Freeholders breach of the lease

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    #31
    Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
    I agree that you should seek all the advice that you need. It seems to me that the other leaseholders are bullying you and they think that they can refuse to reimburse you simply because they outnumber you. As you own part of the freehold, I would change tack slightly and try to reach agreement with the other leaseholders, the threat of withholding monies until they agree is a bargaining position and lets them know that you are serious. If you are unable to reach agreement, perhaps you can suggest that an independent person decides, possibly a surveyor appointed by the RICS, who should rule in your favour.
    This sound like good advice to me.
    As someone with a share of the freehold you need to deal with this differently than might be advised if the freeholder was independent (although the above advice could apply if the freeholder was an independent company).
    You want a fair result, one where you recoup at least the majority of your costs, but you don't want to end up in a position where the other leaseholders hold a long term grudge. Best case scenario is that they recognise that they should have arranged the required work at the earliest opportunity, even though their own flats weren't being affected, but this is unfortunately unlikely to be the reality.

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      #32
      Yes, I agree I should have put the usual caveat that it does depend on the lease. I am sure we all support surreygirl and want the best outcome for her. However, caution is needed not to incur expense which may not be worthwhile and try to maintain positive relationships. Surely some of them will listen.

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        #33
        You are right, they have all ganged up on me and that is because the owner of the next door encourages it. He owns it but lets it out and we had a disagreement and since then he has done everything he can to make life awkward for me, even though he has done some awful things and in reality as he was the Secretary at the time of the Surveyors report he should have got on with it. He had damp in his flat and it was falling down around his tenants ears, but he did nothing, however having seen inside his flat I was horrified and I told him so. He had not been inside the flat for eight years since the tenant moved in and the ceiling was wet, but he insisted that it was because of a leak from the flat above but that wasnt true it was because there was penatrive damp coming in which cause wet rot in the wood above his ceiling. If he had checked his flat - because the tenant he had did not notify him - we would have known a lot sooner that the render was in a bad state. I have put up with being bullied by him for a long long time. Some of them do not like him but they go along with what he says because as secretary one time the flat above put in a damp course and so he threatened to stop her from selling her flat because he does not agree with damp courses. Anyway that is the way it is, just have to get on with it!

        I want to thank you all for your support and advice, always worth coming on this site.

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          #34
          I will let you know the outcome of my phone call to the Leasehold Advisory service. I have an appointment next week for Tuesday.

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            #35
            Maybe consider -
            If the problem is due to a design problem and there is mould growth then your landlord probably has an obligation to solve the problem under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. If your landlord won’t do anything tell the Council’s Environmental Health Department. As long as you’re not a council tenant they must inspect if they are told the damp and mould is serious – photos help reinforce the point.

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              #36
              Originally posted by Stacker View Post
              Maybe consider -
              If the problem is due to a design problem and there is mould growth then your landlord probably has an obligation to solve the problem under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. If your landlord won’t do anything tell the Council’s Environmental Health Department. As long as you’re not a council tenant they must inspect if they are told the damp and mould is serious – photos help reinforce the point.
              They are getting on with it now but they are taking their time. We are appointing a Managing Agent, but still do not have a company to carry out the work. However as someone has said above I will with hold that part of my share that I have paid out on having to have the flat tanked, plastered and then redecorated.

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                #37
                Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                The legal position does not change, the freehold Company should have issued demands for the works and collected monies. The leaseholder who wants time to pay should have arranged a personal loan so that there was no delay. You are entitled to recover your reasonable costs due to the freeholder failing to arrange works in a timely manner. I recommend that you call a meeting of members and inform your fellow members that you insist on being reimbursed and ask the Company to comply with its obligations, you may also wish to threaten to withhold service charge payments until you have recovered the amount which you have paid. A majority of members is not entitled to make a decision which impinges on your legal rights as a leaseholder.
                It is difficult for me to do that because it states in the lease that I am not allowed to withhold service charge monies.

                I am still waiting for details of when the works will start although we had a meeting a few weeks ago to agree on which MA to use, but still nothing on when the building work is set to take place.

                The problem is the person who is organising it wants to use the same company for the lot which is roof and render and it has proved difficult to find a company who will do the lot. So far we have one, however there are more companies who specialise in roofs and render work.

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                  #38
                  Originally posted by surreygirl View Post
                  It is difficult for me to do that because it states in the lease that I am not allowed to withhold service charge monies.
                  That is likely to be a lease clause that the law takes precedence over.
                  There are a few circumstances that allow leaseholders to withhold service charges, if these apply then nothing in the lease over rules this.

                  Leaseholders do have to be very careful before withholding service charges though, if there is any doubt at all over whether they can legally withhold payment it is almost always better to pay (after telling the freeholder/managing agent that the charges are disputed and may later be contested despite payment having been made) and challenge the costs later. Withholding payment may leave the leaseholder facing additional costs and potentially even the threat of forfeiture.



                  Originally posted by surreygirl View Post
                  The problem is the person who is organising it wants to use the same company for the lot which is roof and render and it has proved difficult to find a company who will do the lot. So far we have one, however there are more companies who specialise in roofs and render work.
                  Unless this isn't going to cause unnecessary delays, will be cheaper, and the work will still be carried out to a sufficient standard, I can't see any reason for having the work carried out by a single contractor.
                  What is the benefit of this supposed to be?

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                    #39
                    Originally posted by surreygirl View Post

                    It is difficult for me to do that because it states in the lease that I am not allowed to withhold service charge monies.

                    I am still waiting for details of when the works will start although we had a meeting a few weeks ago to agree on which MA to use, but still nothing on when the building work is set to take place.

                    The problem is the person who is organising it wants to use the same company for the lot which is roof and render and it has proved difficult to find a company who will do the lot. So far we have one, however there are more companies who specialise in roofs and render work.
                    Did you previously give them the opportunity to visit and see the damage to your property? Did they say they would put the matters right and how? Do you have before and after photographs? Did you send them a recorded delivery letter notifying them of the disrepair, did a professional person state that the work needs doing? Give them a reasonable timescale and ultimatum to get the work done otherwise get the work done yourself and take the company to small claims court for monies and damages costs.

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Originally posted by Stacker View Post

                      Did you previously give them the opportunity to visit and see the damage to your property? Did they say they would put the matters right and how? Do you have before and after photographs? Did you send them a recorded delivery letter notifying them of the disrepair, did a professional person state that the work needs doing? Give them a reasonable timescale and ultimatum to get the work done otherwise get the work done yourself and take the company to small claims court for monies and damages costs.
                      The company is a straw man. A successful court action will bankrupt it with the risk that the freehold will be taken over by one of the "usual suspects", unless the leaseholders, as owners, bail it out.

                      Comment


                        #41
                        I would certainly not pay the freeholder company more than you owe, especially if it is refusing to compensate you for your costs. The dispute concerns the service charges, you are claiming that you have paid monies which should be regarded as service charge expenditure and the others are refusing to accept those charges.
                        I did explain in #29 that it is better to try to reach agreement with the other owners and to consider some alternative way of dealing with the dispute.
                        Ultimately, all leaseholders need to share the costs of the freeholder company one way or another, so you should try to keep those costs to a minimum and try to resolve the difference of opinion in the least costly manner.

                        Comment


                          #42
                          Sensible advice. Unfortunately, as we all know, there are some unreasonable, selfish and unpleasant people in the world. It seems the correct self help process was not followed as it should have been. In the circumstances quite understandable and of no value to be too concerned about what can't be changed.
                          final paragraph of previous post is, in my view, best way forward.

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                            #43
                            Any update ? I hope LEASE were useful. If not apologies and I won't assume it would be a good use of time.

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Obviously, and rightly, we do not know anybody's personal circumstances, which are none of our business.
                              However, it does increase the fund of knowledge available on the forum of information is given about outcome.
                              Hope all is as good as possible.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Originally posted by Stacker View Post

                                Did you previously give them the opportunity to visit and see the damage to your property? Did they say they would put the matters right and how? Do you have before and after photographs? Did you send them a recorded delivery letter notifying them of the disrepair, did a professional person state that the work needs doing? Give them a reasonable timescale and ultimatum to get the work done otherwise get the work done yourself and take the company to small claims court for monies and damages costs.
                                Sorry for delay but yes I have before and after photographs and also a surveyors report which shows that water was coming into the flat. A professional person, yes a surveyor said the work needing doing. That is a good idea. I will do that, send them an ultimatum to carry out the work. I can easily do that. There are plenty of companies who just do rendering and I do not need scaffolding.

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