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Landlords vs Management Co


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Hello All

I would invite opinions re. an ongoing battle we have with a residential director of an apartment block with 32 flats.

The players:

11 landlords - all fed up with the 2 main residential directors. Most of us have at some point received a threat of some kind from the old-boy director.

The Directors - 2 active on the committee which runs the Management Co , 4 passive, live in house, enjoy threatening landlords. Oldest is 84, going a bit mad and in poor health.

The Residents - some love and some hate the directors

The Managing agents - Large management co, neutral party supposedly

The solicitors - both sides have appointed one.

The two directors (residents) are hugely unpopular with many landlords. Over the years they have threatened legal action on landlords for petty things and wasted company resources on this legal action whilst delaying important things like external redecoration and maintenance. The first thing that will happen in the event of any minor issue is a legal threat sent by letter in capital "shouting" letters. They are disinterested in issues that matter and failed to act on security and maintenance issues. They rule with a rod of iron and are typical old-fashioned jobsworths. Some things they have done in the last few years:

- Rigourously enforced the "Must be Family unit" rule and once forced two men living together to leave, even when there were no residential complaints

- Threatened landlords with legal action over the "wrong type" of windows (In fact, nothing wrong with them, agreed by all landlords)

- Threatened and shouted at tenants who live in non-family units e.g. professionals. (basically harassment)

- Failed to spend money in the bank on redecoration/maintenance whilst continuing to spend money on legal action. (incompetence), money that was given by the landlords!

- Many other incidents of unreasonable and inflexible behaviour

What the landlords have done..

Basically 11 of the 32 owners got together and had an EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) in which we removed the current directors from office in an 11-0 vote and appointed 5 new ones. The current directors chose not to attend. Fully minuted and documented and correct notice periods observed with signed documentation.

Our solicitor confirms our processes were correct and we are now technically the new Board

However Their solicitor is telling the directors that there were flaws in our processes (albeit tiny minute ones) and we are now speaking to them to prove our meeting was valid.

The managing agents are siding with the existing comittee and refuse to recognise the new "Board" composed of landlords and residents.

So...what would happen if the directors refused to resign even if their solicitor confirmed that our EGM meeting was valid?

Anyone ever tried to remove directors by EGM before and was it successful?

-What about a disobedience campaign where we all declare that the newly elected 5 directors are the new Board and refuse to recognise the current ones?

-Could landlords refuse to pay the £60 per year "sub-letting fee"? (this fee is not legally enforcible anyhow?)

-Could landlords refuse to pay the Ground rent/miantenance fee (pay it into holding account until resolved?)

-Could we "break off" and form our own company, and then still use the same managing agents?

Any opinions welcomed


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Hi Andy

Sounds like a right mess!

Not a legal bone in my body but will chuck some thoughts at you !

1. Can you get more support from the 32 residents as you seem to only be up against 2 ?

2 Exactly "what" and "who's" definition of a "family unit" is being appiled here ! I would suggest that non-married co-habitation is almost the norm in today's society.

3.Harrasment is an offence which you can respond to - by addressing accusations at the individual rather than "the comittee " united they stand diveded they fall! so pick them off one by one.

4. i would think msappropiation of funds and as you say "incompetence" are sufficient grounds to put money in a holding acc along with a vote of no confidence!

5.If "subletting fee" is not enforcable - then why have you paid it thus far - cancel that Standing order immediately !

6.would suggest you get more support from the other residents - maybe a list of requests to update the running shedules and requested works signed by more residents will force their hand ?

7. dont know where you stand with 2 boards - this could get tricky as you will have to decide wether any actions you may carry out are those of individuals or those of the "new board" !

would be interested to hear how this one turns out


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Hi Rodent

Support from Residents:

Not really worthwhile as only owners have voting rights at meetings - residents cannot even attend. Several do support us and we have of course got their owners on board. Very few resident-owners left on site, absent landlords tricky to locate, but we have persevered and now have about 15 supporters from the 32. The others are all disinterested or non-contactable. Managing Agents refuse to supply contact details citing data protection.

You only need 10% of members (owners ) to call an Extraordinary meeting anyhow. 4 is enough in our case. And then you need 50% in that meeting to pass a resolution removing a director. The meetings are usually poorly attended, 1 in 8 owners turning up is about average. We had 4 turn up with 7 voting in proxy, hence an 11-0 vote.

Family Unit:

Still an undefined phrase and the final letter from myself to the "Board" on this issue remains unanswered as it probably cannot be. This Article is basically used by the old directors to remove/threaten tenants they don't like. The Lease states "not to use or occupy the flat ..other than as a private residence in the occupation of a single family". About half the flats are let to what would you and i would call non-family units e.g. professionals, friends etc.

