Leaseholder/freeholder relationships

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    Leaseholder/freeholder relationships


    Can a freeholder insist that a Leaseholder contacts the Managing Agent only with matters relating to the property?. We have a Leaseholder who insists on copying us into all communications, (via our personal email addresses and not the freeholder email address) and if the Managing Agent does not contact them immediately the emails may continue; or they will then telephone us (sometimes witholding their number). Very often the Leaseholder is rude and beligerant. We have advised them many times that they are to contact the Managing Agent and that the Managing Agent will advise us of anything that needs to be bought to our attention; but it seem to fall upon deaf ears... do we just have to put up with this and learn to switch off to anything that is not of an urgent nature?


    It would appear you want the rewards without the hassle, you have to ask yourself is your MA responding to reasonable requests and responding to leaseholders expecting to receive those replies in a timely manner, which as you already know is not correct or they wouldn't be contacting you.
    If you have an issue take it up with your MA who you probably pay a good amount to, to provide a good service of which the leaseholder also pays an increased charge to expect a decent service of which it appears he is not getting, strange that in the leasehold sector!


      I had trouble parsing the question. I wasn't sure if only referred to the managing agent, or only referred to the type of problem.

      In the former case, in this forum, AST tenants are often advised to bypass the letting agent, so I don't see why that should not also be true for the long leasholders.


        Good question. Ultimately the LH relationship is with you and I don't think there is anything you can do to prevent him contacting you.
        Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

        I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

        It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

        Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.


          Thank you for your responses. So far there have been no rewards! Just thousands spent on legal fees in getting another Leaseholder to reinstate their flat to a single dwelling and stop letting a room to a family of 5! Our MA always responds within a day, we just feel that the Leaseholder in question has unreasonable expectations.


            You are a director and as such the leaseholder has every right to contact you and inform you or copy you in any relevant correspondence. You have stated elsewhere that you are too heavily involved, it is taking up too much of your time and the managing agents are not doing their job. The answer is simple, instruct your managing agents to deal with the correspondence and do not respond to the emails.


              Originally posted by Emilycarter View Post
              Thank you for your responses. So far there have been no rewards! Just thousands spent on legal fees in getting another Leaseholder to reinstate their flat to a single dwelling and stop letting a room to a family of 5!
              If done properly, and assuming a reasonably standard lease, those fees should be recoverable from the offending leaseholder.

              Generally, there are two ways of funding legal actions:

              - as actions preparatory to forfeiting the lease;

              - by getting the complaining leaseholder to cover the costs.

              It would be unusual for a lease to allow the cost of actions to be recovered from the service charge.

              It is quite common for leases to not require action to be taken, in which case, any action ought to be conditional on the complainant underwriting the legal costs; the freeholder is technically taking the action, because they have the standing to do so, but the reality is that is an action between two leaseholders.

              With the first option, you need to be sure that the FTT will agree there has been a breach of the lease, and should limit your expenditure to their fees until that has been determined.


                There is clearly far more to this than you are telling us.

                I recommend that you try to meet or telephone the leaseholder to discuss all issues. He seems to be trying to send you a message which he considers to be a problem which is not being dealt with. You should at least try to understand his point of view and consider it.

                Searching through the lease for minor breaches does not assist you, that is likely to inflame the relationship.

                As a director, you should not become too involved, you have managing agents to deal with the day to day issues. Your duty is to remove yourself from the detail and consider the wider issues such as whether or not the leaseholder has a valid point and whether or not the managing agents are carrying out their duties.

                You seem to have dealt with the major issues but that does not mean that the leaseholder has no say whatsoever or that he is not entitled to raise issues which are important to him. If he has raised issues with the managing agents and they have not been dealt with, his next option is to raise them with the directors. If you do not deal with them, the issues will escalate.

                If you do not agree with him, you should have a dispute resolution service to which he should be referred.

                It seems to me that you need to work on improving the relationship with this leaseholder otherwise you will have endless problems which will be time consuming and costly.


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