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Working with TMOs Matthew Warburton - 08/08/2013

transfer_300In March 2012 the government consulted on proposals to streamline the Right to Manage, which gives tenant management organisations (TMOs) the right to take on management of council estates.


A couple of weeks ago it published a summary of responses to the consultation and set out its proposed next steps. Two main simplifications to the Right to Manage process were proposed in the consultation. The first was to remove the requirement to notify the Secretary of State of the outcome of any ballot on transferring management to a TMO and send in a copy of the management agreement.

The second was to drop the requirement for TMOs to prepare a feasibility study separate from their formal "offer" to tenants. Responses to the consultation - with the majority coming from local authorities - were broadly supportive of these changes, but with a few caveats. CLG's response is to propose to work with the local authority and tenant sectors to develop new guidance, in the hope that these remaining issues can be swept up in the process.

Government policy on tenant management has always focussed on the initial transfer of management from council to TMO, and very little attention has been given to the challenge of sustaining TMOs, ensuring that they continue to perform, and, in the worst case scenario, intervening to transfer management back to the council. But for many ARCH members, managing their relationship with "mature" TMOs may now be a bigger issue than handling new applications under the Right to Manage.

Managing a relationship with TMOs is one of the functions retained by councils with ALMOs, which is why ARCH is joining forces with CWAG - the Councils with ALMOs Group - to organise a seminar for councils interested in this issue to discuss both the challenges of working with TMOs and the government's proposals to streamline the Right to Manage. Full details are available here. We are hoping that this event will provide an important opportunity for councils to exchange experience and shape ARCH's input into the process of developing the new guidance.

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