Consultation Released By Law Commission On Right To Manage Legislation

The government requested that the Law Commission review the Right to Manage (RTM) legislation in July last year. The consultation paper has now been released with a number of amendments suggested to the current legislation.

James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Communities asked the government’s independent legal advisers to conduct a broad review of the ‘Right to Manage’ scheme, with a view to proposing reforms in order to improve its operation.

The aim of Right to Manage legislation aimed to allow property owners to take over the management of their building, to return power back to leaseholders and prevent abuse.

However, numerous issues with the law have prevented it from being used on a wide scale basis. What’s more, those who have chosen to take it up have been subject to costs, delays and uncertainty.

Concerns have mounted that the legislation in its current iteration is overly complex. The review has aimed to make things a lot simpler for leaseholders looking to increase the power and security within their building.

It has been argued that the current system is too slow and expensive for leaseholders to access easily.

The consultation paper’s main findings have been released, focusing on the concerning areas of the current legislation including the omission of properties that contain over 25% non-residential spaces.

The fact that leasehold houses were originally excluded from the legislation is also being looked at by the Law Commission.

The paper will also look at the inability for Right to Manage representatives to manage buildings with multiple sites will also be a focus.

The Commission’s provisional proposals include:

  • relaxing the qualifying criteria, so that leasehold houses, and buildings with more than 25% non-residential space, could qualify for the RTM
  • permitting multi-building RTM on estates
  • reducing the number of notices that leaseholders must serve, and giving the tribunal the power to waive procedural mistakes
  • setting out clearer rules for the transfer of information about management functions, and for the management of property which is not exclusive to the premises claiming the RTM, and
  • requiring each party to bear its own costs of any tribunal action and exploring options for the landlord’s non-litigation costs.

What will these changes mean for leasehold rights?  

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