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Newsflash: Residential landlords should take note of new Residents’ Association Regulations

To Let sign on terrace houses Print publication

01/11/2018

Residential landlords will be aware that Residents’ Associations can be involved in and represent tenants on a wide range of property management issues if they are formally ‘recognised’ under section 29 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

In particular, recognised Residents Associations:

  • must be consulted by landlords in relation to major works and qualifying long term arrangements which are paid for via the service charge
  • can represent tenants and advance their interests in relation to the service charge process
  • can seek information concerning services charges claimed and costs incurred
  • can appoint a qualified surveyor to advise on service charge matters.

New Statutory Regulations [1], which come into effect in England on 1 November 2018, are likely to prompt increasing numbers of Residents’ Associations to seek formal recognition.┬áThis is because they:

  • reduce the necessary threshold for recognition from 60% of relevant qualifying tenants in the building to 50%
  • give the First-tier Property Tribunal (the Tribunal) the discretion to disapply even the new lower 50% threshold
  • specify the matters to which the Tribunal must have regard when considering the recognition of a Residents’ Association
  • make provisions for Residents’ Associations to serve notice on landlords requesting that certain information be provided.

The new Regulations also impose new duties on landlords in relation to the provision, to Residents’ Associations, of certain information concerning qualifying tenants. (Those duties must, of course, be balanced against tenants’ separate data protection rights, meaning that landlords must seek consent from tenants before passing their details to the Association).

Landlords of multi-let residential buildings should therefore ensure they are aware of their existing and also their new obligations arising as a result of the changes that take effect on 1 November 2018.

For further advice or information, please contact Karl Anders or any member of Walker Morris’ Housing Management and Litigation Team.

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[1] Tenants’ Associations (Provisions Relating to Recognition and Provision of Information) (England) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1043)

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