Self-regulation of the scandal-prone residential property management sector is in disarray after an ARMA member threatened to sue the trade body for tens of thousands of pounds.
Separately, former Labour MP Sally Keeble has stepped down as the ARMA regulator having only accepted the post a year ago.
Reports are reaching LKP that ARMA has lost a considerable amount of money after a member of the trade organisation took legal action over its disciplinary process.
The dispute has been settled without going to court and is closed down with a “non-disclosure agreement” (NDA).
ARMA has been approached for a statement, but it has declined to comment at this time.
The regulatory system of ARMA is there to reassure the public, and particularly leaseholders, that the scandal-prone residential property management sector is capable of some degree of self-regulation.
It is not reassuring that an ARMA member, or ex-member, has threatened to sue the organisation, racking up costs, and that ARMA and / or the other party have attempted to hush this up with an NDA.
ARMA and LKP agree that self-regulation of the residential property management sector is inadequate.
The imbalance of power in the leasehold sector means that it attracts more than its fair share of rogues. Hence, the Office of Fair Trading investigations and numerous court cases.
Millions of pounds of leaseholders’ service charge funds are under the control of property management companies which have no statutory regulation.
‘ARMA’s self-regulation in disarray after member sues the organisation and Sally Keeble resigns’
Sob 🙁 where did I put that box of tissues.
I guess we can only dream of a leak of the details of this case.
To be honest I can’t say ARMA are not fit for purpose because I don’t see them as self-regulation.
ARMA is to Regulation what Block Agents are to Management.
Definitely not a Ronseal situation.
At ARMA’s Annual Dinner I can only guess what they’re all so happy about or what kind of industry habits they exchange in conversation.
I wouldn’t go as far as ‘eyes wide shut’ but at least figuratively I think leaseholder is on the menu in every course.
All the best to you all and LKP. I hope and pray for comprehensive change. Could I help with this?
There must be thousands willing to stand up at this point. They could be contacted by social media.
After the consultation ends on the 19th of this month and the ‘wealthy affected’ start to breath together, I imagine things will eventually come to a parliamentary vote?
I would prefer not for them to go into parliament on that day thinking its just words on a page and the people affected are distant, out of sight and out of mind.
What about a petition being handed in on that day? Or a timely peaceful demonstration perhaps.
Your proposal of a petition being handed in on the day the leasehold reform consultation concludes which is I believe is the 19th September is an excellent idea, as is a “Timely peaceful demonstration “.
You asked ” Can I help”? I am sure LKP will say “Say you can”.
Unscrupulous Freeholders and Managing Agents “gangster ” tactics which are routine and commonplace leads to serious harassment of individual tenants and sometimes whole communities .
Legal discipline and serious financial pentalties must be introduced for those who perpetrate such ill judged practices.
The Government must;
BRING IN FORMAL REGULATION FOR MANAGING AGENTS..NOW
LEASEHOLD MUST BE ABOLISHED.
What does it take for a firm to be successfully disciplined by ARMA, or RICS for that matter? Is there a list of critical items that even they cannot resist?
I wonder, because I rang ARMA some time back to seek advice on whether some complaints would be the sort of thing they handle. After a long battle trying to get through their very haughty Receptionist, I eventually spoke to a ‘Senior’ woman, who told me no, they weren’t. Ok, so what would be? She wouldn’t tell me, unless I gave her the name of the firm first. I refused.
I know why she asked this, because she would pass on my name to the firm concerned to warn them. Protectionism. I told her such, that I knew what she was doing; she went very quiet and terminated the call.
So much for ARMA’s public duty. But what about RICS Regulated Firms? Is the RICS process any better? I have some current serious issues with a notorious firm and would appreciate hearing of any others’ experiences.
There are several “Notorious” firms out there, I ask that you read my posts and see if their is any similarities in the “gangster” tactics used by these individuals. We can then join the dots…………..
Oooos”If there are any similarities “
In answer to your question ” is the RICS process any better?” No it definitely isn’t!!!
