Overseas Owners and Getting Recognition
Q: We face a number of challenges because the majority of units are held by overseas leaseholders from the Middle East, China, Singapore, Japan, etc. The level of understanding of English is variable and some documents or emails have to be translated. Our inaugural and further meetings will have to be via a video or telephone conference facility because a physical meeting is not practical as leaseholders are spread over the globe. Collection of a subscription could be very problematic because of the different currencies involved and a trust issue that has arisen because all leaseholders have been subject to fraud and malpractice by letting agents and original developers
Do you think that lack of a subscription would be a major impediment if we apply to the First Tier Tribunal for official recognition?
FPRA Chairman Bob Smytherman replies:
Collection of subs from an RA is often problematic. The answer really depends on what you are looking to spend the subscription on: if it’s just FPRA membership I think this should be paid by all leaseholders from your service charge as all members will benefit from our advice services; however if you are looking to raise funds for other things then it may not be appropriate to take from the service charge.
The FTT will need evidence that your RA is clearly and democratically representing the interests of the majority of Leaseholders if you are able to demonstrate this fact it would be unwise for a freeholder to refuse to recognise your RA.
[Submitted August 2019]