Right to Manage: A Guide.

Overview of the right for leaseholders of a building containing flats to take over the management of the building.

One this page you will find ‘Right To Manage’ guidance and right to manage services provided by Hive Block Management. The ‘Right To Manage’ guidance topics cover the right to manage, qualifying for the right to manage, notice of claim, disputing claims and property transfers.

Can’t find the answer to a question here? Use the contact options at the bottom of this page to get in touch with the Hive Block Management team. We’ll be happy to answer any query you may have.

1. The Right to Manage

The Right to Manage (RTM) allows leaseholders who are unhappy with their landlord/freeholder take over the management of the block, transferring the control to a limited company.

As a landlord the leaseholders in your building will send you notice if they plan to do this. If they’re successful, you’ll still own the building but they’ll manage it.

This means they’ll be responsible for the following:

  • collecting and managing the service charge
  • upkeep of communal areas (e.g. communal hallways and stairs)
  • upkeep of the structure of the building (e.g. the roof)
  • dealing with complaints about the building from other leaseholders

Qualifying leaseholders can use the Right to Manage for any reason – they don’t have to prove the building has been badly managed.

Right to Manage companies

To use the right, leaseholders must set up an RTM company and follow certain procedures. The RTM company can manage the building directly, or pay a managing agent to do it. As landlord, you have the right to be a member of the RTM company and to vote on decisions. You get at least 1 vote. How many votes you’ll get depends on how many flats you own in the building.

There are 20 flats in the block. 16 are owned by leaseholders. 4 are owned by you and rented out on assured shorthold tenancies. You get 4 votes – 1 for each of the flats you own and rent out. The RTM company must pay for any costs you incur during the management transfer process – even if it doesn’t end up managing the building.

2. Qualifying

To qualify for Right to Manage:

  • the building must be made up of flats (houses don’t qualify)
  • at least two-thirds of the flats in the building must be leasehold – with leases that were for more than 21 years when they were granted
  • at least 75% of the building must be residential – e.g. if there’s a shop in the building, it can’t take up more than 25% of the total floor area
  • you must live somewhere else if there are less than 4 flats in the block – unless the block was purpose-built as flats, rather than converted from another type of building
  • any number of owners can set up an RTM company – but at least half of the flats in the building must be members of the company before it can actually take over management

3. Notices

Normally, the leaseholders will contact you once they’ve set up an RTM company. You may get a ‘right to information’ notice from the company – asking for the information they need in order to claim their Right to Manage.

You receive a ‘notice of claim’

If you receive a ‘notice of claim’ it means that the RTM company intends to take over management of the building.

It will tell you:

  • the date you must respond by
  • the date the RTM company intends to take over management of the building

You can:

  • accept the claim
  • dispute the claim – the notice of claim will tell you when you need to do this by, but the deadline can’t be less than 1 month from the date of the notice.

4. Disputing the claim

You can dispute the claim by serving a counter-notice to the Right to Manage (RTM) company. In it, you must give reasons why you think the company isn’t entitled to manage the building.

You can dispute the claim if you think:

  • the building doesn’t qualify
  • the RTM company doesn’t comply with the legal requirements
  • the RTM company members don’t represent half the flats in the building

You can’t dispute the claim for any other reason.

First-tier Tribunal

If the members of the RTM company think you’re wrong, the company must apply to the First-tier Tribunal within 2 months of the date of the counter-notice. The First-tier Tribunal will then decide if the RTM company can manage the building.

5. Transferring management of the building

If you accept the Right to Manage (RTM) company’s notice, or if you dispute the claim and the First-tier Tribunal decides against you, the management of the building will transfer to the RTM company.

The date the RTM company takes over management responsibilities is called the ‘date of acquisition’. This will be:

  • on the date given on the notice of claim – if you accept the claim
  • 3 months after the First-tier Tribunal decision becomes final – if you disputed the claim and lost
  • 3 months after agreement – if you originally disputed the claim but later came to an agreement with the RTM company

You must transfer any money you have from service charges on the acquisition date – or as soon after as is reasonably possible.

Ongoing management

The RTM company must tell you at least 30 days before approving:

  • assignment (selling or transferring the flat into someone else’s name)
  • a sublet
  • a charge to leaseholders

If the lease says your consent is needed, the RTM company must give you 30 days’ notice before approving:

  • any changes to the structure of the building
  • any changes to the use of the building

For other approvals they must tell you at least 14 days in advance.

contact hive block management


Manchester: 0161 466 0331
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Preston: 01772 398112
Blackpool: 01253 360174

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