Freeholder advice

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    Freeholder advice

    We are freeholders of an old house with 4 flats, one of which we own and reside in. The house and garden are kept up together nicely with regular work being carried out. Two of the long leasehold owners of the other flats are very demanding and threatening, wanting things done in the property and communal garden (owned by us, the freeholders) that we don't feel necessary and are threatening legal action if the work is not done. None of these demands are covered by health and safety and such. Do we have to do what they want if there is no allowance for these demands in the lease?
    Thank you in anticipation

    #2
    If they want you do do anything that is not covered by the lease, you must bill them individually for the work. as it is a breach of trust to use service charge monies for that purpose. It is very rare for private sector leases to permit the spending of the service charge on improvements.

    You do not have to do anything that is not required of you by the lease, or by statute or common law.

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      #3
      On what basis are they threatening legal action? If you are correct that neither the lease, nor statute requires the work to be done by the freeholder, surely they have no case?

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        #4
        If it is not covered by the lease I suggest you do nothing other than tell them it is not required by the lease. If they want work done, which is permissible under the lease, they must organise and pay for it themselves. It is the person who places the order who has prime responsibility to pay.

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          #5
          You still need to make sure that the work doesn't break any laws or hurt other leaseholders. At least for the former, you can bring in a surveyor, paid for by the demanding leaseholder, to supervise the project. I think they charge about 3% of project value, with a minimum of about £100. Neither you, nor the service charge fund, should end up out of pocket.

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            #6
            We have just had all the trees trimmed back by a tree surgeon, one says it has not been taken far enough back and is blocking her light. This is a constant battle of small things by small minded people, they never state any basis in law, just say they have taken legal advice and that they have a right to request these things. As the trees have just been done and are neat and tidy and we are happy with the outcome, I don't feel we need to do anymore (my thinking being that as the freeholder they are 'our' trees and we are happy with them the way they are). As I say, it's constant small things backed by threats of legal action, meaning it would cost us money to disagree with them.

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              #7
              I would check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_light to make sure that doesn't apply. In many cases conveyancing documents exclude rights to light.

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                #8
                In my many communications with LEASE the importance of professional advice has always been stressed. You have employed a competent tree surgeon.
                Tell them you have done things correctly and you are not taking any more action with this.

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                  #9
                  Thank you so much for all your help, it really is appreciated.

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