Q&As

A right to manage (RTM) landlord fails to carry out works which have been paid for by the tenants through the service charge. How can an individual tenant challenge the RTM landlord? Has there been any judicial consideration of what would be a reasonable period within which the works should be carried out?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 11/05/2017

The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A right to manage (RTM) landlord fails to carry out works which have been paid for by the tenants through the service charge. How can an individual tenant challenge the RTM landlord? Has there been any judicial consideration of what would be a reasonable period within which the works should be carried out?

The right to manage (RTM) allows some leasehold property owners to take over management of the building, even without the agreement of the landlord, provided certain criteria are met. The leaseholders will be responsible for collecting and managing the service charge. See Practice Note: The right to manage.

The first step for a tenant who thinks that their landlord has failed to carry out works for which they are responsible should be to check the lease and the service charge agreement. The tenant can then ascertain precisely what work the landlord is supposed to carry out pursuant to any express terms, and also who any problems should be reported to. The service charge provisions should specify whether the charge is recoverable in advance or in arrears of the provision of works or services, and also how it is collected, whether on a regular basis or on an ‘as and when’ basis. The wording may be very specific, including providing a period of time within which specific works should be carried out.

If the tenant is satisfied that the repair is something that the landlord is obliged to deal with, firstly, the landlord should be formally notified in writing of the disrepair and the need to deal with it. The specific term of the service charge agreement or lease should be referred to, highlighting the provision relied

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