Owners M.C. refusing to adequately maintain and repair building, help!

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    Owners M.C. refusing to adequately maintain and repair building, help!

    All leaseholders of the building I own a flat in are co-directors of the management company. The other co-directors are all non-resident multi-property rental landlords. They are refusing to adequately fund the management company despite my raising this multiple times. We pay the bare minimum only, with no routine cleaning or maintenance and have no reserve fund. The refusal to adequately maintain the building is causing marked damage to my property as well as danger to other tenants and the public - large chunks of render falling off from the fourth floor, no maintenance to fire alarms after water ingress through the sensors, leaking roof and guttering, non-working communal lighting leaving steep steps with broken balustrades in darkness etc.

    I have raised these problems in writing and at management company meetings multiple times but my requests either get completely ignored or are unanimously voted down by the other directors - we have equal voting rights and they outnumber me. Their aim is to keep costs to their businesses as low as possible, and the work they need to do to the bare minimum. We have been reported by neighbours to the council for various issues. My property has had ongoing water ingress from a communal area for years despite multiple raising of it with photographic evidence of the worsening damage. I am now getting increasingly worried about my liability as a co-director should a tenant or member of the public be injured or killed. We do have insurance, but it expressly rules out issues from failure of maintenance. I am also unable to maintain my leasehold requirements of repair and maintenance of my flat due to the external disrepair leading to repeated internal problems which are not solvable without the external repair work being done.

    The lease made between the management company ('the Landlord') and the Tenant and states 'Subject to the Tenant paying the Landlord the Service Charge.......the Landlord shall perform the Services throughout the Term.....The Services 1. To maintain and keep in good and substantial repair and condition and renew or replace when required the Main Structure the Common Parts and any Pipes used in common....... 2. As and when the Landlord shall deem necessary to decorate in good and workmanlike manner the external parts of the Building and Common Parts 3. To keep the Common Parts clean and where appropriate lit.......5. To employ at the Landlord's discretion a firm of managing agents to manage the Building......6. To do or cause to be done all works installations acts matters and things as in the absolute discretion of the Landlord may be considered necessary or desirable for the proper maintenance safety amenity and administration of the Building........8. To set aside such sums as the Landlord requires to meet such future costs as the Landlord reasonable expects to incur in replacing maintaining and renewing those items that the Landlord has covenanted to replace maintain or renew.

    How can I enforce safe maintenance? Can I take legal action against the management company when I myself am a co-director?

    #2
    Its difficult when you find yourself in a situation where others around you don't care as much as you. I have been in such situations in a different context, done all I could to resolve matters and ultimately had to remove myself from the situation. In your situation I would be looking to sell and get out of it. Otherwise it sounds like a complex situation and you would need legal advice and to be prepared for a lot of stress.

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      #3
      Awful situation, I sympathise, it sounds exactly like my property in Thanet where an RTM do diddly squat. There is an older thread about this.
      Basically it sounds expensive now to bring it up to standard so selling may be preferable or you can apply to the FTT to appoint a competent manager.
      You could also make complaint to local authority housing department
      Tell insurers that their risk is being compromised.
      I would consider obtaining a schedule of condition so you have a professional view that you can show to other flat owners.
      Good luck, likely to be stressful and expensive Unfortunately this is typical of absent BTL landlords who just want to spend as little as possible but fail to realise the false economy of inadequate maintenance.

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        #4
        I agree with S20z. They were my thoughts as I read your post. Even in normal times I expect you would have difficulties selling.

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          #5
          You should apply to FTT for appointment of managing agent totake over administration of the service charge account under your lease.

          Best if you find a suitable agent in your local town and nominate that agent in your application.

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            #6
            Ask the other landlords if they'd like to buy your place, IIWY. They might jump at the chance to get control to spend even less money on maintenance.
            To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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