Government Move To Protect Leaseholders Welcomed

A Government amendment to the Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill that will require residential leasehold managing agents to sign up to a redress scheme has been welcomed by Cheshire and London based Premier Estates.

The decision comes following years of campaigning for statutory regulation of the sector by the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA). ARMA’s Chairman and Managing Director of Premier Estates, Ben Jordan, is leading the implementation of ARMA’s initiative to introduce independent self-regulation of its members, known as ARMA-Q. 

Unlike estate agents, managing agents are currently unregulated so anyone can set up as a managing agent and start collecting service charge money.  This amendment to the ERR Bill is an important boost to consumer rights and will allow the Government to make it mandatory for all managing agents to offer leaseholders, landlords and freeholders access to an approved ombudsman scheme.

Ben commented: “Premier Estates are already members of an ombudsman scheme so our customers already have this level of protection.  Extending this requirement to all managing agents is a welcome step in the right direction and certainly good news for the residential leasehold sector overall.  Leaseholders who suffer poor service at the hands of their managing agent will be able to seek effective redress, whether or not the agent subscribes to a professional body.”

“It’s a boost for companies like Premier Estates who work extremely hard to provide a top quality service.  The industry’s reputation is being damaged by agents operating without adherence to best practices and greater protection is still needed in the sector.  This is why I am leading ARMA in the introduction of this new self-regulatory regime.”

“Premier Estates’ already work to standards over and above those due to be introduced by ARMA-Q, including a bespoke and stringently imposed Customer Service Charter.  From May, ARMA members will also be bound by a Consumer Charter, overseen by an independent regulatory panel and that’s good news for consumers and the industry as a whole.”

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