Appointing a manager - Manager Recommendations Sought

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    Appointing a manager - Manager Recommendations Sought

    Hi all, any help appreciated.

    I am considering applying to the FTT to have a manger appointed due to ongoing failure of my freeholder to uphold covenants of the lease (currently the gutters are blocked and causing damage to my property, no reply from freeholder).

    Context
    2 maisonettes in 1 building (freeholder and myself)
    Freeholder based in US

    I am having difficulties finding a manager. I have contacted a couple of companies but as I am not a large block of flats there seems to be a reluctance to take on such small work.

    Query
    Can anyone recommend a potential manager?
    Can anyone give me an idea of the fees for these services?

    Thank you in advance for any help!




    #2
    Consult a local letting agent in your town to find a local person to manage your little block. Or do it yourself .

    If the problem is a blocked gutter it must be the down pipe that need clearing ( window cleaner may be the person with a ladder ) or replace the plastic pipe.

    Comment


      #3
      I think it would be disproportionately expensive and time consuming to have a manager appointed. Do you pay a service charge ? If not whose responsibility to pay for repairs ?

      Comment


        #4
        I agree with scot22, for a property like yours you will likely end up paying far more by having a manager appointed than you would if you simply paid for the gutters to be cleaned out of your own pocket.

        Other than having the gutters cleaned, is there anything else that needs doing, or will need to be done soon?
        having a manager appointed will likely cost you a few hundred quid in tribunal fees etc. (as well as quite a lot f your time), and will then cost you at least £200 a year for management fees in addition to your share of any work that is deemed necessary by the appointed manager.

        Since your freeholder is overseas, it makes it more difficult to take them to court - but you still might be able to get decisions made against them if you pay out for costs that they should share.

        Do they claim any payments from you (service charges/ground rent)?
        If so, you could consider offsetting anything you pay out against whatever they demand - but take legal advice before you do this, especially if you decide to withhold ground rent.

        Comment


          #5
          I am afraid I disagree with most of the responses here. The problem is that now it is a blocked drainage system, next year it will be a hole in the roof, and OP says it is a longstanding issue, not just the gutters.

          a) The OP has not right whatever to arrange for any guttering work to be done themselves (Post #4)
          b) The OP has no right to appoint any sort of managing agent themelves (:Post #2) or to do the work (Post #2)

          OP should obviously check (lease?) whose responsibility it is - but I am afraid if FH is not performing according to contract, OP has little choice other than to have a manager appointed via FTT. And yes it will be excruciatingly expensive -- mostly because these types of managers are rip off artists. We obviously need more details than those provided, but simply suggesting that the OP soldier on is not plausible.

          It is possible that the FTT will regard it as reasonable for the OP to become the manager, especially if the FH does not turn up.

          Comment


            #6
            Hi all,

            Thanks so much for all the advice. My thinking behind requesting a manager is really captured by AndrewDod, I see it more as insurance than anything else. Expensive insurance.

            It's become apparent it is not just blocked guttering and water is entering my flat via different sources, windows and likely the bath waste pipe. I will spend tomorrow with expanding foam and sealant in hand. AndrewDod if I need to take emergency action is that permitted as the blocked guttering is compounding things? I have made numerous attempts to contact FH and having answered a message or two my FH has again gone AWOL.

            scot22 22 I pay a small ground rent and no service charge but reading the lease the insurance should be taken as a 'service charge' which I will insist on next year.

            Anyway again thank you to all!

            Comment


              #7
              So the building is uninsured too?

              I suppose you could take emergency limited action. The broader problem is that the law protecting leaseholders is incredibly weak, and is deliberately fixed so as to be virtually impossible to implement even where it is there. Getting a manager appointed is likely to be successful. Find a decent high-end high street agent with proper qualifications willing to be nominated as manager - if it is unchallenged you are likely to be successful in getting them appointed. They must be willing to take legal action to recover funds from the other lessee.

              Comment


                #8
                AndrewDod thanks for the quick reply. No the building is insured but I pay the money direct to the insurer as opposed to the freeholder in the form of a service charge. According to the lease that is how it should be done. Apologies if unclear.

