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Two neighbours deciding we will have parking wardens and permits next year- and we have no say at all? Help!

(29 Posts)
LoveArt Tue 15-Dec-15 01:48:52

We live on a private development of around 40 houses with lots of equally owned (and paid for) land.

Two of the neighbours volunteered as directors (unpaid) of the residents and sent letters in the week telling us we will be having traffic wardens and parking permits next year. They will also decide how many permits we are allowed.

Apparently only they can decide if this will happen. Is this correct they have the power to decide over anyone else as directors?

Really appreciate any help on this- thank you

Sprink Tue 15-Dec-15 02:01:48

Uh, no, not if its anything like our residents' association. We do this little thing called voting, especially as pertains to anything that carries a cost, such as parking wardens (wtf?).

We spent ages at one meeting deciding whether or not to hire a gardener for two hours per month for common land and whether £20/hr or £22/hr was better, given the various years of experience and references we'd been presented.

I chose to hit the complimentary wine.

LoveArt Tue 15-Dec-15 02:37:36

Thank you for your answer!

I have no idea what to do next about this issue... nobody else is even permitted to the meeting

SushiAndTheBanshees Tue 15-Dec-15 02:54:16

No, they can't make any decisions unilaterally that mean you incur costs without your say so - UNLESS the rules of the association allow them to do this.

You need to look through the constitutional documents of the Residents' Association. There will be a section on directors' powers. There will be a section on voting rights. There will be a section on costs. There will be a section on how to call a meeting, including notice periods and how many residents are required to show up to make it quorate etc. It should be very accessibly written, not difficult to read through.

Don't let yourself be intimidated or brushed off. These RAs are bullshit, an opportunity for people to bully their way through to getting their way for their own little fiefdoms. <no, not bitter at all>

AmusingSpoonerism Tue 15-Dec-15 03:00:04

I recently voted against something similar. Lots of people got hassle for parking on our road because it was near the local hospital. It drove me mad because I never had a problem parking my car on the street so why on earth should we try to prevent others from accessing the bloody hospital if they can't afford to pay the extortionate parking prices?!

You probably do get a say, they're just not telling you about it..:

Sprink Tue 15-Dec-15 03:48:19

Nobody else is permitted to the meeting? Out of 40 homes? Um...

Who set up this RA?

Who else is allowed in meetings other than these two?

Was there a proper election (we had an AGM and had to vote in officers for a cul-de-sac of ^10 houses^)?

This is horseshit and you should find your RA paperwork as soon as possible, then trot over and ask lots of friendly questions. What with being neighbours and all.

Sprink Tue 15-Dec-15 03:51:22

10 houses

There. That feels better with the emphasis.

lalalonglegs Tue 15-Dec-15 15:43:56

This is insane. The directors can't honestly expect the other residents to allow them to make decisions unilaterally and for these decisions to be respected and enforced? What, for example, if they decided that leaving rubbish out on more than two hours before the binmen came brings a fine of £100? Or growing pink geraniums means that they can come and dig up your garden?

So, yes, do check the rules of the RA (has it been set up as a limited company like a freehold company?). But if that doesn't get you anywhere, I think any parking company would have terrific difficulty enforcing parking fines for land which wasn't owned by the people that hired them.

OurBlanche Tue 15-Dec-15 16:10:54

They are acting as though being directors means that they own the Freehold, it does not.

Raise it with all other share holders, call a meeting, you are allowed to do that. But you must have a quorum for it to be able to decide anything and, in a holding of 40 houses, 2 will not be a legal quorum.

So get 21 other houses together (or whatever would constitute a majority of the available votes) and vote them out. Rework your directorship and enjoy living peacefully.

LoveArt Tue 15-Dec-15 18:55:40

Hello everyone thank you for your replies.

The property management sent this to me

How do you define a quorum OurBlanche?

I am so disappointed these neighbours are choosing to act like this sad

MiniCooperLover Tue 15-Dec-15 19:28:47

Those are basic company regulations used when setting up limited companies and their company books, but are complete overkill to be used for a housing management committee type thing. Have you actually set up a management company, listed at Companies House?

A quorum is the minimum number of members of the association needed to undertake its business, it should never be less than 2 people and as you only have 2 directors that sounds odd to me.

Stand up to them now collectively!! Don't let them bully you all into anything or soon they'll be sending invoices for works 'needed' and you'll find yourselves in real trouble.

