Industry News

Title: ARMA Annual Conference 2021 - Save the Dates!


Dates: Tuesday 12th October – Friday 15th October 

Times: 10:00-12:30 each day

Format: Online event

ARMA’s 2021 Annual Conference will take delegates back to the future of residential property management, by refocusing on the key issues set to shape the sector over the coming years.

Day 1 - ARMA Updates & Keeping Positive

Beginning with key ARMA updates, our first conference sessions will be delivered by ARMA’s Chairman and its CEO. After a tough year of restrictions, remote working and the ever-present need to keep residents safe, we’ll also look at how individuals can stay positive and maintain resilience in their day-to-day lives.

Day 2 - Building Safety

After the Fire Safety Bill received Royal Assent earlier this year and as the Building Safety Bill progresses through the House of Commons, health and safety will be a staple of our 2021 agenda. Day Two discussions will cover the Building Safety Bill, the new roles critical to the regime as well as the ongoing cladding crisis. 

Day 3 - Legal Cases

Day Three will see a lively legal debate with several high-profile cases covered which could have significant implications on the world of leasehold.

Day 4 - Partner Expertise

On the final day, delegates can tap into a wealth of industry expertise as we open up the floor to our ARMA Partners who will provide delegates with free guidance on their chosen ‘Technical’ or ‘Business’ topics. 

Book Your Place

If you're looking forward to another year of engaging speakers, need-to-know content and lively discussions, make sure you save the date for our online Annual Conference. With more details to follow, bookings will open soon for members and non-members.

Description: Mon, 06 Sep 2021 14:26:00 +0100

Title: ARMA Welcomes the Recovery Potential of the ‘Polluter Pays’ Provision as an Amendment to the Building Safety Bill


The team at the PolluterPaysBill is seeking to convince the Government to add the Polluter Pays Redress Scheme into the Building Safety Bill, based on the provisions of the Environment Protection Act 1990 as amended, to establish a statutory framework for the recovery of direct and indirect remediation costs from responsible parties where a building is found not to have been constructed in accordance with building regulations in force at the time of construction.

Dr Nigel Glen, CEO of the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), has welcomed the recovery potential of the ‘Polluter Pays’ provision as an amendment to the current Building Safety Bill, and commented: 

“The proposal put forward to ensure that the responsible parties pay for cladding remediation and building safety work has been the stance of ARMA since the very start of this current crisis – we have long campaigned and asked Government to protect leaseholders from these crippling costs by immediately forward-funding all necessary remediation work required to make affected buildings and their residents safe as soon as possible. Allowing the Government to identify those works and place the responsibility of remediation costs on those who failed to make the grade in terms of materials, workmanship, or construction standards - rather than on leaseholders – is a sensible and practical solution to the current crisis.

“Adopting the Polluter Pays amendment will remove the current requirement in the Building Safety Bill for building owners and managing agents to pursue all reasonable avenues for costs, as well as the option for leaseholders to take what will likely be costly legal action against developers, and replaces it with a more practical scheme, where Government funds the work and recovers any costs from liable parties  - whether regulatory failure, developers, contractors, manufacturers, or warranty providers, for example – after the work has been completed. 

“Managing agents have shown extraordinary dedication to their residents, working tirelessly to expand their resources, and investing in supporting affected leaseholders in the last few years, so we are genuinely supportive of a remediation process that is proportionate, and entirely funded and delivered by Government."

Steve Day, a Campaigner in the ‘PolluterPaysBill’ and ‘Building Safety Crisis’ teams said: “We are grateful to ARMA for supporting this amendment to remove the burden of remediating defective buildings from leaseholders and to provide the right incentives to developers and others to ensure that their buildings are safe. We urge the government to bring forward the “polluter pays” provisions as a government amendment to the Building Safety Bill when Parliament returns in September. “

To find out more about the Polluter Pays Bill, click here.

To hear the Polluter Pays Bill discussed on BBC Radio 4, click here.

To visit the Polluter Pays Bill' Twitter account, click here.

Description: Thu, 12 Aug 2021 16:34:00 +0100

Title: New RICS 'Block Management Sector Code' Consultation Launches With Aim of Boosting Professionalism Across the Sector


New rules out for consultation on Wednesday 4th August 2021 are set to build on the best practice seen by regulated managing agents, to further improve professionalism across the sector, rooting out rogue agents, and improving transparency for all parties. 

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and The Property Ombudsmen (TPO) have joined forces with other members of the working group (of which ARMA Chairman, Michael Jacobs, is a member) to launch the Block Management Sector Code. RICS is now looking for managing agents, homeowners and tenant input.

The code, which is part of the work from the ROPA Code of Practice Steering Group (of which ARMA is a member, represented by its CEO, Nigel Glen) is set to improve the sector for consumers and those working within it by setting out clear standards and principles for all agents involved in the management of leasehold and commonhold property, and estates of freehold houses. Despite a primary focus for England, the rules could be adopted by all UK nations. 

The proposed code includes, but is not limited to:

  • increased transparency over service charges and management fees so homeowners understand where and how their money is being spent
  • support for how to deal with occupier disputes
  • recognising consumers’ use of social media and guidance on how best to work with residents’ associations in new and diverse ways   
  • updated complaints processes that are in line with regulated firm requirements
  • clear instructions on best practice for securing new business – ultimately rooting out rogue agents to make sure leaseholders are getting a fair and comprehensive service.

The aim of the code is to improve relations between block managing agents and their clients, ultimately by improving consumer understanding of block management and enhancing agent and client communications.

Mairéad Carroll, RICS Senior Specialist for Land and Property Standards, commented: “This proposed code looks to build on the best practice seen by regulated professionals, root out rogue agents and enhance relations between professional managing agents and the homeowners or tenants they work with, by setting out clear guidelines for agents to follow which consumers can understand.”

“Peter Habert, TPO Director of Policy, commented: “The objective of the code is to provide managing agents with a universal set of clear professional standards and, in doing so, give an authoritative point of reference for the level of service leaseholders can expect. This consultation is important as it provides the opportunity, not just for managing agents to have their say, but for leaseholders and freeholders to share their views to on what they consider a fair and reasonable service should look like”.

Dallas Banfield, First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Residential Property: "So many of the cases that come before the First-tier Tribunal have a lack of transparency at their heart. Anything that brings greater understanding of the respective rights and duties that exist between landlords and lessees must be welcomed. I thank the members of the working group all of whom shared this aim and gave their time so generously."

The consultation is open until 14 September 2021 and forms part of the two organisations’ work to improve trust across the whole residential sector by improving ethical and competent practice. RICS and the TPO are requesting for agents to also engage their clients in the process.

Description: Wed, 04 Aug 2021 11:12:00 +0100