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Managing Agent will not transfer our funds to new agent


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I'm not sure if I am in the right area, but hope someone can re-assure us we are doing the right thing.

 

I am a leaseholder in a block of retirement apartments. Two years ago, with 100% agreement of all leaseholders in the block (70) some residents acquired RTM and after lots of visits to other blocks, and doing all the checks they could, the RTM company employed a new MA.

 

After 12 months they decided that these new MA's were actually worse than the original ones, so they terminated the agreement after 12 months by highlighting breaches, using a solicitor. They then employed another MA who, after 12 months, appears to be extremely efficient etc.

 

The problem we have is that the 'old' MA won't release our fund to the new MA.

 

They promised on four occasions over a period of 5 months to hand over at the end of a month, and, to date, they have handed over approximately 30% of our funds.

 

After 3 months, we employed a leasehold solicitor to chase the funds. We were informed that we had to know exactly how much they owed us, by virtue of audited accounts. As the MA would never issue bank statement, invoices or monthly financial updates, we cannot do this. So the legal advice was to go to court to obtain all the account documentation. This was set for a date 10 months after the contract was terminated.

 

Two weeks before the hearing, and after yet another broken promise of transferring the funds, the MA wrote a 'without prejudice' letter saying they would hand all the funds and paperwork over but not until a week after the hearing, as it would take that long to produce the final accounts. Because of this, our solicitor advised us to adjourn the hearing as it would save the costs of going to Court.

 

The RTM Company refused on the basis of all the previous broken promises.

 

From that we had constant pressure from our solicitor, changing almost on a daily basis, to adjourn. These pressure varied right up to the fact that, in the solicitors opinion, the RTM Company would have to pay costs of both sides, amounting to a total of around £18,000 + VAT. There was also a request for £1,500 + VAT immediately for a barrister, suddenly required three days before the hearing. Never mentioned this before in the cost estimates. Our RTM Company was braver than I would have been - they believed that there was no way the judge would deem them unreasonable knowing all the broken promises they had received. So they still refused to adjourn the hearing.

 

Then came a Tomlin Order, written by 'the other side', which offered all the paperwork we required, except Bank Statements and cheque books, if the hearing was adjourned. I understand from paperwork I have seen that the RTM Company still refused until a point where their own solicitor assured them that the accounts could be quantified without the Bank statements. so they agreed to accept the Tomlin Order and adjourn the hearing.

 

Four days after the time limit set out in the Tomlin Order, some invoices and a ledger run off was received. There was also a copy of service charge accounts prepared by the company themselves, not by an accountant. on looking at these documents, half the invoices were missing and there was not information regarding income to the service charge account or the reserve funds.

 

We are now up to date .....

 

Our solicitor is now telling us we need to go back to Court to ask the Court to order the MA to obey the Tomlin Order.

 

The RTM has explained to the rest of us leaseholders that they are in dispute with the solicitor as they believe all this will do is allow the MA to break it again and again, and they would have to take it back to the Court time and time again. There seems to be no penalty on the MA for breaking what they believe was an official Court order. the solicitor ignores their request for an explanation, and continues to talk in language that doesn't mean anything (according to the RTM)

 

The RTM is asking for support to change the solicitor at this stage. They want to take the MA to Court for theft as they say simply that it is our money and someone wont give it us back. They want to find a solicitor who would do this for us.

 

A number of leaseholders (who as a reminder are retired) don't really understand what is happening and are extremely concerned and upset that for (now) 12 months we have not been able to correctly manage the block and it is beginning to look a mess, reducing the value of our flats.

 

Can anyone please advise what they would do in our position?

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Hi.

 

I'm sorry you haven't had any replies yet. Weekends are always quieter here but people should be along soon,

 

HB

 

Thank you Honeybee13 - I do hope someone can advise.

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Hi

 

Now the pervious Managing Agent (MA) are they members of Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) and what checks

with this previous and the newly appointed Agent has the RTM carried out?

https://arma.org.uk/leaseholders/complaints-about-a-member

(if they are members of ARMA then also complain to them about this members actions or lack of)

 

Who was the previous Managing Agent?

 

Appointing a Managing Agent: https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/appointing-managing-agent/

 

ARMA Changing Managing Agents: https://arma.org.uk/leasehold-library/changing-managing-agents

 

Leasehold Advisory Service: https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/right-manage/

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I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Hi

 

Now the pervious Managing Agent (MA) are they members of Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) and what checks

with this previous and the newly appointed Agent has the RTM carried out?

https://arma.org.uk/leaseholders/complaints-about-a-member

(if they are members of ARMA then also complain to them about this members actions or lack of)

 

Who was the previous Managing Agent?

 

Appointing a Managing Agent: https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/appointing-managing-agent/

 

ARMA Changing Managing Agents: https://arma.org.uk/leasehold-library/changing-managing-agents

 

Leasehold Advisory Service: https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/right-manage/

 

 

Thank you Stu007 for your reply.

 

Our previous Managing Agent is not a member of ARMA. They were accreditted by Leasehold Knowledge Partnership but when that body approached them about some of our concerns they simply resigned their membership.

 

Their redress scheme is the Property Redress Scheme but they will not get involved as we are in litigation. The same applies to the Lease advisory Service.

 

I really feel we are well and truly 'stitched up' and the only way our RTM can go is to have some sort of faith in our solicitor, although I do fully appreciate how they feel. Like them I believe that the route the solicitor is taking will just allow the MA to keep messing us about for as long as they want to.

 

Is their no 'punishment' for them for not complying with a Tomlin Order? Our solicitor said that it was, in effect, a court Order, so surely the MA can be sanctioned for breaking it?

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