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The Earl of Caithness: I hope the noble Lord will copy the correspondence to us. We have been looking forward all afternoon to hear his defence of Clause 100, and we feel rather left out of the correspondence between the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, and the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh of Haringey.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Anyone who wants it can have it. I shall place a copy in the Library. There is no shortage of paper. It can be a long letter if you want.

The Earl of Caithness: Another rain forest is cut down at the same time.

On a serious point, I was confused by the point made by the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh of Haringey, on common parts. He said that the management could be done either by the landlord or by the management company--at least, that is what I thought he said.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The responsibility for paying is in proportion to the units.

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The Earl of Caithness: But the management will be done by the management company, will it not?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Yes.

The Earl of Caithness: I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh of Haringey, for that. I misheard him to begin with and I am grateful for the clarification.

Lord Goodhart: I remain quite worried by this. It is true that the proposal that the RTM company should take over the management of the whole block as far as it shares the same common parts is consistent with the line we have been taking. However, the amendments are not driven so much by that as by my concern about the workability of the system under which the responsibilities will be divided between the right-to-manage company and the landlord. I simply do not believe that is workable.

If there is going to be a right-to-manage company, it has to take over responsibility, like it or not, for the whole of the block. How will it regard the excluded units? How will one allocate the facilities charge between the RTM company and the landlord? How will one deal with issues such as heating where the RTM company maintains the boilers and so on? If there is a blockage somewhere in the pipes which affects only the radiator of the excluded unit, the responsibility for dealing with that will shift over to the landlord. That is just not workable.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I would not like the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, to sit down feeling dissatisfied with the answers. He is quite right in saying--and I failed initially to make clear to the noble Earl, Lord Caithness--that it is the right-to-manage company which implies the duty to manage. It is responsible exactly as the noble Earl, Lord Caithness, and the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, say.

The question of who pays is what I thought was being addressed. The answer is that somebody pays for each of the units, either the RTM company member, the leaseholder, or where there is a shorthold, they pay. If it is a short-term or commercial tenancy, then the responsibility for payment is set out in the lease. Somebody pays for all the units, and therefore somebody pays his share of all the common costs.

The only remaining problem would be if there were a problem of access to get to defective pipes in a single unit, but I cannot imagine that that is what the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, is worried about.

The Earl of Caithness: I am not sure I followed the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart. I am with the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh of Haringey. Surely it is not that different from what is happening now. If the landlord is managing the property now, and there are long leases and other leases, which is quite normal, it is not a question of the apportionment of the cost and the liability; it is not to do with the management per se.

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The noble Lord, Lord McIntosh of Haringey, has confirmed that it is the right-to-manage company which takes over the management; it is a question then of the apportionment of the costs which needs to be sorted out right from the beginning.

7.45 p.m.

Lord Lea of Crondall: This confusion was beginning to emerge during the debate on Schedule 6 about the two kinds of common parts. There are common parts between the residential parts, and there are common parts for the whole of the shell of the building. My only thought is that when my noble friend Lord McIntosh writes his letter he should address the question of which type of common parts fall into which category. Two kinds of common parts are being talked about here. There are certainly common parts between the residential areas and common parts for the whole shell of the building. That certainly seems to be part of the debate that is going round at the moment.

Lord Goodhart: We are in a state of some confusion. My understanding is that the effect of Clause 93(6)(a) is to leave the RTM company with the responsibility

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for managing common parts, but not with the responsibility for exercising management functions with respect to matters that are internal to a single unit. Those matters that are internal to a single unit therefore must necessarily remain the responsibility of the landlord, so that management is divided.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I shall include it in my letter.

Lord Goodhart: That would be helpful. I may have misunderstood matters, but it seems to me that they are fairly obscure. I would welcome a letter on this point. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 93 agreed to.

Lord Whitty: In this atmosphere of confusion, yet to be enlightened, I would suggest that the Committee adjourn.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Viscount Simon): The Committee stands adjourned sine die.

        The Committee adjourned at thirteen minutes before eight o'clock.


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