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surgery Findanagent A lAsting legAcy

eightsteps to ARMAMeMbeRship

in theircurrentlegal formatandhave beenmanaging wholeblocksoflong- leaseholdflats for morethantwoyears

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Promotingprofessionalism wasakey theme at last year’s ARMAconference

changeand buildconsensus to bringitto fruition,she says.“Iamalsoknownas agood communicator,building constructive working relationships across boundaries and with otherorganisations”. Thenew CEOfirmly believes theseskillstobehighlypertinent to ARMA’s currentand future needs. “Personally, Iwillget real satisfaction if Ican demonstrate that Ihavehelped theorganisationget to whereitneedstobe,”she says. TheroleofCEO is splitintodifferentparts.

Michelle considers herself lucky to have inheritedagood team,which provides a high quality day-to-daymembership service. “Togetherwewillcontinuetoworktoimprove membership services,” shesays, addingthat hers is notonlyanadministrativeposition but also “a listening role”which requires a positive, active response tomembers’ issues and concerns. Beyond that,the chiefexecutive workswith

thegoverning Counciltoset thestrategic aims of the organisation. “This role will be particularly important over the next few monthsaswedevelop thedetails of anew regulatory regime,” she says. Finallythe chiefexecutive shares with

theChair andCouncilmembers, thejob of representingthe interestsofARMA members to other organisations, particularly government.AccordingtoMichelle, “thisis not simply amatter of following blindly the course that best servesmanaging agents: it is also aboutlistening morewidelytothe experiences of thosewho have dealingswith ARMAmembers, such as thosewhoemploy themand especially leaseholderswho are therecipientsoftheir services.Itisabout recognising issuesand raisingstandards to make things work better for everyone.”

Flat Living Spring2012 Having been in herrolefor just over two

months,what have been her early impressions of ARMA?Michelle’sinitial view is of an efficientorganisationwithaclear and strongsense of purposeand an enthusiastic secretariatthatworks hard to provide support tomembers. She declares herself “impressed” by thesheer volumeof guidance on offer andacknowledgesthatARMACouncil members, despite representing a wide variety ofmanaging agents -large andsmall,are all committed to securing improved standards across the industry. ARMAhas morethan270 corporate

members, rangingfromsmallfamily-run firmswith just afew blocks to national companiesmanagingtensofthousands of flats.Collectivelymembers aremanaging some900,000 flats in around 34,000 blocks –a significantproportionofthe estimated1.6 millionflatsintheUK.The fact that ARMA membersmanagesuchalarge percentage of thecountry’s leaseholdproperty,makes ARMA’s role –and thelevel of serviceprovided by itsmembers - pivotal to the wellbeing of UKleaseholders. As a result, Michelle’s key task forher first sixmonthsatARMAisto developadetailedstrategyfor establishinga newregulatoryregimeformanaging agents, based on independent assessment of clear professional standards. “Weaim to buildonthe requirements for

membership that have already been put in place” she explains. Prospectivemembers already have to comply with stringententry conditions (see box) butMichellebelieves that therealkey to improvingleaseholder confidencethathighstandards arebeing metisindependent assessment,based on clearlyestablished rulesand atransparent


ARMA’saimsand objectivesand Memorandum &Articlesof Association

3 4 Abidebythe

RICSService ChargeResidential ManagementCode, andanyother relevantrecognised codes


therequired accountant’sreport, showingtheyare

Prospective corporatemembers of ARMAmust comply with strict entry criteria before their application is accepted. Membersmust:


holdingclients’ moniesintrust,or RICSAnnualReturn issubmittedannually

5 Maintain

adequate insurances forprofessional indemnityand submit therequired annualcertificate

theAssociation’s requirements regardingcomplaints

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membership ofa relevant independent Ombudsman scheme.

monitoringprocess. Sheacknowledgesthat thismaybetough forsomemanagingagents -but thosewhomeet thestandards should haveamarketadvantage.“It will be ARMA’s responsibility to supportmembers in the changes andimprovementsthattheyneed tomake. Ultimately, the schemewill not succeed unlessmembers, theirclients andthe end users ofmanaging agent services all see demonstrablebenefits,” shesays. ARMA’s newCEO is arealist. Grant

Shapps has gone on record as supporting self-regulationbythe sector andMichelle fully understands howhard it is tomake any administration take a policy U-turn. “ARMAwillcontinuetolobbyfor government regulation,” sheconfirms,whileaccepting that thepresent government does notintend to go downthis route. “Assoonasthisbecame clear, ARMAstarted to develop an industry- ledapproach,” sheexplains. ARMAwill keep talkingtogovernment, aimingtoinfluence anyfurther thinking on this issue but, in the meantime,ARMA’snew CEOisdetermined to do everything in her power to ensure that strongself-regulationemergesasaneffective alternative.●

39 Maintaina

currentHealth &SafetyPolicy Statement


WhatARMAdoes 43 Directory guidance

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