Last Saturday, The Independent wrote a wide-ranging report on leasehold issues and the need for reforms.
Headed ‘The secret of how to give your flat a new lease of life … ‘ it was, in fact, a round-up of: the Cirrus scandal, the OFT investigation into leasehold (the scope of which concludes on January 17), and featured quotes from LKP, Carl and ARMA.
Michelle Banks, the ARMA chief executive, again repeated the nonsense that: anyone can set up as a managing agent so leave it all to ARMA to sort out.
In fact, the abuses of leasehold involve her own members, or those of RICS.
It would be interesting whether Michelle Banks could point to a single major tribunal or court case involving a freeholder employing a non-ARMA or non-RICS managing agent which might support this repeated and self-serving claim.
Yes Mrs Banks.
You are absolutely correct. Anyone can set up as a managing agent without having any relevant qualifications or experience. This lets unscrupulous agents operate outside any controls.
That does not mean however, that ARMA is forced to allow unscrupulous agents to continue with their membership of ARMA does it?
Great, more news published in another newspaper. How do we get it in the “working mans press” or even ITV 1 at 7,30 pm.
Yet again what utter rubbish from Michelle Banks. Who the hell does she think she is. I would love to do a one to one questions and aswers on prime time TV with her. No chance, she would not dare to appear.
I am the director of a small management company and we only do Freehold. We are a 1000% succesful. By that I mean thats what the residents think and say. We run to perfection
If the day ever comes that we are required by law to be a member of the likes of ARMA RICS etc I will close down the company. I have yet to come accross anyone who is any good that belongs to these organisations. I would not be a member if you paid me to be
I do not know you and I certainly do not know your company, that said I am going to make a (hopefully) educated guess that if any residents did have a problem it would be resolved over a cup of coffee and without rancour?
Hello Michael, Thank you. You are right we really do not have any problems whatsoever.
I always say our aim is to change a failed light bulb before any resident knows one has failed – and we do on many occassions!!!!!!!!
We are in Warwickshire and someone is buying from Bournemouth. Their solicitor, also in Bournemouth asked us for all the usual appropriate paperwork. I have had a message back today from him stating that in all his 35 years of business he has never received so quickly all the info and proof that he wanted.in order to do the purchase for his client and that he could see the complex was run to perfection. The joy of being freeholders. I bet Michelle B would even pay us to be members of ARMA – in her dreams!
Oh to live in an ideal world where tea and biscuits sort everything out. It often can, but it would be daft to think that the needs of the block and some resident’s actions will come into conflict and are not so dreamily resolved.
Picture that idyllic block where some leaseholders are in breach of their lease, which causes problems for adjoining owners, and where works are required but some are unwilling or unable to afford it, and in need of finds may well have waived the breaches. As all are directors of their freehold owing residents company, board members have feet in both camps.
It right and proper to provide a good to excellent service but to expect that all matters are easily resolved is silly.
The problem for LA leaseholders has been highlighted under decent homes which Eric Pickles, rather delusionaly, feels is largely complete. Councils have had large sums of money granted to them in what was an initial 10 year period ending in 2012, which has led in some cases to decisions to replace serviceable building elements sooner than might be required simply as the money was only available to spend then. The curent extension has made that all the more pressure filled. There is lot desperately wrong with council management when RSLs operate, for many many years alongside councils, but with such such disparate outcomes. As there is often large amounts of equity in properties but little spare cash, we need to look at some form of debt bank where the cost of such works are paid for centrally and owners allowed to pay the interest at say minimum lending rates or CPI levels, and capital when they can or wish, or go back to rolling the entire debt and interest into a future resale. Its only a few % of the toxic debt we are servicing!
Through a lift contractor connection I was asked to advise a group of private leaseholders in a council block who were being presented with replacing 4 lifts in a block. With the help of an independent lift engineer consultant ( not a contractor) we were able to argue that 2 lifts could be deferred with salvaged parts of the other two. More worryingly we also identified that almost 20% of the cost was due entirely to the conditions in the contract from the ALMO and that the chosen installer was, like the Peveral blocks, the only parts supplier and only maintenance contractor who could work on those lifts. We identified alternatives with immediate and long terms savings and a contract that only dealt with putting in lifts, using contractors who were accredited and worked for amongst other local authorities and RSLs.
Frankly the only reason that they gave in was that their counsel realised that they would lose and that the consequences of proceedings would lead to considerable problems for them in public embarrassment. They of course publcised it as working with local residents……..
From Simin Eftekhari
In our block our two managements companies from 1999 were/are member of RICS and ARMA.
For me using name of these two agencies is for manipulating and gaining artificial power which they need for their unaccountable and dishonest business. In our experience they are trying to hide any shortcoming and even crimes behind these names. Our management agencies‘s letters were/are full of inflated titles and lies.
Leasehold property owners need more major reform. Managements company‘s letter head should be regulated. Management agency should be stopped from distributing any manipulating and frightening letters to the leaseholders. Letters should be neutral and even not colourful, and pictured.
In recent year “buying freehold” has been known as a profitable business. Our freehold was sold for profit. Our new freehold has employed a management company without any consultation and our block of flat end up to be managed by; “freehold investment team!” without our consent. In our experience previous freehold; previous management were colluded with new freehold and new management. Previously in our block majority of flats were bought for living. Still there are flats which are occupied with the owners. They practically encourage people to get out of the block and give it to those who are looking for investment property. How can this be justified? They hurt so many owners and created so many inhuman conditions in our friendly block with their vicious/business plan. Once I was told: When you buy an investment properly, all you need to do is to pay the mortgage; the rest of the money belongs to Management Company! But! In our block some flats was for living…as well as mine. Our flat was bought for my son.
My complaints to RICS and ARMA did not have any positive outcome. RICS wanted me to wait for management agency’s Court result and inform them from the result. I believe some freeholder and management agency has influence in RICS and ARMA.
Luckily with the help of LKP we have established RTM Co, and hopefully it will take our management from April the first. Frankly I am very scared! I cannot believe if they let us live free of their trauma.
With the help of an LKP Accredited Management, I worked hard to convince our freehold to switch to a new building insurance company. Also I made complaints to insurance regulator regarding extremely high insurance premium. Luckily after few years of suffer now we are enjoying an affordable building insurance which is almost one third!! Of the building Insurance we were forced to pay for. We are saving nearly £5000.00 pa!
Do ARMA and RICS know these crimes?