The Competition and Markets Authority calls for new rights for leaseholders

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has suggested that millions of leaseholders who are unhappy with their property managers should be given new rights. The CMA said that some leaseholders experience “excessive charges” and “poor service” from property management companies and have little control over getting issues resolved. The majority of complaints relate to ground rent, service charges or maintenance and repair funds. The main concern of the CMA is that freeholders might not always be interested in making repairs on their properties or not care about the quality of repairs. They may also be influenced by the level of commission they received on buildings insurance policies. In order to combat this the CMA has suggested:
  • improved transparency, so property managers can be better held to account
  • switching property management company should be easier
  • leaseholders should be given new rights to act together, such as through residents’ associations
  • leaseholders should receive clear information – for example, about repair estimates
  • property managers should be given incentives to provide value for money
The suggestions have been welcomed by the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA). Ben Jordan, ARMA’s chairman, said “This is a welcome initiative by the CMA that could improve the situation for leaseholders and managing agents alike.” The study is still ongoing however the CMA has decided not to refer the issue for a full market investigation. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with landlord and tenant solicitors in Cranleigh and across the country.