Sharing cost

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    Sharing cost

    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.

    #2
    If it is for the communal area, the freeholder should have paid for this many years ago, and should have an asbestos management plan in place if any was found.

    If this is for your flat, I'd say that was your expense.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for your answer.

      Does someone know if there is anything I can do to make the other shareholders pay?

      Comment


        #4
        Can you confirm this is for the communal areas?

        If so, point out that they have been committing a criminal offence for many years Also, only the freeholder can commission the survey, as it will involve taking samples not just a visual check and leaseholders won't have the right to cut bits out of the communal area, however, small.

        Generally, this would be paid for from the service charge. If there is nothing that allows that the lease would probably be declared defective, if formally challenged and most people would proceed, at risk, on that basis, without formally applying to have the defective lease corrected.

        The freeholder will also be asked for a fire risk assessment. If you don't have one of those, you have been committing a criminal offence since 2013. (Technically it doesn't need to be in writing, but conveyancers will expect it to be.)

        Comment


          #5
          Yes, it is for the communal area

          Comment


            #6
            The problem is that you failed to do this when you were required to do it That means you are now against time pressures. You are probably going to have to fund this yourself, even though it should have been a service charge item, split equally amongst all the leaseholders.

            Comment


              #7
              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.

              Comment


                #8
                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 freeholders are simply jointly and severally responsible, in which case an external creditor could go after any one individually, so I don't see how one could go after the others. Hopefully there is something to the effect that they are responsible for one third each and only for that third, or there is a proper service charge provision.

                The cost of this is likely to be a few hundred pounds. Taking legal action could delay things, and the fact that it has to be taken could put buyer off.

                Whilst it is a criminal offence not to have had the survey done, there is no law that requires it to be provided to prospective buyers. This is probably the result of a question on form LPE1, and it is quite possible to simply say not available or refuse to answer the whole form. Buyers may be put off by this, but it is their choice. In practice, the main risk to the buyer is that there may be asbestos in poor condition, and they may get hit with large service charges to have it removed or made safe. The buyer themselves, may never have thought of asking the question; it is just a standard conveyancing question for flats.

                When was the building built, and if converted, when converted? Those might give a clue as to whether there is likely to be asbestos, and a big risk to the buyer.

                Comment


                  #9
                  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 so that they can use that report to confirm to the insurers that an asbestos survey has been done you ask that they credit your service charge account with the cost or reimburse you 2/3 of the cost - by not having an asbestos report it MAY have invalidated their insurance cover

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by sgclacy View Post
                    i would write to the freeholder
                    The OP would be writing to himself! He is one third of the freeholder.

                    This is a dysfunctional share of the freehold case.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      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, it would be for the OPs benefit and the freeholder could charge them the full cost, or more . There would still be a moral case for sharing, but not a legal one. (Freeholders do charge for providing this sort of information, even when they do possess it. They are under no obligation to provide it, so can set any price that the market will bear.)

                      Currently the freeholders, including the OP, in theory at least, risk fines of of up to £20,000 and six month prison sentences.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by sgclacy View Post
                        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 -
                        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.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks for your replies.
                          The building was build at the end of 19 century and converted into flats in the 80s

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Affinity View Post
                            Thanks for your replies.
                            The building was build at the end of 19 century and converted into flats in the 80s
                            The initial build will be low risk for asbestos. The 1980s conversion was after limitations started being imposed, but might not be quite late enough. Of course, earlier maintenance may have added asbestos.

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