Harrassment of tenants ceased after I threatened legal action. This is now reserved for the landlords who receive letters written in capital letters with the same type of threat.

I am trying to avoid a disobedience campaign , although there are sufficient landlords supporting us to initiate the refusal to pay the subletting fee (many don't pay it anyhow like me) - I offered to pay but my cheque was returned as tenants were not a family unit. I still have the original letter and cheque in case a solicitor asks to see it. A copy of this sent to their solicitor was enough to keep them quiet as I had obvious evidence that I had attempted to pay it.

Increase support - Well you only need 10% of owners to call an EGM; either way we are going to increase our group members, but try speaking to Polish tenants who don't speak any English and you quickly run out of options. When you ask for their landlords number, they think you want to complain about them. Luckily we have a Polish resident who can translate, but need to find time when all parties are available.

A 2nd Board could run side-by-side, but without the managing agents support we would be powerless. Bringing the Board to its knees by refusing to pay might be an option (we wouldn't say "refusal" though, it would be "held back funds"). I am considering declaring that the 12 owners in our group refuse to recognise the old Board until they accept the voting result.

The managing agents do 'seem' to be supportive of us but they have to act in a neutral manner. Have considered forcing them to support us through a legal option but this adds a layer of complication as they are only acting on the Board's instructions.

In the meantime we are waiting for a reply from "The Board" or their solicitor so watch this space...

Let fly the dogs of war and all that......

wonder if I qualify for subject specialist on managing agents and residential directors...?


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What legal time frame can you impose for th ousted parties to stand down - assuming they accept your vote result-

If the dont accept your vote then how can that legally be imposed (there must be a way or the sytem is pointless from the start)?

The management agents have owner details(addresses and contact no's) Are there no palms that can be crossed with silver?

Land registry details and tracing agents could possibly get these fairly quickly ?

As a second board have you not got the same rights of access to onfo as the original board?

You could call an egm over every move he original board makes declaring a majority in favour of 2nd boards proposals over every minute issue - although i dont know what this would acheive in the big pic- maybe compete no confidence - but i guess you have have trumped this already !

Surely when you called an egm management agents were obliged to inform ALL parties with an interest in order that they may attend - although this doesn't get the address it at least may get a message to other non resident owners and you may get one or two contacting you direct ? If this didn't happen then call more egm's just to get the communication lines open? The management agent cannot be seen to not cooperate and this will all have to be documented by them - i would think?


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Rodent/All

Latest update is that the landlords pressure group is now in direct contact with the Directors solicitors who have rejected our request for an EGM on a minor technicality: why? Because the voting forms were scanned and sent by email when they should have been sent physically in the post. The level of pendantry is unbelievable.

The directors offered to call an EGM with our demands included (including their own dismissal) so it seems we have a result in the end. Our main concern is that the wily old boys will engineer a fixed result - they are so desperate to stay in power.

As for a legal time for them to stand down, this would be included in the resolution passed which might say "immediate removal from office" or similar. If he then refused to resign, he is effectively breaking the law if all requirements in the Companies Act have been followed and could be prosecuted (I think!)

The managing agents are like poodles to the directors and won't offer any assistance, although they are friendly and reasonable on the phone.

Surely when you called an egm management agents were obliged to inform ALL parties with an interest in order that they may attend

-No , Managing Agents act on behalf of the Management Company running the apartment block and only act on directors instructions, not anyone else's. If you decide to have an Extroadinary meeting as a group of owners, you have to organise it yourself and do your own letter drop and follow the notice periods to the letter.

Funnily enough, at first the managing agents did not know the correct process and earlier in the year did in fact fire off 32 letters to owners for an EGM we requested. The directors were fuming when they received it. It was a little victory as we thought this would drive a wedge between them, but the meeting was cancelled by the Board as it "did not comply with the Companies Act" (which is what most of their letters end with)

this didn't happen then call more egm's just to get the communication lines open?

Indeed - if we don't get the result we want (Both old boys kicked out) then we have the option to set up an EGM whenever we want. The alternative is a disobedience campaign where we refuse to pay the annual £60 sublettting fee or indeed land rent/maintenance.

Battle has now been ongoing since November 2006...


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  • 2 months later...

Hi All

Just thought I would update you on the Landlords v Resident Directors battle I was going through.

An Extroadinary General Meeting was finally held last month and after a bit of canvassing , we secured a 12-8 victory and took over control of the 32-appartment block, kicking out all existing 6 directors in one fell swoop!

I am now chairman and in full control of the flat management company; we also have 2 residents and 3 landlords on the Board.

First thing on the Agenda: Cease all legal actions against landlords :-)

I have proven here that if you have a problem with resident directors...you can kick them out and run the show yourself.

I hope this helps anyone out there who is having trouble with apartment block resident-directors.


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