A campaigning landlord and a managing agent are embroiled in an ugly spat over the right to manage their apartment building in Manchester.

Frustrated landlord Philip Crawford, who has been interviewed on national TV about property management issues, claims tenants are at risk after Edge Property Management – also the freeholder – withheld the fire risk assessment on two adjacent properties in Athol Road (pictured), which Edge strongly denies.

He says seven of the 10 flat owners are landlord investors – all of whom have backed a bid to take on the right to manage – and that the firm deliberately split the building into two so that the attempt would be unsuccessful.

Edge MD Phil Green tells LandlordZONE that it is under no obligation to share the fire risk assessment. He says none of the recommendations were ‘category one’ and that it will carry out works identified when the statutory notice period has expired.

Right to manage

Green points out that The Property Ombudsman rejected Crawford’s claim for the right to manage while he also lost his case for management at the First Tier Tribunal.

He adds: “Mr Crawford has an agenda which consists of buying flats and causing disruption and attacking the landlord or managing agents with a view to gaining the management of the site as part of his own income.”

Crawford (pictured) commissioned his own fire risk assessment in April, and says this found that the building wasn’t safe. It discovered combustible back boards, wet basement walls, no RCD protection, and unsafe and out of date fire alarm fuses.

Crawford tells LandlordZONE: “One woman’s flat has been damp for 18 months yet she still pays a very high service charge. It’s now impossible to sell the flats as once a potential buyer finds out about these problems they pull out.”

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