Right to manage claims no longer defeated by minor mistakes in procedure
By a judgment dated 23rd February 2017 the Court of Appeal has in the case of Elim Court RTM Co...
Leaseholders of flats in mainly residential buildings are entitled to take over the management of the building through a Right to Manage company.
There is a procedure to follow.
Before a Right to Manage claim notice can be served on the landlords and other relevant persons or companies, a notice of invitation to participate should be served on those qualifying tenants who are not already members or have not already agreed to become members of the Right to Manage company.
In a decision dated 22 February 2016 the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) ruled in the case of Triplerose Limited v Mill House RTM Company Limited that the invitation notice is rendered invalid if the prescribed notes are omitted.
The content of the invitation notice is set out in the Right to Manage (Prescribed Particulars and Forms) (England)Regulations 2010 and the Right to Manage (Prescribed Particulars and Forms) (Wales) Regulations 2011.
The form of invitation notice is set out in Schedule 1 to these Regulations.
There are further paragraphs of notes appearing at the end of the invitation notice. Generally they summarise the procedure for claiming the right to manage and explain the consequences of its acquisition.
In this particular case the notes were left out of the invitation notices.
The Upper Tribunal ruled that this meant the Right to Manage claim could not go ahead.
Para.47. I am satisfied that as a matter of construction of the statutory scheme the inclusion of the notes in the prescribed form is essential to the validity of a notice of invitation to participate. It follows that the documents served on the qualifying tenants which omitted the notes in their entirety were not notices of invitation to participate compliant with section 78. As a result the RTM company was prohibited by section 79(2) from giving a claim notice seeking to acquire the right to manage.
Anyone embarking on Right to Manage should therefore take note of the following:
- Sticking to the procedure for taking over the Right to Manage a building is absolutely vital to ensure the claim succeeds.
- There are notices to be completed and served.
- Getting the content of the notices right is of prime importance.
- Follow the wording in the prescribed notices laid down by the Regulations.
- Leave nothing out that must be included.
- That includes the notes at the end of the notice of invitation to participate
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