                I will send a warning letter demanding action on Monday. If action is taken to repair, could I still ask for a manger to be appointed? I believe I have other evidence of ongoing failures.

                Thanks again!

                Comment


                  #9
                  A manager is not necessarily a solution. There are examples of them being less than conscientious. There is a protocol for self help. You need to specify and get a quote for required work. Inform Freeholder of details and give a reasonable time for action. If no response have it done. You will have to pay if you engage somebody. Then personally invoice freeholder. I always recommend taking advice from LEASE.
                  I respect Andrew's knowledge and advice. However, to have a manager appointed will lead to ongoing expense. You have not paid any service charge so obviously need to spend to have building maintained. I think it would be cheaper, and more effective, to look after the property yourself and seek to recover money from freeholder.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by scot22 View Post
                    A manager is not necessarily a solution. There are examples of them being less than conscientious. There is a protocol for self help. You need to specify and get a quote for required work. Inform Freeholder of details and give a reasonable time for action. If no response have it done. You will have to pay if you engage somebody. Then personally invoice freeholder. I always recommend taking advice from LEASE.
                    I respect Andrew's knowledge and advice. However, to have a manager appointed will lead to ongoing expense. You have not paid any service charge so obviously need to spend to have building maintained. I think it would be cheaper, and more effective, to look after the property yourself and seek to recover money from freeholder.
                    That is absolutely not the way to do it. In the worst case the OP would be sued and will lose. OP has no standing to invoice the freeholder. Please do not do this OP.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      What would OP be sued for ? Repairing a building ? really ?
                      My post was based on advice I received from LEASE. Their advice is given by legally qualified people, paid for by the government.
                      OP please don't rely on advice from anyone ( I include me ) on the forum. Please, asap, and before taking any action ask LEASE. You can get immediate telephone advice. Your property is being damaged. You are entitled to protect it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        To be clear OP -- there is no such thing as a "protocol for self help" -- I think scot22 is confusing the protocol that applies to AST tenants in cases of disrepair. There is also no right of offset for service charges against costs incurred by lessees. In general the FTT will not allow these, but even if it were to be allowed, it would have to involve the FTT - which takes the whole thing full circle. There is also the small matter of S20, health and safety and other matters if lessee wants to take things into their own hands unilaterally.

                        Of course we don't know what your lease says. But your first priority is to enforce the lease (except in cases of immediate emergency - not ongoing and progressive disrepair and disregarding of any lease), not bypass the lease.

                        LEASE by the way is not an unproblematical organisation. In any event all they do is advise (sort of) on what the law says or does not say (which is as above). If they have really produced a "protocol" via which a lessee can unilaterally carry out works and then "invoice" the freeholder without involving the FTT, and somehow have that right enforced - I would dearly love to see it (it would be extraordinarily useful to many on this forum) - but I am afraid it does not exist.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I am not confused with ASTs. LEASE advised me on a procedure ( perhaps protocol not the right word ) to follow and then seek reimbursement.
                          However, Andrew knows best. He makes more of a contribution to the forums than me so I won't argue.
                          ​​​​​​​Please let us know if you get any advice from LEASE, it would be interesting. Is their advice consistent ?

                          I received a lengthy email from LEASE and copied a relevant section.

                          Before exercising self-help the leaseholder should write to the freeholder and:



                          1. highlight the clause in the lease that he has transgressed;



                          2. specify what is required to address the disrepair;



                          3. specify a reasonable period of time for it to be addressed;



                          4. state that if , at the end of that period , the disrepair has not been remedied that you will select the cheapest of 3 quotes that you are copying to him , and carry out the work yourself.



                          A common law right will then arise to recover the monies expended, beyond what would have been your portioned share , from the rent due to your landlord. Although, as a long leaseholder this may not amount to much of a 'set-off'. I should add two more things: (a) that the leaseholder must ensure that the works are done properly; and (b) that the lease does not contain a clause that bans them from setting off their expenditure from the rent.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            https://www.lease-advice.org/article...y-leaseholder/

                            Note that they indicate that set off could only be against rents, not against service charges (unless possibly reserved as rent), and that the lease might contract out of even that right to set off.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Why is my post unapproved ?

                              Comment

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