Long term responsibilities of freeholder

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    Long term responsibilities of freeholder

    I own the freehold to a building containing 6 flats. The building is around 120 years old and in poor condition. The RTM company are doing their best to maintain it, but I'm worried that in the long run, they won't be able to raise sufficient funds to do things such as replace the roof and the fire escape.

    I'm worried that, as there are potential safety issues here, rather than just aesthetics, that I might be liable for the repairs/replacement, or any accidents that occur in the meantime.

    Can anyone advise?

    #2
    According to this JB Leitch article, a freeholder is not absolved from blame or responsibility if the Right to Manage Company fails to address repair/maintenance and health and safety issues ....
    If your property is managed by an RTM company and inadequate risk assessments have been carried out where does this leave you as a freeholder?

    Comment


      #3
      Are they not obeying the lease and the law (which is all they have to do). The way they raise funds is as the lease specifies. Or are your concerns beyond the lease?

      Did you obey the lease before they became RTM?

      Comment


        #4
        1. I suggest you look at the cover under the buildings insurance policy to ensure it includes adequate cover for public liability.

        2. The lease probably needs some addition clause in the service charge to have collection of sinking fund for roof renewal and fire escape. You should consider offering this .

        Comment


          #5
          As noted earlier the RTM does not absolve the freeholder from keeping a watching brief over the property. If the RTM fail to insure then the frreholder would be liable for their failure in the first instance although presumably he could take action against the directors for their failure in office

          If they fail to carry out works that are needed you can make an application for the appointment of a manager. The application is to the FTT . Before doing so you will need to serve on them a notice giving them reasonable time to do the work . The RTM cannot advance that they don’t have funds as the leases would give them the power to raise it from the leaseholders . The FTT have the powers to appoint a manager usually a surveyor who will press on with the works


          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
            1. I suggest you look at the cover under the buildings insurance policy to ensure it includes adequate cover for public liability.
            The insurers also need to know the level of disrepair, as they will evade a public liability claim if it was due to disrepair for which they had not set an appropriately raised premium.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
              Are they not obeying the lease and the law (which is all they have to do). The way they raise funds is as the lease specifies. Or are your concerns beyond the lease?

              Did you obey the lease before they became RTM?
              I think my concerns are beyond the lease although yours and @gordon999's points give me something additional to get sorted.

              Essentially there is a sinking fund, but I worry that it will never be enough even with substantial additional contributions from leaseholders, to cover the huge amount of work required over the next 24 months.

              The RTM are, in my opinion, doing a good job in difficult circumstances. But I'm worried that eventually 1 or 2 of the leaseholders will decide that ultimately it is my responsibility and expect me to fund the repairs. Particularly if things like the fire escape start to fall apart.

              Comment


                #8
                What does FTT stand for?

                Comment


                  #9
                  First Tier Tribunal, specifically the property division. See the statutory notice that accompanies any payable service charge demand.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would be questioning the RTM mob on why they aren't maintaining the property in accordance with the lease...that's assuming the lease has appropriate clauses covering maintenance and repair of course!

                    How about calling the RTM to a joint building inspection perhaps even with a property surveyor?

                    Comment

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