Jun 21,2012
By: 'anon'
Jun 21,2012
8 people found
this helpful
DJW agency formerly Worthing & District Management increased our service charge from £600 to £1800. Without any justification. We decided to get rid of them by empowering the leaseholders to form a legal company to manage our building. We fought a one year drwan out battle to get rid of them, a process that should have taken six month. On 18 June 2012, we successfully took over the management of the building. Glad to see the back of them. We feel the management is rude, obnoxious, expensive, lacks communication and interpersonal skills, and generally full of himself. He probably sees leaseholders has cashcows. Glad to be riddence of them. If any leaseholders, want to self manage, we would we be happy to hear from you. Please get in touch with Allgents and we would be happy for them to forward our details.
What agent could do to change your mind?
reduce service charge change of personality and character be able to discuss lacks negiotiation old style authoritan management
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By: Darren Winter AssocRICS MIRPM MIoD
Jul 06, 2012
Under the Law of Agency an Agent owes fiduciary duties to its Client/Principal (which is a legal or ethical relationship of confidence or trust requiring that Agent to be extremely loyal to its Client/Principal), including the duty to avoid conflicts of interest.

Under Landlord and Tenant Law a Residential Block Manager’s Client/Principal is the Landlord, not any Leaseholder or Residents’ Association.

The Agent managing the block on behalf of a Landlord is duty bound to manage in accordance with requirements of the Lease agreements appertaining to the block and of the recognised RICS Code so far as is applicable to the Agent’s management contract, or client instruction.

These requirements and restrictions may not always suit the individual needs and requirements of some Leaseholders or Residents and may not always be understood by them. Indeed, in the Annual Report 2011 published by the Ombudsman Service:Property they stated "... Many leaseholders do not understand the limitations of what can and cannot be done without the consent or instruction of other people or what a managing agent has been contracted to do."

In dealing with complaints it is often the case that the Leaseholder or Resident does not have a copy of their Lease/Tenancy Contract to refer to, or does not understand what they have agreed and what the Landlord/Agent must do.

It is because of such misunderstandings that this type of unregulated forum is not appropriate at all to Block Managers/Agents and it is not appropriate to allow persons to post potentially defamatory comments without first having vetted the comments for accuracy and validity.

Although this particular complainant has used an anonymous registration to post defamatory comments, I believe this person to be the defaulting tenant (who had previously been subject to litigation for non-payment of a serious service charge debt) who has now enticed others to collectively exercise the right to manage in order to acquire the onerous management functions of a Grade II Listed "bungaroosh" constructed block, but in doing so incurred costs for failing to follow that process correctly and even now those other participants are probably unaware that this defaulting tenant owes their service charge fund thousands of pounds.

The complainant also suggests that there was a sudden and unjustified increase in service charge, yet this is untrue. Such increases are subject of course to statutory consultation procedures (service charge is a variable charge which can go up or down from one year to the next).

We have been carrying out our duties owed to our Client/Principal and to benefit the block as a whole, but this did not find favour with this particular individual and their personal circumstances at the time.

It should also be noted that the complainant did not choose the more appropriate option and follow our published Complaints Handling Procedure which would have enabled the Ombudsman Service:Property to deal with the complaint fairly.

If a Leaseholder or Resident believes they have a complaint then they should refrain from posting defamatory or slanderous comments to an unregulated forum such as this and should instead follow the procedures set out by the Ombudsman Service:Property to have their complaint dealt with in a fair and just manner.

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Worthing & District (Estate Management)

The Old Bank, 85 Rowlands Road Worthing
West Sussex
BN11 3JX

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