Richard Wollacott

Partner

Residential Property


Flat owners may gain new rights

Richard Wollacott

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has carried out a study and found that many leaseholders of flats suffer from excessive charges or poor service by property managers and should be given new rights.

This would affect the five million people who own flats in England and Wales and could result in them being able to get rid of bad property managers by a majority vote.

The CMA has suggested a series of voluntary changes but has not recommended that the industry should be regulated, like it already is in Scotland.

Some of the recommendations include that property managers should set out clear improvement plans, justifying all charges and any commission they are earning. They should also disclose any corporate relationships with contractors or landlords. It has also been said that flat buyers should be given more information about service charges and ground rent when they get the property details from the estate agent, so everything is stated from the start of the process.

The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) says they are already working towards improvements in the industry and from 2015 all their members will need to be accredited to their consumer charter, which enforces best practice.

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