunal and is obligatory to the developer or landlord.