As those who have been through the process know, right to manage has certain requirements which can make the process tedious, frustrating and delayed.
In the case of Elim Court in Plymouth, it was only after 3 attempts that the residents of Elim got their go ahead for right to manage. There were 3 issues which the landlord used to contest it.
- That the invitation to participate was flawed because the Articles of Association were not said to be available for inspection on a Saturday, Sunday or both.
- The claim notice was invalid because the signature did not comply with legislation.
- A claim notice had not been given to the leaseholder of flat No. 37 which happened to be an Equity Release Scheme.
The decision of the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) upheld 2 of the claims of the landlord and rejected the application. Fortunately, the Court of Appeal applied common sense.
It found that the claim regarding the articles of association should not hold up the application, because copies of the articles could be purchased for £5 for those who wanted to inspect them. Furthermore, the only person objecting to this was the landlord and the RTMCo had sufficient tenants who were members of the RTM to make it eligible to claim right to manage. It was also pointed out that any qualifying tenant who wanted to become a member of the RTMCo could not be refused by the directors, to join.
On the point of failing to serve notice on the leaseholder (referred to as an intermediate landlord) of flat 37 the Court of Appeal said that the primary persons affected by the acquisition of right to manage are those with the management responsibilities. “I would hold that a failure to serve a claim notice on the intermediate landlord of a single flat with no management responsibilities does not invalidate the notice.”
After these rulings, which have been shortened here, the judge went on to express a view, that the Government’s policy that the procedures should be as simple as possible to reduce the potential for challenge by an obstructive landlord had not been implemented. The Government may wish to consider simplifying the procedure or grant the FTT powers to relieve against a failure to comply with the requirements if it is just and equitable to do so.
This is an example of how objections based on technical points which are of no significant consequence to the objector will continue to bedevil the achievement of right to manage.
And speaking of obstructions….chaos as the court of appeal decided a right to manage company cannot manage more than one building.
See the LKP article here.
This fight must go on.