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EMS Explained

Who are we?

Thurloe Owners and Leaseholders Association (TOLA) represents all owners of freehold or leasehold property within the area of the Anstruther South Kensington Estates Estate Management Scheme (EMS), the boundaries of which are defined in the plan on the Home Page.

What is an EMS? (click here for documents)

The 1993 Leasehold Reform Act included provisions to set up Estate Management Schemes to provide for the continued conservation of the old historic residential estates once leaseholders were able to become freehold owners by enfranchising their properties. The scheme enables the Landlord, working with the owners, to continue to regulate the development, the use and the appearance of the Estate.

When was the South Kensington Estates EMS set up and why?

The Anstruther South Kensington EMS was approved in 1998 as the result of constructive dialogue between the landlord and the leaseholders.   The aim of the Scheme is to provide a framework for the management of the area to the mutual benefit of enfranchised owners, remaining leaseholders and the landlord, who agreed to be bound by its provisions.

How does it affect me?

The EMS is registered with the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and is a local land charge, binding on each freehold (enfranchised) property within its boundaries.  You should have received a copy of the Scheme from your solicitor when you bought your house, together with an introductory leaflet and guidelines for alterations to properties.

How does it work?

The Scheme is administered through an Executive Committee comprising representatives of TOLA and the landlord.   Owners, including the landlord in the case of leasehold properties, pay an annual contribution towards costs.   Each of the 8 TOLA members represents a different street or terrace (termed a block) and the Committee normally meets four times a year.

What does the Scheme cover?

An Owner's obligations under the EMS are similar to the covenants and conditions in the former long lease. They include restrictions as to user, nuisance, general appearance, trees and, of course, alterations, and positive obligations to maintain your house and garden in good order.   The intention is to make sure this area remains a well ordered, considerate and friendly neighbourhood and this, of course, depends upon the willing co-operation of all its residents.

What are the restrictions on carrying out alterations to my house?

You need Planning consent for any external alteration to your house and, because it is Listed Grade II for its architectural quality, you also need Listed Building consent for both internal and external alterations. In addition, you must comply with the terms of the EMS:

  • If you are a freehold Owner, the EMS provides that all alterations to the external appearance of your house, however minor, must be approved by the Landlord (as defined in the Scheme) before starting work
  • If you are a Leaseholder, under the terms of your lease, all alterations, whether internal or external must be approved by the landlord before starting work

What about the Garden Squares?

Thurloe and Alexander Garden Squares are owned by the Estate and administered under the framework of the EMS by South Kensington Estates Limited, in consultation with TOLA block representatives (see TOLA Reps).  If you live in either Square, you may have access to the relevant Garden by right but Owners and Leaseholders elsewhere on the Estate may also apply for a key.

Can we help you?

The names and addresses of the TOLA members of the EMS Executive committee are on the TOLA Reps Page of this website together with the blocks they represent: please get in touch with your own representative if you need any help or if you would like further information.