Right to manage meetings


TUESDAY 31st JANUARY 2017 AT 7pm



Briony Waite, Chairperson, HKRA (Flats) Committee Flat 242
Martin Smith, Treasurer, HKRA (Flats) Committee Flat 217
Ann McPhee, Secretary, HKRA (Flats) Committee Flat 239
Christine Pankhurst, HKRA (Flats) Committee member Flat 249
Lizanne Harland, HKRA (Flats) Committee member Flat 232
Dave Watson, HKRA (Flats) Committee member Flat 275
Don Brown, HKRA (Flats) Committee member Flat 259
Les Cooper, HKRA (Flats) Committee member Flat 209
Matthew Montagu-Pollock, HKRA (Flats) Committee member Flat 235
Russell Murchie Flat 234
Di Watson Flat 275
Peter Barber Flat 240
Peter Anderton Flat 211
Raj Kapoor Flat 225
Kumari Kapoor Flat 248
Yvette Mayer Flat 250
David Langston Flat 276
Georgina Connolly Flat 276
Philip Cox Flat 252
Andrew Bell Flat 227
Sheelagh Bell Flat 227

Mark Griffiths, solicitor
Nathan Hockenhull, Crown Leasehold Management

1) Welcome and introductions

Briony Waite welcomed everyone and explained that the meeting is about taking control, not necessarily dissatisfaction with Hillcrest Estate Management. Right to Manage would enable lessees to be part of the decision-making process concerning site projects and management of the development. Long-term outcomes require careful, considered planning and management needs to be pro-active, not just reactive.

2) Reasons for deciding to consider Right to Manage (RTM)

She explained that currently HKRA (Flats) has no control over the selection of the estate management company and the level of service charges. The estate management company is not answerable to the lessees. A rather feudal structure exists currently, whereby the parent company of Hillcrest holds the head lease and is able therefore to appoint Hillcrest unchallenged as the estate managers. Since the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act of 2002, there are procedures which enable lessees to acquire and exercise rights in relation to the management of the premises.

She has invited two people to talk us through the necessary procedures to set up a Right to Manage company and take control of the High Kingsdown flats development.

3) Procedures involved

Mark Griffiths, solicitor, explained that the purpose of Right to Manage (RTM) would be to take control of our building. The process is set down by legislation by the 2002 act and as long as all the boxes are ticked, it can go ahead. Two thirds of the leases must be long leasehold, which all ours are. Then 50% of the lease-holders must agree to participate, ie: vote for RTM. All lessees would be members of the RTM company and a board of directors would be set up. Memorandum and articles of association would be set up, by statute for RTM companies, for the company. The company would be a company limited by guarantee.

In response to an enquiry by Les Cooper, Mark Griffiths confirmed that there would be one vote per lease, so landlords owning multiple HK flats would have more than one vote.

Briony Waite informed the meeting that, thanks to Martin Smith efforts, we now have the addresses of all lessees.

Mark Griffiths said that the first step would be to issue a notice of invitation (notice inviting participation) in the form of a letter to all lessees but suggests that this is not done until there is some level of interest in the concept. There are costs and liabilities involved. Lessees can challenge the procedure. Notices must be served correctly or the current leaseholder could challenge the procedure. Replies to notice of invitation should be received within 14 days.

The lease holder can still select the buildings insurance company.

Once the Right to Manage has been accepted, the RTM company can select the estate managing agent. The managing agent would have control of funds, not the RTM company and its officers.

A question was asked about the purchase of the freehold but Mark Griffiths expressed the opinion that there would be no point, nothing to gain and would cost lessees at least a thousand pounds per flat.

Nathan Hockenhull said it was a straightforward procedure, once the criteria were met. There would be costs to setting up an RTM company of around £2000 but this cost could be spread over all lessees, if they are willing. Usually, service charges may not be spent on this. The founder members may well choose to become directors. The lease holder may challenge at this point if the correct procedures have not been followed. If all is in order, a claim notice is issued on the freeholder who has 28 days to respond. If the freeholder, disagrees, the matter can be taken to tribunal. In Nathan’s experience, it is better to receive a pro-active “No” rather than have the notice ignored as this can indicate that the existing leaseholder and managing agent may not be fully co-operative with the transfer procedure.

It is necessary to be realistic about time scales, especially when major works are already in plan. Consideration should be given to the dates when service charges are set.

The meeting finished about 8.15pm.