Please see my post above re: our complaints and exactly as you mention when they know who you are complaining about they close ranks!!! Funnily enough the service manager mentioned in my post has gone under the radar all of a sudden. Things getting to hot in the kitchen I wonder? I certainly hope so!!!!!
Just shocking! My current venal agent has ‘RICS’ so called ‘Status’. In my view she/he should be in the dock charged with Fraud, and yes I do have proof!
ARMA- RICS et all are as much use as a chocolate teapot and the spivvy Managing Agents know it!
For anyone misguided enough to have any faith in the RICS, need only look at the RICS’s feeble and shambolic actions in the Benjamin Mire case?
Hear Hear! Root & a ranch reform is needed to bring the questionable ‘ RICS Accreditation to heel.
It is my belief and that the ‘RICS’ is very willing to take the shilling of spivvy managing agents to complete their ‘ MICKY MOUSE’. online ‘exam’ in order to give the ” Gangsters” an air of respectability.
The RICS ‘relationship with operators in Residential propertyMangement needs serious investigation. It seems to me to be far too incestuous and that is unhealthy for Leaseholders.
Kim, you have called for a “Root& a Ranch” reform?
Is this because there are so many “Cowboys” engaged in property management?
Professor Epstein my ” Root and Ranch”‘ reform plea was clearly a Freudian slip.
However I’ll give ya a big YEEEHAW for the “Cowboy” gag!!! ????
I spoke to a nice young gel who sounded about 11 yrs old on the ‘Regulations’ team at RICS and asked for an A- B -C guide to reporting a rogue Managing Agent.
I was told after much pushing and prodding and informing her that I was part of the leasehold reform consultation ( well I am, I have contributed my ‘Papers’) that one must email- email@example.com with an outline of your complaint. It is not necessary at this stage to name the agent.
The ‘Team’ will then cogitate ruminate and deliberate and conclude whether ones’ complaint is worthy of action. If it does it will contact you for more detail.
If you have a valid complaint ( I’m sure that you do) then I suggest that you do the above but cc The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP .that should make the RICS ‘Regulation’ team straighten up and fly right!
Kim and Izaak
That’s exactly what we did in June 2008 an online complaint. They asked if we had used the firms complaints procedure which we had. We were given a case number in July asking for more details. This was filed to be reviewed by a regulation officer.
Hearing nothing by Sept we asked why and received an apology. The reason– ” due to high volume of incoming correspondence coupled with staff shortages”
Now comes the rub!! They say, “it is unclear from your correspondence whether you are the CLIENT of ———” ( client of course being the freeholder). After explaining that we are LEASEHOLDERS of a property managed by ——-and naming the freeholder all went quiet again until another prompt from us. Then in October came the letter on headed RICS Regulation paper in November saying they can do nothing!!!
Apparently they had made enquiries with the firm who said if we were able to provide evidence and specific examples of complaint they would reply directly!!!!!!!
THIS IS WHAT WE DID IN THE FIRST PLACE AND TO THIS DAY THE MANAGING AGENT OR FREEHOLDER WILL NOT REPLY TO ANY CORRESPONDENCE FROM US!!!!
Tearing your hair out or what? We went RTM in 2010. I think the amount of comments on any subject shows the intensity of our disgust and this item seems to have broken the record?
DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ARMA OR RICS!!
edit to above: should read prompt from us in October letter came in November!!
Lesley I hear you. Just talking to the girl on the phone was turning my brain to cheese.
I have just completed the Government Consultation survey and have of course paid great attention to Q21.
I have also written to The Rt Hon Sajid Javid informing him of the urgent need of ;
1. STATUTORY REGULATION FOR MANAGING AGENTS
2. REMOVAL OF RESIDENTIAL LEASEHOLD FORFEITURE.
Leaseholders require protection from the gangster tatics of the Residential property world and yes, this includes stooge solicitors and compliant ‘Trade bodies’.
The balance is currently tilted very much in favour of the Crooked landlords and Agents who attempt to shake down leaseholders at every opportunity.
