If you’ve lived in a block of flats you’ll know there is always someone complaining. About bins, parking, cleaning or something.

You’ll also realise that there are some leaseholders who don’t like the way anything is done unless they’ve approved it or suggested it. Flat management can be a nightmare.

Recently, I dealt with a situation where a small number of leaseholders were not happy about the way the directors made decisions. It didn’t help that both the directors of the flat management company were women – at least for this group (talk about out of touch).

Why are people so fired up about these things? Well it’s their home, they probably have moved from a house where they controlled everything and now they have to compromise and accept the views of others. Not so easy after you’ve been king of your own castle.

Money is an issue too. They may be on a limited income and the thought of spending money on ‘unnecessary’ things isn’t comfortable. So, spending on a gardener, a cleaner, for example, might seem things that could be done by themselves. Yet the point of a management company is to make sure these things are done, done right, and in a timely manner.

Tension may run high for all sorts of reasons.

Perhaps the biggest reason is a lack of understanding. Most people have not run a company. Most people don’t need to understand a lease. Most people don’t understand that the front door to the building, and the way to their flat front door, may not be theirs at all.

The lease they occupy their flat under, the memorandum and articles of the flat management company, and the various statutory requirements for companies, contractors, service providers and the like, all work together.

These arrangements are well tried and tested. Most situations have arisen before, and the documents are written to provide a solution. When you analyse it, hiring a managing agent also makes good risk management and financial sense.

So, remember that company law applies to your flat management company, the lease provides for your behaviour, and legislation provides for how work can be carried out on the property shared by all the leaseholders.

Those pesky leaseholders shouting about how things are done are probably way out of order. They are also likely to be putting themselves in high financial risk. Once that is explained they tend to be more co-operative.

Many flat management companies are now facing the cladding crisis. The initial reaction to the Grenfell tragedy was very cautious and has led to some worrying times for many people. Some leaseholders faced extreme costs having done nothing wrong. The government is now trying to clarify and reduce the impact on leaseholders. However, there remains a lack of clarity.

Whilst the government is advising more pragmatic risk-based decisions the damage is already done. Insurers are nervous and premiums have shot up. Professionals have found their insurance up too. All because the problem was identified, the costs huge, and no clear indication of who is liable was made.

Leaseholders have been promised a cap on expenditure yet this has only made the risk for insurers higher. There remains no clear liability or burden of payment. Developers are being pressurised yet contractors and sub-contractors probably carried out the works. Specifiers and suppliers also potentially have a share of the burden. There is no clear answer.

The management companies for these blocks also face difficult questions and the directors are placed in a very difficult position. It is questionable whether they are able to both carry out their duty to maintain and repair whilst also being protective of their stakeholders in law. By this, I mean their duty not to act detrimentally to leaseholders. It is a fine balancing act.

If you want help then I am uniquely qualified to advise. Most of my career has been spent as a Chartered Surveyor and the latter years also as a Chartered Director advising companies. I’m always open to a conversation.