Top Frequently Asked Questions?

Can I manage my own block of flats?

Yes, most people can manage their block of flats. Have a look at our RTM page for more details.

Can I buy the Freehold of my block of flats?

Yes, for more information on how to become a Freeholder of your block of flats, take a look at our Lease Enfranchisement page.

Water has leaked into my flat from the flat above and caused damage to my property. What do I do?

The cause of the leak will need to be identified and then whoever is responsible for repairing it under the terms of the lease. The damage may be covered on the buildings insurance.

If the Leaseholder or occupier of the flat above has been negligent or failed to take appropriate action following the leak, Right 2 Manage may be able to pursue a claim against them for any uninsured losses.

If the leak was caused by a communal or shared pipe, the repair costs may be recovered as a service charge. However, this depends on the circumstances.

How can I find out what my service charges are being used for?

Under Sections 21 and 22 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA 1985) tenants have the right to request a summary of service charge accounts and to inspect all receipts and accounts relating to them in the last accounting year (where accounts are not kept by accounting years, the past 12 months preceding the request).

Ask your Property Managing Agent or Landlord to request copies of expenditure receipts. The summary of what has been spent should be provided within one month of your request (or within six months of the end of the accounting period - whichever is the later).

If there are more than four dwellings in the building, your Managing Agent must provide a set of accounts for the whole block. The accounts should also be certified by a qualified accountant. You’re also entitled to inspect copies of any other documents that may be relevant to the service charge.

Make an appointment with your Property Managing Agent or Property Manager and they should give you access to all documentation.

You may also have additional rights to information under the terms of your lease and other legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act.

What can I do if my neighbours are continuously noisy? It’s affecting the way in which I enjoy my property...

Generally, there would be covenants in the lease regarding causing a nuisance or annoyance to other occupants of the building. The lease will set out how the covenants can be enforced.

On behalf of the Landlord, your Managing Agents have the power to enforce covenants within the lease. This means that a Leaseholder will generally need to instruct the Managing Agents, on behalf of the Landlord, to enforce the covenants against another Leaseholder and where required by the lease indemnify the Landlord against the costs involved.

If you are experiencing problems with your neighbours, it’s always a good idea to keep a diary of events including times, dates as Right 2 Managell as who is involved and what the disturbance is.  

In some leases certain covenants may be mutually enforceable. This means that a Leaseholder could take legal action directly against another Leaseholder for breach of covenant.

In the first instance, it is always advisable to try to resolve the matter amicably perhaps through mediation.

What is a service charge?

A service charge is a charge that you are liable to pay under the lease. Normally, it covers the cost of items such as property maintenance, insurance of the building, property repair services and other additional services including communal central heating, lifts, lighting and cleaning of common areas, gardening, etc. The charges may also include the costs of Property Management and any contributions to a reserve fund.

What is a reserve or sinking fund?

A reserve or sinking fund is a fund collected over a period of time for a specific purpose, such as carrying out a large scheme of work. This could include roof renewal, external redecoration or other large expenditure. The aim is to split the cost over a longer period of time to avoid a very large bill in one service charge year. Such a fund can only be set up if the lease allows it.

Am I entitled to recover any money I have paid into a reserve or sinking fund if I sell my flat?

Contributions to the reserve/ sinking funds are generally not repayable when a flat is sold, unless the lease states so.

What is the Section 20 consultation process for major works?

If major works over a certain cost are required, the law requires that Leaseholders paying variable service charges must be consulted before a Landlord carries out any works above a certain value.  Detailed regulations have been produced by the Government under Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended by S.151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002), which set precise procedures Landlords must follow, these are the Service Charges (Consultation Requirements) (England) Regulations 2003 (‘the Regulations’).  Landlords must consult lessees if works under the Section 20 will cost over £250.00 (including VAT) for any one Leaseholder.  This includes repairs, maintenance and improvements to your building and estate.

The Section 20 consultation process generally has three stages:

• A notice of intention
• Notification of estimates
• Notification of award of contract

Notice of intent:

A notice of intention must be sent to each Leaseholder and the secretary of the recognized tenants association (RTA), if there is one. The notice must describe in general terms the works proposed, or specify a (reasonable) place and hours at which a description may be inspected.
The notice should also give the reasons why it is necessary to carry out the proposed works and invite observations in writing within 30 days. Where applicable, it should also inform Leaseholders of their right to nominate a contractor. The Landlord must have regard to any observation received by the due date and seek estimates from nominated contractors where applicable.