In some cases elderly vulnerable tenants have contemplated suicide when worn down by these gangsters. I know of one such person who had a lovely flat with balcony overlooking the sea in the Bexhill area…….I think it was a block called ‘Jamacia House’.
It still makes me very sad when I recall their utter despair at being ripped of by a Notorious Agent for Monies relating to a ‘MAJOR WORKS’sinking fund. Threatened with lawyers / forfeiture etc. She was 83yrs old……..
Alas i wasn’t au fait with the machinations of Managing Agents at that time 2006-7. Ish. The person in question ended up paying £19,000 for her small balcony to be painted and the exterior tarted up. I think there were about 60-80!flats in the block……Nice Huh?
Kim & Lesley: thanks for commenting, although I’m not now filled with confidence about the RICS!
I’ve known many proper, traditional, professional RICS surveyors in my time, and fully agree your point about dumbing-down their reputation by allowing AssocRICS spivs in through the back door. Bit like uncontrolled immigration – when there are so many of them inside, you have to change the rules and lower standards to please and protect them.
Lesley, All quangos and all regulatory bodies behave in the very same manner as ARMA and RICS – of course I can only say that from my own experience of dealing with such organisations but that was a conclusion I came to some time ago. When you describe similar scenarios to mine, then my conclusion is borne out. ARMA, RICS, OFGEM, OFWAT, OFCOM, LEASE, ombudsmen, all of them – and others – are two things. Firstly they are outrageously self serving, and secondly they are shamelessly hand in hand with those they are supposed to regulate. Oops, they are three things, the third being absolute and unqualified twats of the highest order.
I could expand on all of this but, If am not already considered paranoid and unbalanced, I would be considered so were I to do so. Franz Kafka doesn’t know even half of it.
I don’t think you are paranoid or unbalanced mate, I know exactly where you are coming from…and what’s more I believe the government is aware of the extend of the problem. It stands to reason: large sums of money+ Zero accountability = Abuse
It’s convenient for the system to pretend that freeholders are all quaint old gentlemen who ‘protect’ the building and look after the leaseholders ( and their money!) as if they were children.
“Don’t have anything to do with ARMA or RICS ” and I would add to that : best avoid the First Tier Tribunal as well, because it’s not there to provide justice, it has limited powers and is there as a form of appeasement. In realty best not to have anything to do with leasehold, become a freeholder or leave the country.
LEAVE THE COUNTRY
Actually Leasehold that’s not bad advice. Our son moved to Portugal a year ago and is doing quite nicely thankyou. We just might join him!!!!
Oh well at least we are ‘ All on the same page’ regarding the utter uselessness of ARMA & RICS as ‘Regulating ‘ bodies.
I would go as far as to say there is in some cases collusion between the aforementioned and the Spivvy Freeholders and their despotic Managing Agents,
Leaseholders have shaken off their chains and risen like lions from slumber.
I thinks it’s a jolly good idea of the commenter ‘ John Lloyd regarding a petition / Demo. I believe leaseholders thanks to LKP and latterly the NLC have got their foot on Governments windpipe-the only option is to press down and press hard,
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
BREAKING NEWS -Lord Astor has joined LKP’s parliamentary group supporting leasehold reform. FURTHER BREAKING NEWS – William Waldorf Astor is to give away (to leaseholders) all of his freehold interests, retire from the business world and pursue a life long dream to be loose head prop for England’s women’s rugby team. William now wishes to be known as Penelope. In other news parliament is to vote today on a private members bill for an outright ban on the import and eating of Irish orphan babies.
Isn’t M’lud daddy to William Astor who is a Freehold / Ground rent acquisitor whose mentor was that fella who has a mediocre looking yacht named ‘Veni Vidi,Vici’?
I applaud him for signing up to the APPG, but am puzzlesd as to why he has done so?……..I am a rather a cynical old bat!
