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MPs to urge law reform on managing agents

27th July 2016|POSTED BY: Admin

The CEO of ARMA and a respected property businessman have met with MPs at Parliament to push for legal change making it harder for rogue property managing agents to mismanage leaseholders’ money and property.

Dr Nigel Glen, Chief Executive Officer of ARMA, along with Terry Sutton (above), Chairman and founder of Colchester-based PMS Leasehold Management, are spearheading a campaign for better regulation of the industry.

They met with Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex and Colchester’s MP Will Quince to urge them to support changes in the law, with an aim to raise standards in the residential block management industry.

They want the two MPs to have an input in to the All Party Parliamentary Group looking in to residential leasehold and commonhold, a body that Will Quince is already signed up to.

PMS has been in business for 29 years and looks after properties containing flats and many commercial properties with numerous tenants.

It has signed up to a code of conduct set up by ARMA, the leading trade body for residential leasehold property management in England and Wales.

The body promotes the highest standards of leasehold management and campaigns for improvements in legislation and policy.

Yet Terry says the industry is largely unregulated meaning anyone can set up in business with little controls over the vast sums of money they look after on behalf of flat owners.

Terry said: “As it stands, you need no licence, professional qualification, membership of a trade or professional association to set yourself up as a managing agent to manage people’s flats and their service charge money. This affects millions of people.”

Dr Glen said: “ARMA’s long term stated aim is for regulation of the industry. However in the current absence of formal regulation ARMA has introduced a stringent Code of Practice that all of its Members must follow, supported by extensive training opportunities, enforced by an Independent Regulatory Panel and underscored using regular audits by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

“This gives the clients of our Members comfort that their Managing Agents are performing to the highest standards in the industry.”

MP Will Quince said: “As a former property solicitor, I am well aware of the issues in the sector. There are strong arguments for regulation of the sector to protect those living in leasehold properties and this is an area I will be encouraging the Government to look at.”

MP Bernard Jenkin said: “The idea of introducing some regulation of residential leasehold management companies is not at all unreasonable, and would provide assurance for leaseholders of flats, and some redress if leaseholders are being ripped off with poor management or excessive charges.

“At the moment, anybody can set up as a leasehold management company, and there are some terrible cases as a consequence.”