Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) and the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership (LKP)
ARMA is the trade body representing managing agents, from those who look after a few blocks to national companies who manage many. They do not represent individual property managers. In the words of ARMA “the role of a managing agent is a complex one and requires a professional approach. To carry out the role requires knowledge of landlord and tenant law, building construction, health and safety regulations, basic accounting and more”
So their aim is to promote high standards of leasehold management and professionalism through advice, training and guidance.
But what services do managing agents provide? More information can be found here.
Leasehold Knowledge Partnership
LKP is a registered charity which is not involved in property management. Instead its role is in accrediting leasehold managing agents in a good governance scheme recognised by the Charity Commission. Their aim is to identify the managing agents approach to residential property management and those agents who sign up with them want to work with leaseholder managed blocks, through resident management companies. The biggest difference between the two organisations is that LKP members are not freeholders.
However, leaseholders have been campaigning for decades (ever since the creation of the long lease) for all managing agents to become licensed and have continually railed against the poor services provided by far too many. Despite this there is still no criteria to meet to become one. Anyone (including the criminal or those with criminal tendencies) can enter the market without any qualifications and set up shop. This was why ARMA introduced its Consumer Charter and Standards in 2015 aimed at consumer protection and best practice in all areas of residential leasehold management.
This may however be set to change as on October 1st 2017 Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government launched a call for evidence seeking views on the regulation of letting and managing agents and the approaches government could take to implement any such regulation.