Frustrating Managing Agents - any advice please?

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Mum2two2012
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Frustrating Managing Agents - any advice please?

Postby Mum2two2012 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:46 am

Morning, we live in a block of four flats which used to be managed by a small Housing Association. I think we all own our properties. I only really speak to one of the other residents.They were taken over by a larger Association. Collectively we are very frustrated by the level of management for our block and the high charges that are imposed on us. We recently were charged a large some of money for a repair that was requested. They decided to make it an emergency repair due to Health and Safety reasons and although we were assured verbally the work would be completed like for like it was not. Nine months later we are still asking the work to be rectified without any success. A resident made some enquiries and found out that we were charged almost double the cost for the substandard work we are living with and they are now getting the quotes in writing and considering making a formal complaint. I personally have called them and their defence always goes back to the fact it was an emergency repair.

We have also been advised that we can exercise our 'Right to Manage' the block and also to maybe buy the Freehold. I was wondering whether you can buy the Freehold from a HA?
For a not for profit organisation they seem to be making a great deal of money. :roll:

Could anyone advise on this please?
firsttimerSW11
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Re: Frustrating Managing Agents - any advice please?

Postby firsttimerSW11 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:57 am

If 75% of your block agree, you can theoretically take over management yourselves. You set up an RTM company of which you need at least 2 directors. Then you choose an agent to help you manage the day to day but ultimately you are in charge, the management company effectively do what you say. You approve budgets etc. 

For us it has worked well although I wouldn't say we have saved a huge amount overall.

I don't know much about buying the freehold as we haven't done that.

Best wishes

FT
windmill26
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Re: Frustrating Managing Agents - any advice please?

Postby windmill26 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:04 am

Is your managing agent First Port by any chance? I would say that considering there are just 4 apartment in the building you shouldn't have any major hurdles regarding setting up the right to manage.A lot of managing agents are rip off merchants!
chorister
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Re: Frustrating Managing Agents - any advice please?

Postby chorister » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:38 am

You can make a formal complaint to the First Tier Property Tribunal https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/fir ... ty-chamber.  I'm not sure of the exact rules, but think you can make a complaint on your own, though obviously a group will have more impact.  

That being said, I manage a large block, and can tell you that after Grenfell people are very zealous about H&S, so do be sure that you really do have a complaint.

I also think it is correct that you can 'enfranchise' your building (though it may be different if it is owned by a Housing Association as opposed to a commercial landlord) but don't underestimate the hassle of managing it yourself, and get good legal advice.

Hope that helps.
Mum2two2012
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Re: Frustrating Managing Agents - any advice please?

Postby Mum2two2012 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:27 pm

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I have looked on Gov.co.uk and the basically mirror the advise given by chorister so we have a chat about the best route for us to take.

Have good weekend to you all!
foodeditorjo
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Re: Frustrating Managing Agents - any advice please?

Postby foodeditorjo » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:05 am

I agree that it's wise to check out managing agents before buying. I've just bought a flat in Hastings to let and used the same agent to let it that I bought through. They are proving to be absolute nightmares and from what I've learned, I can't 'sack' them - I have to go through a complaints procedure with them before I can involved the ombudsman. They are dodgy as hell and will no doubt cover themselves at every turn... I've had nothing but lies, my furniture being removed from the flat without my permission and no concrete evidence of where it is, the lead tenant not actually living there, which makes me think the people who are living there haven't been checked out etc (and the lead tenant works for a housing association, so I suspect they are being housed), endless promises of a condition report being done etc etc that never materialise, stated commission actually not the commission charged to me (of course, it's higher). I really question the point of using a managing agent when I have no faith in them and they're not acting in my best interests. So I do feel your pain!
GracieC
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Re: Frustrating Managing Agents - any advice please?

Postby GracieC » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:46 pm

Ugh I wish I was online last Friday, it was the final day to submit issues about leasehold to the gov, you could always try submit one anyway, the page doesn't seem to be closed? We're looking for reform - lease extension costs, the marriage value calculation which should never be included, leasehold agreement ridiculous terms and managing agents - their exhorbitant costs, shoddy work, lack of regulation and the fact that payment of everything that they & the freeholder deems necessary, is soley down to leaseholders. Why doesn't the FH share costs towards his asset...
You could knock out a quick word doc just listing all issues you have, bullet point, and put a note that further  details can be provided in each case if required....at least then you've sent a submission & hopefully future problems will be eradicated.

https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/ ... ess-guide/