Notice of estimates:

The notice of estimates must be sent to each Leaseholder and the recognized tenants association, if there is one. It must include details of at least two estimates. The Landlord must invite observations in writing within 30 days and must have regard to any observations received.

Notification of award of contract:

This notice should be given within 21 days of entering into the contract. It must contain the reasons for the award of the contract and give a summary of the Leaseholders’ observations regarding the estimates or provide a place at which these could be inspected. This notice is not required where:

• The contract has been awarded to a contractor nominated by a Leaseholder or recognized tenants association (RTA)
• The contract has been awarded to the contractor with the lurid tender.

What is the timescale for organizing and authorizing necessary maintenance work?

For minor day-to-day property management, Right 2 Manage may use our own in-house maintenance team or the contracted maintenance tradesmen. Right 2 Manage aim to respond as quickly as possible to remedy all maintenance issues.

Right 2 Manage have a policy of only appointing local and referenced contractors who are known to us as being reliable, reasonably priced and provide work to a satisfactory standard.  

In cases of emergency, that need to be addressed without delay, Right 2 Manage are able to respond very quickly using our comprehensive database of 24 hour emergency contractors.

As part of our service, Right 2 Manage carry out quarterly inspections on all the blocks, which highlights maintenance issues. It’s also imperative that all lessees inform us of maintenance problems as soon as is reasonably possible.

What can we expect with regards to annual meetings?

If an AGM is required, Right 2 Manage prepare a draft agenda which is sent out to all lessees and a date/time agreed.  Proxy votes are also sent out with the draft agenda.  Items generally for discussion at the AGM include confirmation of the minutes of the previous AGM, receive and adopt the accounts, nominate directors if there is a residents’ association, discuss the forecasted budget for the ensuing year and any other items on the agenda and conclude with any other business.

The minutes are taken by the R2M representative at the meeting and distributed to all lessees when available (normally within a couple of days).

Right 2 Manage are also available for any extraordinary meeting that may be required, however a charge may apply to cover our time.

What is the transfer protocol for both joining and leaving your Right 2 Manage, including any fees that might be incurred?

Information required prior to instruction:

1. Copy of the lease(s)
2. Copy of the current Insurance Schedule including the renewal date and details of any claims.
3. Details of current contractors, e.g. window cleaners, cleaners, gardeners, etc., the cost of these services and copies of their contracts.
4. Statement of payments from lessees detailing any arrears.
5. Copy of previous management accounts for the last 3 years.
6. Copy of the estimated annual budget for the current year.
7. Details of utility company service providers.
8. Copy of the most recent Electrical Installation Condition Report.
9. Copy of the existing Fire Certificate (if applicable).
10. Copy of the latest Health & Safety Risk Assessment.
11. Copy of an Asbestos Survey (if applicable).
12. Keys for common parts.
13. Any guarantees for works carried out to the building, i.e. replacement gutters.
14. A copy of any maintenance contract details.

Our appointment is on a minimum 12 month contract.  After 12 months, should you decide that you wish to go elsewhere, Right 2 Manage require 6 months notice in writing.  Generally, Right 2 Manage are able to have all the paperwork available for handover in 3 months, however, there are some instances where it will take longer due to the amount of work involved, hence the 6 month notice period.

What would need to change regarding our current bank account including signatories?

Right 2 Manage hold individual bank accounts for each of the blocks Right 2 Manage manage.  These are currently with Lloyds Bank and Right 2 Manage continued to negotiate free banking for these accounts, which can be quite a substantial saving. Right 2 Manage recently took over the management of a small block of 4 flats which has benefitted from a saving of £200.00 per year on bank charges.

You would simply close your existing account and transfer funds over to the new account.

What happens when my lease runs out?

The fact that the lease has expired does not mean that you have to leave the property. Unless you or your Landlord takes specific steps to end the tenancy, it will simply continue on exactly the same terms. You do not need to do anything unless you receive a notice from your Landlord for the tenancy to actually come to an end either:

• You formally surrender the tenancy if you choose to do so, or:
• The Landlord serves a prescribed notice for you to gain possession of the property. The Landlord will need a court order to gain possession of the property, or:
• The Landlord may serve a prescribed notice proposing an assured periodic tenancy, where you pay a monthly rent.

If none of the above has occurred you are still holding over as a tenant and it may still be possible to extend the lease or buy the freehold.

Right 2 Manage Dorset Ltd
Company Number 7134334
10 Albany Business Park
Cabot Lane, Poole, Dorset, BH17 7 BX
Tel: 01202 640336
Email: enquiries@right2manageltd.co.uk