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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 13947
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I am having a problem with the management company of my

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Hi, I am having a problem with the management company of my property (who is also the builder). Since purchse to 2 years ago they have stopped maintaining the shared areas, have not produced any accounts and have not charged a management fee since an inital £500. There are 11 properties on the estate, 4 of which are still owned by the builder and rented out. I am wondering if the owners can compell the takeover of the management so that we can keep the estate well managed and in good order. Many thanks - Jonathan
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No, I have just had some informal discussion with a few of the other residents.
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Ottery St Mary in Devon
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The builder has been asked about this and is not keen to let go of the responsibility. That is about it.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

The builder is likely to be in breach of the terms of the lease by not doing their job. What this means for you is you can involved the First Tier (Property) Tribunal to remove this management company and to install a new one, to ensure good management of the property going forwards.

Given the complexity you may well need a law firm to help you with this - either of the leaseholders can pay for the application or you can share the cost.

There are a couple of specialist law firms which can help and I will mention them shortly.

The tribunal route is quicker than the county court claims procedure and after receiving the application, the tribunal will then make a decision and indeed it has the power to remove a management company for another one to ensure good management of the property.

The Tribunal is made up of 3 people: A lawyer (Chairman), a surveyor/valuer (who could also be Chairman), and a lay person (member of the public). You / your lawyer can present the dispute to them. The following would be able to do this for you : https://www.bishopslaw.co.uk/first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber-advice/ or www.bradysolicitors.com who have specialist departments for these Tribunal claims.

The latter firm also offers a free guide on how to change managing companies : https://www.bradysolicitors.com/taking-back-control/changing-managing-agent/

The hearing itself is quite informal. Once made, the order is then binding - if the order is ignored then the county court will recognise it and you can apply for an injunction to force them to comply.

After receiving the application, the Tribunal should then make a decision within 6-8 weeks. So not long, certainly not compared to a court application which could take several months.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hi Jim, this is useful. I will be having a meeting wit the other residents at the weekend. Do you have a steer on how much this is likely to cost?

I don't think they would charge much - it depends if the tribunal can make a decision without a hearing or if one is required. If no hearing then it shouldn't be much, less than £500 or so. If there is a hearing I would say double that though I don't have a link to those law firms so it would be worth asking them each what they would charge. The tribunal will make an order to reimburse you if the application succeeds in any event.

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