I think Sebastian made an observation when Lord Astor put in an appearance at a House of Lords meeting on leasehold reform. The observation was along the lines of, “Curious, why has his lordship suddenly taken an interest in this issue. Could it be he is concerned for ordinary people trapped by the leasehold scam, or is he going to report back to his son, William, on what the enemy have planned?”
You call yourself a cynic, you are not. But you are somewhat naïve to applaud Lord Astor signing up to APPG.
Isn’t Peter Bottomley chairman of APPG? There is a piece on LKP were Bottomley was complimentary towards Roger Southam and his wife – both, he said, were extremely knowledgeable about leasehold. I think at the same time he made positive comments about Anthony Essien (CEO of LEASE). Suspicious of Bottomley.
C’mon David, you’ve seen my posts on this site- naive? Moi?
I was attempting ‘Irony’ when I said I applauded Milord for singing up to the APPG. Duh!!!!
Incidentally, I wonder if the housing minister has replied to the NLC’s excellent letter demanding the removal of Southam as Lease chair. Totally inappropriate for him to be in post.
He has been quiet since his blog removal a few weeks ago. Wonder what is going on?.
Okay Kim, got you – I had an irony failure..
The housing minister will have a civil servant compose a lengthy and wordy reply to NLC’s “excellent” letter. The reply will not address the demand for Roger Southam’s removal as chairman of LEASE, it will skirt around the issue and end, “Thank you for your interest in this matter”
Dunno. Maybe he is on gardening leave…… Perhaps he has realised that the tide is actually turning and he would rather not have a fluorescent light shone on his ‘Oeuvre’ . I view his ’embedded’ Manqging Agent period as an edgy Art Installation- others might differ.
Perhaps Savilles of which he is a director can see that ‘ Winter Is Coming’ and do not relish any adverse publicity and therefore have requested that Mr Southam choose between ‘LEASE’ and his directorship with them. All supposition of course.
I really do have too much time on my hands at the moment!!! Twiisted by back ( the wrong way) at Tango and have to rest., hence my prolific posting.
I suppose I could always read Proust.
My above comment is in reply to Jeffrey’s post
I wonder if ARMA’S “dissaray” will turn out to be its ‘ ‘Bell Pottinger’ moment?
Hmmmmm, interesting times…
ARMA inform me that they will be making a Press Release in due course.
Of course what I meant to say was;
I wonder if ARMA’S disarray will expose the organisation for what the put upon Leaseholders have always believed it to be eg a quango looking solely after the interests of the despotic Freeholders and their equally despotic Managing Agents.
This could be ARMA’S Bell Pottinger moment. Wouldn’t that be a turn up for the books??
Can you believe this?
I don’t doubt the info in the article but I think it highlights a certain kind of madness.
I’m sure better minds than mine could take a view but I don’t see how they could have put something in the 2008 act with the intention that there would be no change in law.
Additionally, is there a suggestion that Governments have had a right to strengthen regulations without enacting a new parliamentary bill but haven’t done so?
As I understand it, that ability doesn’t refer to the Secretary of State approving a RICS code which was prepared merely “to promote desirable practices”.
I wonder how much concern to have for the ultimate outcome of the leasehold consolation.
Could we end up with woolly wording, open to interpretation or an agreed bill with parts that don’t get enacted? or perhaps a regulator so swamped with cases that its ineffective.
Thank you LKP for this article. I hope the Leashold Issue gets full public attention.
Not just at the point of the bill voting but when parliament comes to debate this towards a proposed bill, a public demo or such may be best placed at that point.
If the bill coming from debate is a charade for appeasement or another maze to get lost in, we will all be witness to that with the web to bring us together. I think our feelings of frustration to this point come from leasehold experience and such appeasements in the past and this is of course what our eyes have seen and nothing more besides.
‘WEIR and WEIRDER.
private eye page 40. “The council is investigating whether the behaviour of of certain people and companies towards residents could amount to “Harassment ” and whether it could take enforcement action”
Hmmmm, we shall see.
NDA should be banned when it is in the public interest to know what is going on in an industry that is paid for by subscriptions or membership fees.