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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We have a under performing managing agent providing at our

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Hi,
We have a under performing managing agent providing at our residential block. We have pointed out all the faults where they are lacking via e-mail which started in Feb 2017. We have later been advised only the MD deals with key aspects of the development, i.e lease which they didn't have a copy of, contract between our managing and us, Health and safety assessments, fire risk assessments, queries on the accounts and much more. On the 13th June I advised the office that the RMC wish to terminate our contact but they were unable to provide a copy of the contact and it's now been 6 weeks since the office have known our intentions and I also directed an e-mail to the MD and CC'ing the office on the 6th July and still no communication or acknowledgement from the MD or office and I also see online he has history in this area.Any advice on the next steps we should take as an RMC and me as I director?Many thanks
Martin
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Here is some more information and I protected the managing agent with an XEvening to all staff at X,For your awareness I sent (MD) the following email last Friday so I hope to hear from him by the end of the week so we can move forward with our termination request.Termination of contract communication history (not issue log just to be clear!)1st instance I contacted the office (staff member X) on the 13th June and advised we want to leave due to the points we have raised previously and requested a copy of our contract between RMC and managing agent and our lease.2nd stage you advised me that we at (RMC) need to contact the (MD) to let him know of our intentions of leaving so that's what we did on the 6th July. (I had previously advised the office on the 13th June so I don't see why I should have to do this directly if I've informed the office ?? but I did anyway.Outstanding Items1) Lease not present since the take over of our development - Why? (I know one has now been ordered by a staff member last week and due to be sent to me once it arrives)2) H&S certificate and evidence of invoice for the past couple of years request (9 out of 15 emergency lighting were out when I did a spot check which triggered this question - Still outstanding3) Fire assessment certificate and evidence of invoice for the past couple of years request - Still outstanding4) Utility question from the accounts - why the increase and why was the contact allowed to roll?5) Accounting why did it take 3 months to notice that a residence service charge had not been paid for Q1 this year?6) Dumped car still onsite in visitor bay when reported around March 2017 - Still outstanding7) External railing damage (road side of the development) but not replaced or even ordered when I spoke to the contractor at company X when I spoke to him on the 28th of June the person he was dealing with was too far away and not really interested in the job it seemed. - Still outstanding8) Letting agent also made a complaint to me that a leaking roof reported on the 5th December hasn't been resolved (with all the rain we have had on the 11/7/17 I hope it hasn't caused more damage)9) Key administration tasks only MD manages is a single point of failure and a risk we can no longer accept as a RMC10) Copy of our contact was not available to the office staff - Still pending11) Insurance claim history was unknown - Still outstandingLike I mentioned to staff member X over the years we have had a good working relationship but things are building up and not getting resolved in a timely manner, from my experience in Q1 and Q2 you are more re-active than pro-active and with technology tooling now available in the market place I've not seen any innovation or cost efficiency ideas from your side to this is also another factor as well as our issue list so that's why we feel you are no longer the right managing agent to take us into the future.Happy to hear your comments on the matters we have raised as a RMC.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

  1. For the avoidance of doubt, could you confirm do you operate a RTM company or are you joint freeholders of the premises please? (I appreciate in either event you have contracted the day to day tasks to an agent).
  2. From what you say neither you nor the agent has produced a copy of your contract with them?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hi Joshua and happy to have you onboard.There are 15 units in our block and we each hold a 1% share.I've requested a copy of our contract with the office but was informed by the office that the MD deals with his but heard nothing from him.Regards
Martin

Many thanks. In the assumption that there is a majority of the management company in support of your position, you can consider the following steps in resolving difficults you are experiencing with your agent which appear to extensive. Based on the list you have supplied, taken on face value the actions of the agent appear potentially negligent which can be grounds for terminating the contract on its own but the lack of a written document detailing the cancellation provisions may mean you can look to terminate the agreement on reasonable notice notwithstanding potential negligence. If no agreement can be located, you may wish to consider giving notice of termination based on reasonable notice of between 1 and 3 months as you consider appropriate - if possible by agreement with the agent but if not, unilaterally.

