Right to manage consultation
Continuing its consideration of leasehold reform, the Law Commission published its Consultation Paper on reform of the right to manage: “Leasehold home ownership: exercising the right to manage” on 28 January 2019.
What is the right to manage?
The right to manage is a statutory right enjoyed by some long leaseholders of flats to take over the management of their building. Leaseholders do not have to prove fault on the part of their landlord to take over the management.
Why the need for reform?
The Law Commission are of the view that the process is seen by many as too technical, slow, restrictive, uncertain and expensive.
As practitioners we know that there are a number of practical issues with the implementation of the right to manage; for instance, the right only applies to a building, but there can be issues when a building is part of a wider estate.
What are the proposals?
The Law Commission’s proposals include:
- Allowing leaseholders of houses, as well as flats, to qualify for the right to manage.
- Permitting multi-block right to manage on estates.
- Removing the restriction which stops buildings with more than 25% commercial space qualifying.
- Reducing the number of notices that leaseholders need to serve as part of the claim process.
- Introducing deadlines for procedures and exchanges of information between the landlord and the right to manage company.
- Changing the costs regime, which at present favours the landlord.
- Giving the tribunal exclusive jurisdiction over right to manage disputes (rather than having a split between the courts ant tribunal).
- Waiving minor procedural mistakes made in the process of claiming the right to manage.
The consultation period will close on 30 April 2019, at which time the Law Commission will consider the responses and prepare a report for consideration by the government.