Resident management organisations and co-ops

Housing Law in England gives local authority tenants a collective right to take on the management of the council housing where they live.

The Housing (Right to Manage) (England) Regulations 2012 streamlined the previous Right to Manage Regulations to make it easier and quicker for tenants to exercise their legal right.

To exercise this right, a tenants' group must follow a set procedure, show that they have the support of tenants and that they are competent to manage services properly.

Registered RMOs can take a number of legal forms including co-operatives. We currently have 12 active RMOs in Wandsworth covering over 3000 homes. To initiate the process, a RMO must serve a written notice on the Council of its intention to exercise the Right to Manage.

Who it applies to

A properly constituted residents' group with a membership of at least 20% of the estate/block must first be set up.

The RMO's membership must comprise at least 20% of all tenants (secure tenants and leaseholders), and at least 20% of all secure tenants from within this area.

The Right to Manage only applies to council tenants and leaseholders, and at the time the notice is served, at least 25 homes within the area the resident group wishes to manage must be let under secure tenancies. There is no upper limit for the number of properties managed by RMOs.

Why RMOs are set up

Resident management gives residents more control in running their homes while still benefiting from the Council being the freeholder. There are a wide range of reasons why residents are interested in tenant management. These could include:

  • Local control of services
  • The ability to tailor services to local needs
  • Employing your own staff team

RMO services and responsibilities

What you take on is up to you. RMOs can decide to take over only a few responsibilities at first and increase them later once they are more experienced and established.

We can also help you access a range of training sessions to support you in running the RMO.

The kind of services taken on by RMOs in Wandsworth so far include:

  • Day-to-day repairs and maintenance
  • Cleaning and care-taking
  • Dealing with neighbour disputes
  • Cyclical redecoration and maintenance
  • Collecting rents and service charges and chasing arrears
  • Ensuring residents are informed and listened to
  • Employing staff to carry out these functions
  • Managing and controlling the budget for management and maintenance

Who funds RMOs 

The RMO's operations are mainly funded by the management fees that are paid by the Council. The RMO negotiates an allowance from the Council for the management and maintenance of the properties.

The budget agreed is determined by the:

  • Number of properties to be managed,
  • Services that the RMO provides, and
  • Historical cost of these services.

It is based on the Council's own costs of providing the services that the RMO wish to take over. The Government has published Right to Manage guidance on how the allowances are to be calculated.

Find out more

Read our step by step guide to setting up an RMO.