60% of flat owners want the management of residential blocks of flats independently regulated according to a recent leaseholder survey. The finding indicates that the flat owners want more protection than is currently offered in the marketplace.
Existing protections for leaseholders are limited and varied. Although trade association, ARMA is introducing its own regulatory regime called ARMA-Q, it will not be compulsory for all managing agents to join. ARMA and other industry bodies such as the RICS and the British Property Federation have been vocal in calling upon Government to introduce a statutory regulatory regime, although there has been no firm commitment to this yet from the corridors of power.
Another response which perhaps underlines the reasons why flat owners want independent regulation is the fact that just under 53% of flat owners said they do not believe they have an adequate say in the setting of the annual communal service charge budget.
Also, just under 40% of flat owners said that maintenance was the most common problem in their building, with parking and noise the next most common irritants. The survey, which provides an interesting benchmark of flat living today, was conducted by The Livingcity Group and supported by News on the Block and the Federation of Private Residents’ Associations.