Clare Brady, MD of Brady Solicitors, highlights the need for excellent preparation and an adequate fighting fund if an RTM claim is to succeed.
Exercising the Right to Manage is appealing for leaseholders wanting more control over their block, and managing agents often see it as a good route to growing their property portfolios. Meanwhile, freeholders are unwilling to relinquish control and lose a valuable revenue stream.
This conflict of interest together with a relatively immature set of legislation means that RTM claims regularly become fertile ground for disputes.
“Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.”
If you are considering Right to Manage, then this is a quote well worth heeding.
Our experience at Brady Solicitors is matching that which is being played out in a number of high profile RTM cases, namely that freeholders are increasingly willing, prepared and able to mount successful defences to an RTM claim notice – particularly where significant revenue streams are at stake.
Additionally, with the law around right to manage being relatively immature, a freeholder with a solid legal team can easily pick holes and identify procedural failings in an imperfect RTM claim and potentially derail the process.
And, to look at it from the freeholder’s perspective this is perhaps entirely understandable: the block is an important investment asset as well as being something that they have an obligation to insure. It would be unrealistic to expect a freeholder to roll over at first notice of an RTM claim.
This shouldn’t mean that you shy away from RTM as a way of growing your portfolio (managing agents) or taking control of your block (leaseholders) but it should encourage you to ensure that not only are you well-prepared but that you also have a sufficient fighting fund in case you face a well-structured defence.
Remember too that you will need to pay any reasonable costs incurred by the freeholder in connection to responding to the claim notice…
If you are considering Right to Manage then you need to be ready for a detailed and full defence from the landlord. Whilst RTM is not solely for the brave, it very much favours those who are well-prepared, well-funded and, I would argue, with realistic expectations.
From ensuring that the block qualifies and making a note-perfect RTM claim through to understanding the freeholder’s position, Brady Solicitors can help give your Right to Manage claim the best chance of success.