Should I opt for Right To Manage or buy the freehold?
Both options put you in control. Buying your freehold, however, means you will never have to pay ground rent again. But buying the freehold is more expensive and more complicated than gaining the Right To Manage. For more detailed advice visit our pages on Buying Your Freehold or Right To Manage Company or simply contact us with your query.
How much will I pay for the freehold?
We can give you an indicative range if you tell us:
1. the number of years left on the lease,
2. the current value of your flat, and
3. the annual ground rent.
Just use the enquiry box on the right hand side of this screen and we’ll respond within 24 hours. If you have any questions or queries on freehold purchase please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You should also bear in mind your liability for the landlord’s reasonable costs which arise as a result of your freehold purchase. The eventual cost to each resident will be the share not only of the cost of the freehold but also the cost of both the freeholder’s costs and the leaseholders’ legal and valuation costs.
We have taken over the Right To Manage (RTM), but the landlord insists that they continue to insure the building. Is this correct?
No. Your RTM company has taken over the management functions of the landlord (and any management company that might have been in place). The management functions include the insurance of the building. However the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 specifically provides that the landlord is entitled to arrange additional insurance – at their own expense.
Is the Right To Manage (RTM) company responsible for chasing service charge arrears from before it took over management?
No. From the date it acquires management responsibilities the RTM company becomes entitled to demand service charges. The landlord will therefore remain responsible to collect ‘previous’ arrears unless the RTM company has otherwise agreed with the landlord to collect them.
Can I ask the landlord to provide the names of the other leaseholders so I can invite them to participate in the RTM process?
It is only the RTM company that can insist on the landlord providing the names of the other leaseholders for this purpose. This can be a problem because you will be unable to exercise the Right To Manage if you do not have sufficient numbers of qualifying leaseholders interested in taking part. We suggest that you try to get this information from the occupiers of the flats or from the Land Registry.
What is a reserve or sinking fund?
A reserve or sinking fund is a fund collected over a period of time to be used for a specific purpose such as a large scheme of work. This could be a replacement lift, external redecoration or other large spend. The aim is to split the cost over a longer period of time to avoid a very large bill in one service charge year. Your landlord can only set up such a fund if the lease allows it.
How can I find out what my service charge pays for?
Under Sections 21 and 22 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 you have the right to request a summary of the service charge account and to inspect receipts & accounts in relation to the last accounting year. You need to write to your landlord or managing agent and request a summary.
The summary should be provided within one month of your request and should be certified by a qualified accountant. Once you have received the summary, you have the legal right to inspect documents as a follow-up to provide more detail on the summary.
Within six months of receipt of the summary you may write to the landlord or managing agent requiring them to allow you access to inspect the accounts & receipts. Facilities for inspecting the documents should be provided within one month of your request and should be available for two months.
Can the landlord make a profit from repairs to the building?
No. Unless (rarely) the lease allows this. Usually the lease simply provides for the landlord to recover expenditure on maintenance, repair and upkeep of the building, including management costs. The landlord is reimbursed for his expenditure, but is not given the opportunity to make a profit from the management.
Where can I get a copy of my lease?
This should have been given to you by your conveyancer when you purchased the property. Where there is a mortgage on the property it can be obtained from the mortgage lender. The Land registry will also hold a copy. Please note that an administration fee may be charged for providing a copy of the lease.
Where can I find a concise, impartial guide to Right To Manage?
Click on the link to get an excellent guide to the Right To Manage produced by the government organisation LEASE. The guide is easy to read, well structured, and has sufficient detail to tell you whether the Right To Manage is for you and your block.