What is a TMO?
A Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) is an organisation set-up by tenants and/or leaseholders to manage their estate/block. Every council tenant in England and Wales has the right to manage the housing services they receive. This is set out in Government guidance.
Each TMO has its own legal contract with the Council, known as the Modular Management Agreement. This agreement outlines what services the TMO is responsible for and what services the Council is responsible for on an estate. The Management Agreement also gives the Council powers to monitor TMOs and act when a TMO is not performing. TMOs usually operate as a co-operative or non-profit making community company. The Council provides TMOs with their own local offices and office equipment including IT. TMOs employ their own staff to provide housing management services to their residents.
How many TMOs are in Tower Hamlets?
There are 4 TMO in Tower Hamlets:
Bancroft (603 properties)
Dennis (75 properties)
Birchfield (24 properties)
What services are TMOs responsible for in Tower Hamlets?
TMOs can choose how much or how little responsibility they want to take over from the Council. The services managed by TMOs vary but in Tower Hamlets, TMO managed services include:
- Day-to-day repairs and maintenance
- Tenancy management
- Rent collection and rent recovery.
In Tower Hamlets, THH and not the TMOs are responsible for major works such as repairing the structure of buildings or installing fire safety equipment. Programs to replace kitchens, bathrooms, doors and windows also remain the responsibility of the THH.
How are TMOs financed?
THH pays TMOs an annual allowance by which is dependent on the size of the TMO and the services it provides. How much allowance each TMO receives is determined by Government guidance.
Are TMOs in Tower Hamlets responsible for fire safety?
As with all Tower Hamlets estates, most aspects of fire safety remain the responsibility of the Council as the landlord.
Tower Hamlets is responsible for:
- Conducting Fire Risk Assessments
- Maintaining fire safety equipment
- Maintaining the structure of buildings
- Maintenance of fire alarms and smoke detectors
- Maintaining fire safety signs
- Carrying out all repairs and improvements related to fire safety
The TMOs role in fire safety is to work with residents to help prevent fire safety hazards, such as blocking access and escape routes or fire hazards in properties. TMOs are also responsible for carrying out regular visual inspections of estates and reporting any concerns to THH.
How are TMOs regulated in Tower Hamlets?
TMOs in Tower Hamlets are closely regulated by THH:
A dedicated THH team is responsible for the regulation and performance management of TMOs in Tower Hamlets.
Government guidance allows THH to act against TMOs which can result in THH in conjunction with the Council taking back certain services or, if necessary, closing the TMO and bringing all services on the estate back under the full control of THH.
THH undertakes reviews of each TMO. Where the Management Agreement is not being met, an action plan is agreed with the TMO Board which is monitored by the TMO team. Formal action can be taken against the TMO if necessary.
TMO performance is monitored by THH and is scrutinised by EMT.
Setting up a TMO
You can set up a TMO in six steps:
- Explore the options for involvement
- Right to manage notice
- Develop business plan training and negotiations
- Competence assessment
- Offer to tenants and then ballot
- Setting up and going live
Becoming a member of a TMO, or starting one yourself, is one way of becoming more involved with your housing services. A group of tenants and/ or leaseholders will start by looking at the options for taking over services.
Council tenants and or leaseholders have the right to set up a TMO provided they have been independently assessed to be competent to manage the proposed services and many secure tenants agree to the TMO in a secret ballot.
If a TMO is set up, you remain as a tenant or a leaseholder of the council and your existing rights are protected.
More information is available from the National Federation of TMOs. If you are interested in setting up a TMO, please contact us.
Withy House TMO
T: 020 7702 7674 (Office opening hours - Mon, Wed & Fri 10:00-18:00)
12 Wickford Street
Contact: David Lucas
0207 987 3834