HUGE bill for building repairs on a leasehold flat in a house - is this normal/help!

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    HUGE bill for building repairs on a leasehold flat in a house - is this normal/help!

    I have a one-bedroom flat in a house with three other flats. My flat is by far the smallest in terms of square footage and number of bedrooms but I pay 25%. My leasehold specifies the amount that I pay should be 'fair and reasonable'. External repairs need to be done and the bill for the whole thing is £145,000 an unimaginable amount of money as the insurance won't pay up. S20 is being done. I can't afford to pay my 25% of this. And even if I could, it seems unfair that I would be paying equivalent to much larger properties. Do I have any grounds to challenge what I must pay? What would happen given I can't pay? Is this kind of bill anywhere within the realms of normal. I am sick with worry even more so given the financial meltdown (though recognize I am lucky to have my health). Help!

    #2
    That is an enormous amount of money, can you explain what exactly needs to be done to equal that amount, that is the kind of figure that i would except to pay to actually build a whole new house on land i owned already.

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      #3
      Thank you for your reply. They need to fix the front bay window which has slid down apparently due to subsidence (which the insurers are refusing to pay for) and then there are loads of finicky external repairs on the front and roof. I don't quite understand it to be honest and the amount of money is so obscene I can hardly think. There has apparently been years of neglect but this wasn't apparent when any of us bought our flats. The freehold has changed hands in the past three years but the extent of the problems weren't apparent in his survey either.

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        #4
        I would ask for a copy of this ''' survey ''' and the costings for each of the repairs they state are needed, i would expect that any quote for the work would be made by at least 3 separate contractors also, i would then consult the other 3 flats and speak with a qualified solicitor/builder as that amount seems totally out of whack for what are just repairs,

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          #5
          It seems your building may be an old house converted into 4 leasehold flats.

          You should consult with the other 3 leaseholders and find out how they each feel about paying for £37,000 for "repairs". If you feel the proposed repairs are overcharged , you need to get quotes from other property repair companies.

          You can make an application to the FTT for judgement of the proposed repairs and challenge the unreasonable cost . There is a free guide to making application to FTT on LEASE website ( www.lease-advice.org )

          Alternatively, 4 leaseholders can make a compulsory purchase of the freehold title and collectively gain control to decide on spreading the repairs over say 5 years.

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            #6
            What did the surveyors reports say when you all bought your properties? Hold a meeting with all the other leaseholders and discuss with them the situation. Ask them what their surveyors reports said also? Take photos of everything and ask to see the LL planned schedule of works asking him how he has arrived at these figures? Was an s20 consultation done?

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              #7
              My lease wording says "one tenth of the service charge" because we are 10 flats; hence we all pay equal share. Does your lease contain wording like "Service charge percentage"? 'If it just says "fair and reasonable", you paying 25% when your flat is substantially smaller is not fair and reasonable. Like others have mentioned on this forum, you ALWAYS go by what the lease says. If it does not say you have to pay equal service charge percentage you should not.

              When you bought the flat, who said you had to pay 25% share of the service charge?

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