Property management is not easy. And from time to time, dissatisfaction can arise on the part of lessees as to how their block is being managed.
In certain situations, the tribunal can be called upon to exercise their discretion under section 24 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 and appoint a manager.
The power to appoint a manager is a draconian. Accordingly, it’s not discretion the tribunal will exercise lightly.
When can a manager be appointed?
Where one or more of the following conditions are met, the tribunal can exercise its jurisdiction to appoint a manager:
- where there has been a breach by any relevant person of an obligation relating to management;
- unreasonable service charges have been demanded, are proposed or are likely to be demanded;
- unreasonable variable administration charges have been demanded, are proposed, or are likely to be demanded;
- there’s been a failure to comply with the Code of Management Practice;
- and in all cases, it is “just and convenient” for a manager to be appointed.
Establishing fault is not enough. An applicant needs to demonstrate that it is also “just and convenient” for the tribunal to appoint a manager.
There is also a “sweeping up” provision which give the tribunal the power to appoint a manager where such other circumstances exist which make it just and convenient for them to do so.
The procedure is kickstarted by the service of a preliminary notice (which is often referred to as a section 22 notice).
Although there is no prescribed form of notice, the content of the notice should follow the requirements set down by section 22 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.
In certain circumstances, the tribunal can dispense with service of the notice.
The appointed manager is a servant of the tribunal. They are autonomous and independent of the lessees and landlord.
The functions and powers of the appointed manager will be set out in the Management Order approved by the tribunal.