Newbie Freeholder

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    Newbie Freeholder

    Hi all,

    just wonder if somebody can advise as to how to approach the situation.

    Property is in the bad condition, due to previous freeholder having no interest in the property.

    One of the leaseholders decided not to do any property upkeep unless there is a threat from the council/solicitor letter.

    So now I'm a new co freeholder and wonder how to approach property repairs.

    I think all works would take between 50-80k roughly. There are certain things which need to be done as priority - 5k roughly.

    So the question how best to approach the non complying leaseholder so that not to loose forfeiture threat and not to get the accusation of historical neglect levelled at freeholders?


    Is there a management company between the freeholder and leaseholders? If not then I would write a letter to each of the leaseholders and explain that you are the new owner. You should tender for the works and get 3 quotes. You should prioritise the works as depending on the costs and the number of leaseholders, they may not be expecting such a large outlay if they haven't received a bill for a number of years.


      Thank you, no there is no management company.

      Lease is self repairing but the problem leaseholders are not aware of leaking roof, falling masonry etc.

      Everybody else could see it.

      So it is not the question of not expecting but simply refusing because the freeholder didn't give a damn


        I hope you will inform the leaseholders of change of freeholder and give the contact address for serving of legal notices to freeholder.. You should buy a copy of the RICS Residential Management Code which is the guide for managing agents.

        It better to write a short report on the existing poor condition of the building and what remedial work is required immediately and over the next one or two years. Also provide a budget cost and what contribution may be demanded from each flat over the next 2-3 years. Suggest you find a surveyor to write the report in case someone challenges you .

        Make some suggestion for finding the finances e.g by adding to existing mortgage or get a 5 year loan from say Sainsbury or Tesco bank .

        For ground rent arrears , you need to send every one in arrears , a statement of ground rent owing. and give warning that you will claim in the small claims court if it is not paid.


          Your second response mentions that the lease is ‘self repairing’. Do you mean that the leaseholders need to arrange their own repairs between them? This is unusual, but not unknown.

          Have you read the lease to see if there are directions on issuing something like a repair notice or other procedure for ensuring the leaseholders carry out the repairs if they are the responsible party?


            Hi, yes we know that we need to send the notification re change of freeholder.

            Yes, that's where the caveat lies - ideally we would like non participating leaseholder to sell.

            But one of co freeholders would like to move sooner (thank you, Chancellor) so it would be counterproductive for them.

            At the same time - the most urgent repairs will benefit the property and sale price.

            Re lease - yes, lease is self repairing and the freeholder could give notice for repair.

            We do expect that the leaseholder will start participating once given a notice for 1st round of repairs.
            However if all the repairs listed they may not participate unless there is a court order.

            So there is a delicate balancing act.


              In most leases , the leaseholder of flats pay a contribution to the freeholder or management company for maintenance of the building.

              Does the wording in your lease state " self repairing " and what this means ? Does it mean each flat is given a different part of the building to maintain ?


                Gordon999, according to solicitors - you have acquired a lease which simply does not oblige the freeholder to repair, and where you have to engage with the other leaseholders to deal with repairs. If the leaseholder refuses, you can ask the freeholder to take action against that lessee but at your cost. It is very unsatisfactory but not uncommon for converted houses with older leases

                Leaseholders are to keep the property in good repair and if freeholder gives notice they must repair the property

                we are still waiting for clarification on service charges but believe none exist


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