The Right To Manage process takes 5 months from payment of the invoice to you receiving your final letter from us. If the freeholder contests the claim then it may take a further 3-4 months for the LVT application to be concluded.
The simple answer to this is NO and we would advise against using them for this process. Our success rate is 93% for this process. Our applications to the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTT), in the event of a counter notice having been provided by the freeholder, are prepared by qualified barristers, and our experienced staff will attend the hearing to ensure that your claim has the best prospect of success.
Yes, the law requires that you pay the reasonable legal costs of the freeholder and we would say that costs should be around £600 + £25 per flat up to a cap of £3000. If costs are higher than this formula then you may want to consider making an application to the LVT to have the reasonableness of the costs assessed.
The directors of the RTM Company have the normal responsibilities of any limited company, however, they also are responsible for the maintenance of the building as the freeholder would have been before. They effectively replace the freeholder with regard to insurance and maintenance. We would always advise you outsource this role to a managing agent, as they will have the necessary systems, expertise and insurance cover to assist in the collection of revenues, and insurance and maintenance arrangements.
We recommend that the service charges continue to be paid to the incumbent agent during the RTM process to ensure continuity of services.
Our advice would be to appoint a managing agent who can take care of these matters for you and would allow you to make the company dormant and thereby reduce accounting costs. If you decide to manage the building yourself, you will need to file annual accounts and an annual return and you would be responsible for the maintenance of the statutory register of members and filing of HMRC tax returns for the bare trust.
We will then set up your property and create invoices online for you to pay. If you have given us your email address, you will receive a username and password and a copy of the invoice. You can then pay by telephone banking or log in to our website and pay your outstanding bill. If you do not have email, you will receive an invoice in the post that can be settled by BACs payment or telephone banking. All payment details are shown on your invoice.
Unfortunately, at this point, the matter must be referred to the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTT) but we will notify you if this happens. We can also complete the application to the LVT for you for a fee of £2500 including VAT. This figure includes not only the preparation of any legal and factual arguments, but production of the 6 bundles required by the LVT and attendance at the hearing by our experienced staff so that you have the best chance of success.
This is a potentially complicated process for a lay person to conduct and we would strongly advise appointing a managing agent such as ourselves to complete this for you. If there are more than 10 flats, we would suggest that the accounting involved would necessitate the use of an agent with good systems to complete the ongoing management and obtain historical fees. If you still wish to do this, you may find some references on our website useful, however, we cannot advise further unless you sign up for our management services.
Our advice would be that as soon as you have 50% participation in the RTM process, it should be started. The cost is usually recovered very quickly and it could be false economy if you hold out until every last person is willing to go through the process. Non-participating lessees should not be looked upon as freeloaders in this process. They are simply, for whatever reason, not eager or willing to participate and we would recommend going ahead with the numbers that are, so long as you meet the 50% criteria.
We will check the land registry for the lease length. We rely on you to provide the data we request in the RTM Questionnaire accurately and to confirm that no more than 25% of the building’s non-common parts are set to commercial use. We will also rely on you to provide the correct names of the persons who are participating in the process and to provide the name and address of the freeholder for legal service, which is only available on your service charge bill or ground rent bill. Whilst we can check some data against the HM Land Registry, you are responsible for the provision of the data and must ensure it is accurate. We do check names and flats but there are cases where leasehold flats are not registered.
We will send you login details within one working day of you having providing us with a completed questionnaire. You will then need to login and pay the outstanding invoices or you can pay these by BACs to our bank account using the details provided in the invoice we send to you. You can follow the progress of the RTM claim online in your secure area and our systems will issue you with a copy of the claim notice and a letter indicating if a counter notice has been received or otherwise, if the process has been successful. All other documents are shown online, however, we do not provide these by email or post to you.
If you have any other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org through to us and our staff will be pleased to assist.