Breach of lease - legal action/forfeiture - for repainting hallway?

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    Breach of lease - legal action/forfeiture - for repainting hallway?

    Hi all, me again. Received what I think is a shockingly inappropriate response from my MA a moment ago, and I'm considering complaining to ARMA about it. Could you let me know if you think this is as absurd as I do?

    Me: FYI, the hallway was looking very shabby [it hasn't been repainted in ten or so years, in breach of the lease] so some residents got together to repaint. It looks great.
    Response: The residents have not had permission from the freeholder to undertake works to his communal space. You will appreciate that this is a complete breach of lease and we require names of the individuals who have undertaken this as costs in dealing with this breach will be charged back to them, rather than the entire block. We need to have a specification used as if we do not receive one it will not be considered complete and we will need to repaint it again during the internal works.
    Unless we have the name and of who is responsible and proper details of work we will not only be commencing our own work on this as the internal works would be invalid but also charged the whole block all costs in dealing with the breach and we place on notice any prospective purchaser of this breach which might pace any sale in jeopardy. We would strongly urge any prospective purchaser to not enter into a lease where there is a breach of lease and possible forfeiture proceedings following.

    #2
    If they do not comply with the lease, what do they expect? They cannot charge for repainting if it is unnecessary.

    Comment


      #3
      Providing the specification used should be easy if you have had the job done properly, so just do it. I would suggest you should have done so at the time.

      There could be safety issues if it has not been done properly, e.g high fire risk finishes.

      Also, as I recall this, this is a continuation of a previous thread, so should not be a new question.

      The response may not be very tactful, but self help is dangerous remedy, and you should do as little as possible. If you are going to self help, you should announce your intentions very clearly.

      The pretty much have to threaten forfeiture to have a good chance of recovering their legal costs. You are much more likely to simply have to pay their remedial costs than to have an actual forfeiture.

      Comment


        #4
        As above..self-help is possible but you should ask the FH first and only think about it if the FH does nothing.

        You could ask him to supply you with his last inspection report and what schedule/plans he had for repainting, etc

        Im in similar situation, my FH has done no maintenance for many years so I tend to perform various tasks, I suppose in theory he could threaten breach/forfeiture but I have already been to court regrading HIS breach and won and he has done nothing for many years so a LH does have the right to perform repairs instead of sitting back and watch his property fall apart.

        A FH would have to show he has suffered a loss so if the painting was done ok and there are no risks I cant see how he could.
        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.

        Comment


          #5
          ARMA have an info sheet about this > http://www.flat-living.co.uk/userfil...ng15-8-11-.pdf

          And Im sure I have some case law stuff saved somewehere.......Ill see if I can find it.
          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.

          Comment


            #6
            It doesn't say much for the MA or the FH if they were unaware that the hallway needed repainting or that it had been painted by someone else Unless they can prove that the painting was not carried out to a satisfactory standard, they have no grounds for repainting again.

            Comment


              #7
              The FH was in breach of the lease and there is a nil chance of forfeiture. At worst the leaseholders will be criticised for not bringing the FHs breach to his attention and giving him the opportunity to rectify the breach.

              Comment


                #8
                If the FH does not know which leaseholders arranged the painting, there is little he can do. I would take pictures of the hallway to prove that it does not need to be repainted.

                Comment


                  #9
                  We did actually bring this to their attention. We've been saying for years that the paint needs to be fixed, nothing doing, certainly since I've lived there (year and a half). Just seems absurd to threaten forfeiture when residents were trying to reduce the strain on the managing agents. The guys in the front block did the same thing a year ago, our MA still has no idea because they don't visit.

                  I don't even know who painted the hallway - I went away on Friday night, came back on Monday and the place looked sparkling. I thought I was having a seizure.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Benzo View Post
                    We did actually bring this to their attention. We've been saying for years that the paint needs to be fixed, nothing doing, certainly since I've lived there (year and a half).
                    Therefore, put in a counter claim. Make sure you find the persons responsible to tell them what you are doing, or ask who would like to do the following.
                    ( I assume all the flats are leasehold ? )

                    We the leaseholders of block x, having repeatedly asked for the hallway to be refurbished, have been met by silence from you, the Managing agent, and you, the Managing agent have failed to enforce the lease to repaint ( or refurbish as required ) the hallway.
                    You have instigated this problem that you see, via refusal to observe the lease.

                    Please note, your mandate is to look after the leaseholders. You have failed in your duty to look after the leaseholders so that they can enter a good looking hallway, and not a shabby one that YOU allowed it to get.

                    Due to your refusal over many years ( refusal = you refused to repaint ) we submit our bill for paint used and labour at £ 10 per hour.
                    If not paid within 14 days, it will be considered overdue and a debt.

                    If you do not send an apology to the freeholder that you have been negligent in maintaining his property / investment ( for which you may get reprimanded by the freeholder ) by not observing the lease instructions, and that it will not happen again, and a copy of said letter to every leaseholder, we, the leaseholders, will inform the freeholder directly.

                    Note you will NOT be forfeiting any leases for the enclosed painting costs as you will be laughed out of court.

                    _______________________________________

                    To Benzo, I assume all leaseholders. are any leaseholders directors, as the directors should tell them to sod off.
                    But, yes, you cannot paint without permission, or at least give an ultimatum you will paint in 2 months time if not done, but I don't know the set up there. Looks like a multinational may be the freeholder.

                    But try above. They can't sack you, nor get you to leave, or much else.

                    .


                    Comment


                      #11
                      The MA should visit the property on a regular basis, at least quarterly, otherwise how else can they approve contractors' bills e.g. cleaner, gardener etc

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Another case for the FTT if anything comes of this, I think.

                        What's happening with your RTM Benzo? The sooner you get rid of these jerks, the better, I'd have thought.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          We won the RTM following a counterclaim from the FH at Tribunal this September. The FH applied for leave to appeal to the FTT, which was denied, so he's logged a claim at the upper lands chamber to appeal there.

                          They tried to charge us £5k in legals for the FTT preparation (as RTM is ostensibly 'no fault' we are responsible for paying the FH 'reasonable' legal fees. When we looked into it, he was charging us for the counterclaim preparation costs!! Absurd!) so god only knows what it'll be for the upper lands Tribunal.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                            The MA should visit the property on a regular basis, at least quarterly, otherwise how else can they approve contractors' bills e.g. cleaner, gardener etc
                            Exactly !.. They are supposed to visit regularly especially for safety reasons..I successfully sued my FH as I proved he didnt have any schedule in place and had allowed the driveway to get in disrepair, he was warned by the Judge that if someone trips and breaks their neck it could cost him millions.
                            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.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Also if the MA visited regularly, he would know if dogs are kept on the premises

                              Comment

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