The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 provides a right for leaseholders to acquire the landlord’s management functions by transfer to a company set up by them – the Right To Manage (RTM) company. The right was introduced, not just as a means of wresting control from bad landlords, or managing agents, but also to empower leaseholders, who generally hold the majority of value in the property, to take responsibility for the management of their block.
The right to manage is available to leaseholders of flats, not of houses.
The process is relatively simple. The landlord’s consent is not required, nor is any order of court. There is no need for the leaseholders to prove mismanagement by the landlord. The right is available, whether the landlord’s management has been good, bad or indifferent.
The right is exercised by the service of a formal notice on the landlord. After a set period of time, the management transfers to the right to manage company (the RTM company) which has been set up by the leaseholders. Once the right to manage has been acquired, the landlord is also entitled to membership of the company.
However, there are important issues to consider and a substantial amount of work to be done before service of the notice, if the takeover of management is to be successful.