Recognised Tenants’ Association: overview

A Recognised Tenants’ Association is an association of “qualifying tenants” of dwellings. Tenants are “qualifying tenants” if they are required, under the terms of their Lease, to pay a variable service charge.

 

How is a Tenants’ Association recognised?

A Tenants’ Association is recognised in one of the following ways:

  1. By notice in writing given by the landlord to the secretary of the association; or
  2. By a certificate granted by the Tribunal.

 

What factors will the Tribunal consider?

When deciding whether or not to grant a Certificate of Recognition, the Tribunal will want to be satisfied that the constitution and laws of the association are fair and democratic. The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) provide a useful advice note on formation of a Residents’ Association, together with a template constitution for associations to use.

The Tribunal will also want to see that the paid up membership of the association represents a substantial proportion of the potential membership. As a guide, this paid up membership should be 60% of the potential membership. It should be stressed that this is guidance only.

 

Voluntary recognition by landlords

Landlords are likely to ask for the same kind of things as a Tribunal would including the constitution, names and addresses of subscribing members, and proof of election of the association’s officers.

 

What rights does an Association have?

If recognition is gained (either by voluntary recognition on the part of the landlord or Certificate of Recognition granted by a Tribunal) a Residents’ Association can exercise a number of rights, including:

  1. Obtaining summary of service charge cost.
  2. Inspecting accounts and receipts in relation to service charges.
  3. Appointing a surveyor to advise on any matter relating to service charges. The surveyor will have the right to see any copy relevant documents held by the landlord.
  4. To be consulted about the appointment (or reappointment) of a managing agent and
  5. To be provided with a summary of insurance cover for the block.

In addition, if consultation is undertaken in accordance with section 20, copies of the notices will need to be served on the secretary of a Recognised Tenants’ Association. The RTA has the right to nominate contractors and inspect any estimates and specifications.