A tenants’ association recognised by the landlord, or by way of a certificate of recognition granted by the appropriate tribunal, is granted certain rights, additional to those enjoyed by individual leaseholders.
These include the right to be consulted on matters regarding the appointment or employment of managing agents, and by s.84 of the Housing Act 1996 a right to appoint a surveyor to advise on any matters relating to, or which may give rise to, service charges payable to a landlord by one or more members of the recognised tenants’ association.
The “appropriate tribunal” is the First-tier Tribunal in England and the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal in Wales.
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 received Royal Assent on 12 May 2016 but not all of its provisions come in at once.
Section 130 of the Act will give the secretary of a tenants’ association the power to seek from the landlord contact details of other leaseholders in a shared block, as long as those leaseholders have agreed to their information being made available in this way.
The secretary would then be able to contact all leaseholders, which should assist in increasing the number of association members to a number that will increase its chances of statutory recognition.
Specifically, Section 130 states that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has the power to make regulations imposing duties on a landlord to provide the secretary of a tenants’ association with information about leaseholders.
The regulations may:
- Make provision about the tenants about whom information must be provided and what information must be provided;
- Require a landlord to seek the consent of a leaseholder to the provision of information about that them;
- Require a landlord to identify how many have not consented.
- Authorise a landlord to charge costs specified in or decided in accordance with the regulations;
- Impose time limits on a landlord for taking any steps under the regulations
- Provide the form or content of any notices under the regulations(including provision permitting or requiring a person to design the form of a notice)
- Make other provision as to the procedure in relation to anything authorised or required by the regulations.
The regulations may confer on a court or a tribunal the power to make an order remedying a landlord’s failure to comply with the regulations.
Section 130 with its power for the Secretary of State to make Regulations will come into force two months from the date of Royal Assent; that is, on 12 July 2016.