OFT Launches Review

Earlier this year, the Office of Fair Trading launched a review of residential management services, to see whether they are working well for consumers, and how they might be improved. The OFT looked at leaseholders’ perceptions of value for money from management service providers, and also whether they understand their rights and obligations and are able to influence decisions made by their management companies.

In April, the OFT was abolished, but the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is now continuing with the review. The Residents Advisory Panel (RAP) decided it was important to contribute to the research and produced a report that was sent to the CMA in June. This focused on the importance of good communication and transparency when dealing with leaseholders. It also emphasised the need for good practice and a focus on customer service, which build trust by putting the interests of the leaseholders first. The panel was clear that the not-for-profit principles of Cognatum, offers residents a significant advantage, while recognising that this superior model may not be universally possible.

The review is likely to recommend some form of regulatory framework, when it is published around the end of the year. It is expected that companies will be required to register and operate to set standards. As an organisation that prides itself on its practices and high ethical standards, Cognatum will welcome this.

A copy of the RAP submission can be viewed here.