Does FirstPort support Residents’ Associations?

At FirstPort we recognise the importance of leaseholders being able formally assist with the property management process. This can be more difficult when there is no Resident Management Company in place, but the best way to become involved is to set up a Residents’ Association.

Forming a Residents’ Association is an effective and organised way for you as leaseholders to put forward your collective views, contribute to decision making and be part of the formal management process.

Residents associations should be set up fairly and democratically. To form a residents’ association, you need to follow a formal process which has been set out by the First-tier Tribunal.

The first thing you need to do is draw up a constitution for how you will operate. The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) has produced a useful template which we can provide on request or you can find on their website.

Other points to note are:

  • Membership shouldn’t be less than 51% of those eligible to join (members must be paying a variable service charge to their landlord)
  • Only one association per block will be recognised (multiple blocks on a development can have separate associations)
  • Only one vote per home is allowed (in decision making processes)

It is your landlord who formally recognises you as a Residents’ Association. We will write to them on your behalf when we have received the formal constitution and membership information.

What legal rights does the Residents’ Association have?

When recognition is given, Residents’ Associations can exercise a number of legal rights. The secretary of an association can:

  • Ask for a summary of service charge costs
  • Inspect accounts and receipts in relation to service charges
  • Ask to be consulted about the appointment or reappointment of a managing agent
  • Ask for a summary of insurance cover for the block
  • Appoint a surveyor to advise on any matter relating to service charges.

As a Residents’ associations, you also have the right to nominate contractors and inspect any estimates and specifications when there are any major works proposed under the Section 20 consultation process.