The Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 gives a right to any long leaseholder, to oust an unsatisfactory landlord or existing managing agent from the management responsibilities of a building. Unlike the right to manage, the procedure for the appointment of a Statutory Manager is a fault based application to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). The application must, unless the landlord is missing, be preceded by the service of a preliminary notice in accordance with section 22 of the 1987 Act.
The process is typically used by a leaseholder where the building does not qualify for right to manage or if sufficient interest by the leaseholders cannot be gained for the right to manage. Importantly, the application can pave the way for an application by a majority of leaseholders to acquire the freehold interest in their building at a price less than the leaseholders would have to pay if they exercised their right to collective enfranchisement, which is a possibility once a statutory manager has been in place for a period of at least 2 years.
If successful, the tribunal will produce a detailed order setting out the rights and obligations of the statutory manager, whose primary duty remains to the tribunal and not the landlord. The statutory manager does not take instructions from the landlord and will manage the building independently of the landlord.
A landlord also has the ability to make an application for the appointment of a statutory manager. Typically he may wish to consider the same in circumstances where the leaseholders have exercised the right to manage and they are failing to undertake their obligations satisfactorily or at all.
Our award winning Leasehold Enfranchisement team have the specialist knowledge, expertise and experience to advise you in respect of claims for the appointment of a statutory manager. They can assist you in determining whether the qualification requirements are met, guide you through the procedure and likely costs involved in more detail and of course act for you in connection with the claim itself.