Access to our leasehold flat

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    Access to our leasehold flat

    We have a student flat which is leasehold. The freeholder is also the managing agent. I have asked for a set of keys to the front door and the flat itself I that (with notice to the tenant as required) we can arrange viewings for forthcoming sale. The Agent never answers phones or emails, as other leaseholders have experienced. Do we have the right to our own set of keys to the block and flat?

    #2
    My understanding of your comments is you are the leaseholder. Given this, I am unclear why you do not have a set of keys for the block and your flat. You are entitled to keys to access your own flat though this is not the freeholder or managing agent's (MA) responsibility. If you request new keys they will be entitled to charge you for the keys as well as an administration fee to provide same.

    Presumably, the tenant is your tenant and you are using the services of the MA to manage the tenancy. I suggest the easiest route is to contact YOUR tenant and arrange a set of keys. If there are issues there is no reason why you should not change the locks to your flat (not the communal door/s) ensuring there are no issues for the tenant.

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      #3
      You, rather than your tenant, has the right to the keys to the front door to the block.

      You are responsible for the keys to the flt itself. Normally the freeholder, manager and managing agent don't have a right to copies of those, although they may ask to hold them for convenience. If they do, it is you they would ask for them.

      If the freeholder is being paid for managing the block, they must belong to one of two redress schemes.

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        #4
        Thank you vmart and leaseholder64. All makes sense. The freeholder sold us the lease nd managed the flat for 3 years with guaranteed income. Now that has finished the charges have gone through the roof and we wish to sell. The MA/freeholder is a nightmare to contact, no replies to calls, emails or registered letters. I am now going to contact solicitors to get action.

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          #5
          The freeholder should have given you keys when you purchased the flat. It may be simpler to ask the tenant to let you have a copy of the keys. A solicitor's letter may assist. The redress scheme is slow, you would need to make a formal complaint to the freeholder and if he does not reply, you would need to wait 8 weeks before you can follow up the complaint. If the charges are unreasonable, you can challenge them before the First Tier Tribunal.

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            #6
            I failed to take in that this was built for buy to let. In that case, the lease may look very different from what one would expect for flats built for owner occupation. You need to carefully read the lease.

            The lease is probably written to make it easy for them to milk you, although service charges must still be reasonable for the service provided. It is likely that there are lots of explicit provisions about administration charges.

            As far as I know, redress schemes and FTT still apply, as these are private sector.

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