How long will Right to Manage Take?

One of the many questions I am asked about Right to Manage (RTM) is how long will it take. RTM is not a decision which is likely to be taken lightly so often once the decision is taken leaseholders are understandably keen to get on with things and appoint their own manager.

 

There is, however, quite a complex process to go through with some key statutory timescales that need to be complied with.  In order to ensure that these are met and the process is kept on track it is important that leaseholders obtain appropriate advice from someone who has prior experience of making an RTM application.

Before any steps can be taken it will be necessary to check that a sufficient majority of leaseholders (at least 50%) support RTM and other qualifying criteria are satisfied. Once this is done, it will be necessary to form an RTM company and it will be necessary to decide who will be the directors and members of the company. All of this can be done very quickly if necessary but for most applications I would allow at least a month for this preliminary stage.

Once the RTM company has been formed, it will then be ready to serve a formal notice on any leaseholders who have decided not to become members of the RTM company. The form and content of this notice are dictated by statute and they must be given at least fourteen days in which to respond. Once the fourteen days have expired, you can then serve notice of the RTM (the RTM notice) on the landlord. This is when time really starts to run because the notice you serve on the landlord will specify two dates. The first is the date by which the landlord must dispute the claim if he wishes to do so. This is one month after the date of the RTM Notice. The second date is the date when RTM will be effective and this will be three months after the last for the landlord to object to RTM. The minimum period from that date of the RTM Notice is, therefore, four months from the date of the RTM Notice.

If, however, an objection is received from the landlord this can delay the process. In some cases the objection might be minor and something which can easily be remedied. If the objection is more substantive, it may be necessary to restart the process or possibly refer the matter to a First Tier Tribunal for their consideration. Landlords know that the process is complex and some seek to exploit this. The best way to combat this is to ensure you can call on a suitable expert who can ensure that your application is guided through efficiently and expeditiously.   Typically, however, the process is likely to take six months or so and in view of this RTM should be considered earlier rather than later if you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving.