Priorities for Leasehold Reform

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    There should be a Government wealth warning on the front of all leases.

    They could also make changes, simplify the procedure, make the exploitation of leaseholders a criminal offence, regulate those who hold monies in trust for a start.

    Comment


      From another thread:

      Leaseholders have been asked to contribute towards a reserve fund but they have not been told the purpose to which the funds are intended.

      Funds have been used for day to day running expenses and to cover the deficit for the year thereby reducing the sums available.

      Suggested action required:

      Leaseholders should be informed of the purpose of reserve funds

      Reserve fund monies should be placed in a separate bank account upon receipt

      Reserve fund monies should be used only for the specified purpose

      Somebody (regulator?) needs to carry out random checks to ensure that reserve fund monies are being held and used correctly

      Comment


        From another thread - the Ombudsman is fobbing off leaseholders by advising them to obtain copies of accounts from the Companies House website. The Companies usually file dormant accounts and they are normally micro entities which have reduced reporting requirements. So that information is unlikely to assist leaseholders. Why can the Ombudsman not order the managing agent to supply a copy of the full accounts including the service charge accounts?

        We have previously seen the Ombudsman advising leaseholders to take legal action against agents, when no legal contract exists between them, instead of taking action against an agent who was misusing reserve fund monies.

        There needs to be someone who will take leaseholders complaints seriously, it is not happening at present.

        Comment


          Written by Macromia on a different thread:
          “individual leaseholders whose views are outnumbered by other leaseholders, are often better off with an independent freeholder who they can challenge rather than as a shareholder of a management company. This is why the push for abolishing leasehold in favour of common hold is a bad idea - common hold only works in situations where everyone involved takes into account the interests of everyone in a block and adheres to the requirements of the leases, but many people are only interested in what benefits them personally.”

          Commonhold is not the solution to every problem, nor is RTM for that matter, but it must be preferable for a majority of leaseholders to have the right to make or influence decisions rather than a freeholder or his agent, who have other motives. Yes, you are going to have some leaseholders seizing power and trying to control the running of a block but as long as they have not been selected by and they are not acting on behalf of a 3rd party, that should put a stop to most of the abuse which is prevalent now.

          Comment


            The Commonhold building is managed by the Commonhold Association having "units holders" as members but each units holders is freeholder of its flat..There is no outside party as freeholder of the building and there is no ground rent to pay.

            This is similar to Leasehold building managed by the RMC having leaseholders as its members except the building is owned by the freeholder and the leaseholders are tenants who must pay ground rent to freeholder.

            https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/commonhold/

            Comment


              Surely leaseholders should have a say when a managing agent is appointed or reappointed. The agent usually draws up his contract so that it does not exceed 12 months and so that the RMC does not need to consult the leaseholders. The actual term of appointment is nearly always considerably longer than 12 months. There seems to be no valid reason why directors alone should take the important decision who manages a block of properties. It has been known for directors to be carefully selected by agents,

              Comment


                Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                Surely leaseholders should have a say when a managing agent is appointed or reappointed.
                Putting aside your utter hate of anything leasehold.

                Directors of ANY Limited company, are there to make the decisions.
                If you want all leaseholders to decide on things, you make them all directors ( and don't come back saying they can all vote as leaseholders at a meeting convened by leaseholders ).
                Ask the normal leaseholder ( who actually lives in the flat ) who the best of the worst agents are, and they won't have a clue, as they have never had contact with agents as they have never let their flat.

                For the uninitiated, Managing agents are more often found in estate agents offices. They sell houses, and for extra income, they put themselves up as managing agents for leasehold flats, and letting agents for houses and flats.

                There is no point in having directors making decisions, ( who are voted in and out by the leaseholders ), if the leaseholders want to circumvent the directors they have duly appointed to run the place ON BEHALF of the leaseholders by saying, we want you to make the decisions, but we wont accept your decisions and will insist we, the leaseholders will make a collective decision.

                For your information, I have been or am the following.
                Company secretary, Leaseholder, renter, Property Manager, H.M.O. Manager, Own property ( house ) that I let.
                And by the way, I get rid of Nasty Directors for members on here ( which should please you ).
                So I see ALL sides of the equation, rather than just shouting,
                reduce ground rents,
                Workers unite.
                Overthrow the establishment..
                etc, etc.

                You have directors ( all bad according to you ) otherwise you will never make decisions if everything is ratified by the leaseholders, 30 % of whom don't live in the flats and all they care about is their income.

                I agree that there are good directors and bad directors, but Directors none the less, and leaseholders have laws and procedures to protect them from bad directors / freeholders.

                Whatever we say on here will have no effect whatsoever on leasehold-reform

                Comment


                  I do not hate everything leasehold at all, I just want a fair deal for leaseholders.

                  At present, there is much which is wrong, which needs to be addressed. The vultures who abuse the system by inflating costs for their own benefit at the expense of leaseholders need to be stopped. The vultures I have come across have not been letting agents, they specifically target leasehold properties and service charge funds.

                  There are many RMCs which do not hold AGMs and the leaseholders/members do not have a clue what is happening, who is controlling the RMC, who is really making the management decisions, where their money is really going.

                  I have often found that the members/leaseholders have not appointed the directors. Leaseholders/members are often not invited to become directors and if they volunteer, their applications are rejected because it is a closed shop run by a minority, for the benefit of the vultures.

                  All leaseholders have contact with the managing agents and they know perfectly well how satisfied they are with the service, whether or not their questions are answered and whether or not they are fobbed off with excuses, which is more often the case.

                  Why should the leaseholders not have the right to be consulted and a say in who is managing the property? Why should carefully selected directors have the right to make the decision for everyone else? How many times is a management agreement cancelled within 12 months? If the intention is to enter into a longer contract, the consultation procedure should be followed. If managing agents had to rely on a decision by all leaseholders/members perhaps they would try to improve their service.

                  There is no point in being defeatist and ignoring the problems, lets highlight them, bring them to everyone’s attention and just maybe some action will be taken.

                  Comment


                    On another thread, a freeholder submitting an estimate of £18,360 to redecorate a hallway 25ft x 4ft x 10ft high. The freeholder claims to have obtained 4 estimates but the leaseholders have not seen anyone visit the property.

                    Once again, the real issues are not being addressed.

                    Comment


                      How to "Win"

                      Originally posted by eagle2 View Post

                      1) There is no point in being defeatist and ignoring the problems, lets highlight them, bring them to everyone’s attention and just maybe some action will be taken.
                      2) £18,360 to redecorate a hallway 25ft x 4ft x 10ft high: again, the real issues are not being addressed
                      But the problems ARE being addressed, and have been for many years.
                      The Landlordzone has shown these problems, and recommended the Courts or preferably the F.T.T. first is a way to stop bad practices.

                      The laws and proceedures ARE in place already to protect the leaseholder.That's how life works.
                      The internet is full of information as to how to address problems. ( F.T.T. used to be the L.V.T.)

                      What I find on here and elsewhere, is a reluctance of leaseholders to sue or take Freeholder to court / F.T.T. ( F.T.T. is free, up to a point ) even when I state what they can and must do, they are apprehensive.. 50% of the people who I liaise with, don't proceed with a claim against the freeholder, and no amount of leasehold reform will correct that.

                      And to bore the regular readers again, one property in London were writing / pleading with Directors to maintain the property correctly, to no avail for 7 years. I got them ( via my letters / meetings ) to remove Directors and Managing agents within 3 months, and it cost the leaseholders absolutely nothing in legal fees through my efforts.
                      ( My wording in letters must have been good, as none of the Directors turned up to the meeting to discus their removal )

                      If I can do it, so can leaseholders, but they are all afraid.

                      If someone has something stolen from them, and they are not prepared to go to court / police, then they will not get their stolen property back, or repaid for their loss.
                      Same with leasehold. The mechanisms are there, but leaseholders wont use them, even though the information to do so is on Landlordzone, and the internet.




                      Comment


                        ram – I doubt that anyone here will recognise the world which you describe. The legislation and the FTT have done nothing to stop the known culprits from overcharging, if anything, others have become aware of and started to participate in the scams which currently exist.

                        The fraudsters are ignoring the law and the FTT, the evidence is that they are becoming even more devious. Failure to comply with the law should be a criminal offence, maybe then, the fraudsters will think twice.

                        The fraudsters operate on the basis that 90% of leaseholders will accept, or at least be unwilling or unable to challenge the charges. The leaseholders are often kept in the dark, so they are not always aware of what is happening, connections and arrangements with associated companies and contractors are not being disclosed and there is currently no penalty for non disclosure. Even the FTT often ignores a leaseholder’s request for disclosure to be included within the directions.

                        It is not easy and it takes time for leaseholders to obtain the evidence which is being withheld from them. If an application is made to the FTT, the fraudsters appoint legal specialists and Counsel who are paid out of the service charge funds so the hearing is not conducted on a level playing field.

                        If a leaseholder “wins”, only the service charge for that leaseholder will be reduced (not the charges for other leaseholders) and there may be an order that the freeholder’s costs are to be excluded from future service charges payable by that leaseholder (again it does not prevent the freeholder charging costs to other leaseholders). It is a pyrrhic victory, the service charge funds remain depleted because the FTT does not have the jurisdiction to order the fraudster to repay any monies.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                          ram – I doubt that anyone here will recognise the world which you describe. The legislation and the FTT have done nothing to stop the known culprits from overcharging, if anything, others have become aware of and started to participate in the scams which currently exist.
                          Quite.

                          Most part of the legislation are DESIGNED and where not designed the courts have arranged that it is IMPLEMENTED so as to:
                          - Minimise transparency
                          - Create a charade of transparency
                          - Provide multiple loopholes for fraudsters which are virtually impossible to address except in a very patchy way

                          I say so as someone who has extensive experience of the FTT (and with a 100% win rate) - but I have picked my fights very carefully to address only the most outrageous abuses.

                          There are many other aspects of legislation which were simply not considered properly before implementing - which have led to massive abuse.

                          Comment

                          Latest Activity

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                          • Sharing cost
                            Affinity
                            Hello
                            I am selling my flat. In order to do so I had to pay for a asbestos certificate which cost me £400+vat.
                            Is it fair to ask the other freeholders to share the cost? The building has three flats and we share the freehold.
                            Your views are appreciated.
                            19-09-2019, 16:51 PM
                          • Reply to Sharing cost
                            Affinity
                            Thanks for your replies.
                            The building was build at the end of 19 century and converted into flats in the 80s
                            21-09-2019, 12:59 PM
                          • Reply to Sharing cost
                            eagle2
                            I agree, the other 2 leaseholders and joint freeholders should be approached and asked to contribute towards the cost in exchange for a copy of the report which they will need....
                            21-09-2019, 11:15 AM
                          • Can you forfeit a 999 year lease for renting on Airbnb?
                            2019 New Member
                            Hi All,

                            Can you successfully forfeit / gain possession of a 999 year lease for renting on Airbnb?

                            The lease mentions not being allowed to let the apartment for a term less than 6 months and the lease in question is a 999 year lease from 1995.

                            Thanks in advance...
                            19-09-2019, 07:03 AM
                          • Reply to Can you forfeit a 999 year lease for renting on Airbnb?
                            scot22
                            A shame that consideration for other stakeholders and a general respect for the lease do not appear to have been important.
                            21-09-2019, 10:27 AM
                          • Reply to Sharing cost
                            leaseholder64
                            One important point is that the whole case for sharing is based on the fact that the freeholders have failed to perform a statutory duty.

                            If the OP wanted something from them that they weren't obliged to have obtained anyway, and which is not something that the lease requires them to provide,...
                            21-09-2019, 10:03 AM
                          • Reply to Sharing cost
                            leaseholder64
                            The OP would be writing to himself! He is one third of the freeholder.

                            This is a dysfunctional share of the freehold case....
                            21-09-2019, 09:21 AM
                          • Reply to Sharing cost
                            sgclacy
                            The success in seeking reimbursement will depend more on the style and approach of your letter than the actual law.

                            i would write to the freeholder stating that you commissioned the asbestos report and as a consequence have undertaken a task which they should have undertaken - therefore...
                            21-09-2019, 09:05 AM
                          • Reply to Sharing cost
                            leaseholder64
                            The leaseholders are the joint freeholders! If the lease requires the freeholder to pay, there really should have been a formal agreement that freeholder costs be split equally.

                            Is this one of these leases that tries to avoid having service charges?

                            Worst case is that the joint...
                            21-09-2019, 08:37 AM
                          • Reply to Sharing cost
                            eagle2
                            It should be a shared expense payable by the freeholders or leaseholders depending on the wording of the lease. You should try to persuade the others in the block to contribute failing which you may need to threaten legal action.
                            21-09-2019, 08:07 AM
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