If you cannot reach agreement the initial most straisghtforward approach which does not incur any court fees or other legal expenses is to consider making a formal complaint to the agent which he must respond to fully within 8 weeks. The agent is required by law to be a member of a property redress service which has the power if you cannot resolve your complaint directly with the agent within this period you can you ca refer the same to the redress service which can make an independent determination which is binding upon the agent. There are three redress services and all their servicesa are free to use. You can ask the agent for details of which they are a member of or carry our a search on their websites:

https://www.tpos.co.uk/

https://www.theprs.co.uk/

https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/property

You can seek compensation for any negligence and a decision as to determining the contract you have with the agent. Their decision binds the agent but not you.

If the above approach is not successful and you are still not able to resolve the matter with the agent, and the agent for example refuses to accept your notice of cancellation, continues to demand payment, refuses to hand over documentation and so on you can consider seeking an court order for the agent to determine the contract and hand over all property belonging to the management company together with any balance of funds controlled by the agent. However care should be taken with this approach as it will expose the company to legal expenses if not successful. The first approach is therefore almost always a better place to start however the following is the form required to issue an application for a court order though there are further potentially better alternatives below to also consider.

https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/n208-eng.pdf

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hi Joshua,
I will give you 5 star feedback for your help sorry was away the past couple of days.I have full backing from the residence and as I have been providing maintenance services myself to keep the cost down for the residence they have also been asking me for many years why don't I take over the full management. I'm in the process of starting up a management company so I will have to disclose this as I'll be a director to my own limited company and I'll also still be the director to the RMC but I've informed the residence the costs will not go up if anything they will come down and they will get a pro-active, responsive professional service and online tooling so that's for the future once we get over this obstacle with the existing agent.I've checked the company and they are not listed on any of those 3 links you provided so what would my approach be now? I can ask them the question but I know the office will say that the MD deals with this and again wont receive an answer.

I'm very grateful and am glad the above was of some assistance. If they are not a member of a property Ombudsman this is a criminal offence under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 and they will be liable to a fine and can be shut down by the local authority. In the first instance you may consider using this as a stick to obtain what you want from the agent - they may be keen to cooperate in order to avoid a criminal penalty. Equally they may be able to confirm their membership details if they are registered under a slightly different name which is unlikely but possible if a mistake is made or they trade under a different name to the company name.

If they are not a member and they will not cooperate with you, you can contact the local authority to report the breach by the agent and ask them to take enforcement action. At the same time you can still look at servicing a notice of cancellation and making a formal complaint as we discussed above. In addition to any criminal penalties if the local authority does not seek to shut down the agency for the breach, they will require the agent to immediately join a redress scheme which is a reasonably quick process which should subsequently then be available by the time the 8 week period you need to wait following a complaint anyway.

Do let me know if I can help any further. Best wishes

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
OK Joshua thanks for your advise and lots for me to be getting on with. Just to finish off there won't be an issue with me being a director of a new limited company and being a director of the RMC and being the managing agent for our development in the future providing I disclose this correct?
Sorry for the delay in coming back to you. Being the weekend I am not online so much. No there is no statutory prohibition but under the 2006 companies act you will need to both disclose the potential conflict and also obtain authorisation from the board. There is a very well written article it may be worth reading which summarises the most important aspects of the legislation in plain English here:https://www.cripps.co.uk/directors-duties-conflicts-of-interest-2/Do let me know if I can help with anything else
Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
No problem with the delay and again many thanks for all your help. I'll provide my feed back now and wish me luck.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Added review star rating, provided a tip and wrote a review too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
That's very generous of you. Many thanks that's very generous - much appreciated. The very best of luck with your new venture. I am sure it will be a great success