Optimist1 Tue 15-Dec-15 19:29:17

I haven't got the fortitude to look through the attachment you linked to, but a quorum will depend on what has been agreed and documented in the association's constitution, I think. Basically, it sets out how many members must be present for decisions to be taken. So with 40 members, it might have been agreed that a quorum would be 12 - which means that if fewer than 12 turn up for a meeting then no decisions can be made. It doesn't mean that any 12 can make a decision without consulting the remaining members!

LondonEasy Tue 15-Dec-15 19:54:36

Hi LoveArt hope you make some headway. If you don't have a RA now might the time to put one in. The management agent has sent you 18 pages! Can you ask them to specify which pages refer to you?

OurBlanche Wed 16-Dec-15 11:24:09

What kind of company was set up?

Your directors may be acting legally, it is entirely dependent upon how the company was set up. But it is, imo, for 2 directors to be handed carte blanche for a property management company. They should not be able to force you into paying for something the shareholders have not agreed upon.

As shareholders you can remove them, call a general meeting - as described in the document you were sent - and do so! Then draw up some more sensible agreements that will bind future management decisions.

LoveArt Wed 16-Dec-15 19:46:45

Apparently it is " Company limited by Guarantee and not having a Share Capital"

I don't think we are shareholders but all members as anyone on dwelling on the estate is automatically a member of the association?

MiniCooperLover Wed 16-Dec-15 19:59:48

You need to challenge these 2 and remind them that you are all equal members and they can not take unilateral decisions on your behalf!! And by you, I mean all of you:

LBOCS2 Wed 16-Dec-15 21:27:45

Have you got a copy of your TP1?

homebythesea Thu 17-Dec-15 08:39:21

Members of a company are all by definition shareholders. If all residents are members of the company then there are rights to call a meeting etc.

If the 2 directors are the only members of the company then I wonder how they think they will be able to fund the permits/wardens system? They will have to invoice all residents. What do they think will happen if you don't pay?

But yiu are being very vague about the setup OP- do you not have any paperwork at all about the residents Assiciation? How about just writing to the directors and asking them for copies of the Constitution, shareholding details etc. I would also be putting a note through every single door in the development calling a meeting to discuss the issue

LoveArt Fri 18-Dec-15 21:35:46

I am not meaning to be vague. The only passed on pretty much the standard government stuff as in the link above just with a page added about how anyone in the dwelling in a member of the association.

I researched the parking company the want to use and found horror stories of these companies finding an excuse to start fining the residents (permit upside down) in own spaces. The director has history of his previous parking companies being struck off.

After all apparently they will operate for "free"- so of course they need to meet costs from somewhere.

I told them this information and was told I "should be careful what I say" (strongly feel he was trying to imply I was being slanderous as he copied in the management company) and was told as a suggestion I should "forget about it and relax".
The other director now claims there was an AGM and as we did not go we are not entitled to ask questions on the "proposal" and he was tired of it.

MiniCooperLover Fri 18-Dec-15 22:29:00

They're bullying you. Trying to do the whole 'be a good little woman and shut up' so you have two choices. Challenge as a group or shut up but I pray you don't do that! Good luck.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 18-Dec-15 22:49:24

Did they advertise the agm? I would contact the parking company and tell them that you're disputing the authority of these two clowns to give the go ahead to such a scheme. And get down to CAB for some advice.

homebythesea Fri 18-Dec-15 23:14:50

If you are a member you should have a share certificate and be sent copies of the minutes of meetings and accounts. Ask for these documents

MotherofFlagons Fri 18-Dec-15 23:20:55

Err no. They can't do this. Will drop you a line tomorrow.

wowfudge Sat 19-Dec-15 00:00:17

A company limited by guarantee not having a share capital does not have shares and therefore nor does it have shareholders. Some of the advice on this thread is therefore incorrect.

However, as a resident you should be a member of the company. Look up 'Companies House beta service' and put the residents' association name in to find the documents filed for it.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sat 19-Dec-15 06:39:06

I love the idea of the rest of the residents getting together and firing the directors, it will be like a military coup. Do it, get the others on side and Fire them.

It will fuck with their heads so much. Tell them you've had your own agm and they didn't come to it so they can't comment. Then pat the wanker on his head and tell him not to worry about it.

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