Tenant Management Organisations (TMOs)

What is a TMO

Tenant management is a form of housing management in which the tenants in an area take on the responsibility of providing some or all housing management tasks on behalf of the council.

The right to manage regulations 2012 gives tenants in council homes the right to take over the management of their homes.

To take over management, the tenants must set up a properly constituted organisation - a tenant management organisation (TMO). The TMO committee members become directors with the responsibilities to run the organisation in accordance with the TMO’s constitution and the law.

Tenants involved in the TMOs process will have to undergo extensive training to develop the necessary skills and competencies required to manage housing and business services.

At the end of development, the council and the TMO will enter into a management agreement. The management agreement is a contract which outlines the role and responsibilities of the TMO and the council in delivering housing services to the properties under management.

What TMOs do

Some TMOs decide to take over most of the day to day management of their area, while some concentrate on particular functions.

TMOs can decide to take over a few functions responsibilities at first and increase them later, once they're experienced and established. They can also hand task back to the council if they no longer want that responsibility or are having difficulties.  

Typical tasks overseen by TMOs include:

  • cleaning and caretaking
  • collecting rents and chasing arrears
  • day to day repairs and maintenance
  • dealing with anti-social behaviour
  • dealing with neighbour disputes
  • employing staff to carry out these functions
  • ensuring the tenants are informed and listened to
  • letting the houses to new tenants
  • major works
  • managing and controlling the budget for management and maintenance
  • services to leaseholders
  • statutory consultation

The Right to Manage

The Housing (Right to Manage) Regulations 2012 give tenant organisations the right to take over the management of their homes. The resident groups exercising the right to manage must demonstrate that they have a constitution which is representative and accountable.  

TMO Right to Manage process. This process is also described in the text.

Running a TMO

TMOs are legal bodies and may be registered as Community Interest Companies or companies limited by guarantee. They may also be registered with the Financial Conducts Authority (FCA) as a Co-operative or a Community Benefit Society.

In common with all societies, community benefit societies and community interest companies, normally have members who hold shares and are accorded democratic rights on the basis on one-member-one-vote.

TMOs are limited liability companies therefore members are protected from individual liabilities in the course of running the company. Business is run by an elected Management Committee made up of tenants and leaseholders, all of whom are volunteers. The Management Committee represents residents and sets the objectives and priorities for the estate in management.

TMOs may have their own local office and may also employ their own staff in delivering housing services for the residents in the properties they manage.

TMOs are usually able to carry out repairs faster than the council. They’re also able to make allowance savings by spending efficiently and making the best use of available local resources.

Any savings a TMO makes can be spent on the estate in line with the wishes of the local community and their constitution.

Tenancy rights for residents living on TMO estates

Your tenancy rights or the ownership of your home are not affected by the establishment of a TMO.

Tenants have exactly the same rights as if they were under our management, including:

  • security of tenure
  • right to exchange
  • right to buy
  • right to repair
  • rent levels set as for other council tenants

Tenants remain secure tenants of the council. For leaseholders, the lease stays the same so you have the same rights and obligations.

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Page last updated: 16 September 2022

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