After exercising RTM, do we have to appoint an agent?

A building will not manage itself, and there is much to be done if the leaseholders are to receive the services promised in the leases and the building kept in good repair; insurance needs to be put in place and renewed on time; bills need to be paid and services maintained; local authority and legal requirements must be met. The leaseholders’ capital investment in their flats must be maintained and their individual rights of enjoyment of the flats ensured.

No matter who manages the building, there are certain tasks to be carried out; there is little variation in these whether the building is a house converted into a few flats or a substantial purpose-built block or estate.

Careful forward planning is necessary in terms of major works of repair, both in the specification and pricing of the work and, perhaps more important, in the financial provision for them. The terms of the leases providing for collection of service charges may not necessarily be compatible with the immediate funding needs of the management company or the building. Accurate planning and collection demands an assessment of the needs for the year ahead, some months in advance of that year’s beginning, when shortages of money for urgent works can be serious.

Whoever is responsible for the management of the building – whether it is the actual landlord or the leaseholders in the form of a resident management company or Right to Manage company acting in the landlord’s place – will have significant duties and responsibilities under the lease and under legislation. It is essential that the manager fully understands and appreciates these responsibilities if the residents are to receive the services due to them and the building is to be maintained.

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