Responsibility of window frames

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    Responsibility of window frames

    Hello - I hope someone can help. I own a new build flat and have a faulty window that needs replacing. This will be quite costly and requires erecting scaffolding. I was surprised to hear from the building management company that windows are the responsibility of the leaseholder. This doesn't seem right that tenants can change windows to whatever they like and erect scaffolding. I checked the lease and while it does state leaseholders are responsible for windows it doesn't mention the window frame. I interpret this as I am responsible for broken windows. Moreover, I found the below reference online which would seem to validate my assumption. Anyones help or advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Kind regards,

    "Sheffield City Council v Oliver [2008] EWLands LRX/146/2007.
    The Lands Tribunal has found that the external windows of a flat formed part of the structure and exterior of the flat. As a result, the landlord was obliged to repair the windows, even though they were demised to the tenant. The Lands Tribunal held that the extent of the demise did not limit the scope of the landlord's repairing covenant."
    https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreute...firstPage=true

    #2
    What does your lease say on the subject? (Reproduce relevant part here.)

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      #3
      When you say new build, is it new enough to still be under warranty. New house typically get 2 years from developer. And not sure if flats get it but usually 10 year warranty against serious issues.

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        #4
        The Sheffield case will be for a lease that is ambiguous and defines and uses other terms such as "the building". It is not a general rule.

        Everything is going to turn on the exact wording of your specific lease.

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          #5
          Thank you for your responses. Please see attached references from my lease. I believe most of it is covered in point (iii) from the "first schedule". The fact point (iii) mentions doors and door frames but only windows and not window frames could mean it's only the glass? There's also a reference to windows in "the tenant covenants" section which I have also attached. Thanks again.


          the_first_schedule.jpg
          The Tenant Covenants:

          the_tenant_covenants.jpg
          Attached Files

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            #6
            I suspect if you took it to Tribunal they would say you are responsible for the frames.
            It mentions glass separately. And words the doors sort of in parallel.

            In a way it would be cheaper in the long run for you to take this responsibility. Just make sure it applies to all flats not just you.

            Separately issue as to whether it is defective/broken very soon.

            "windows and glass" kind of implies windows and glass are separate things

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              #7
              I've recently had Windows replaced and they did the upstairs from inside. If scaffold isn't required it will be a lot cheaper.

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                #8
                Your windows should be covered by Fensa for 10 years, the window installer is under obligation to get them fixed Once Fensa confirms it is their cost. Oh the miracles that could happen when the installer knows they are responsible for all associated costs good luvk

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                  I suspect if you took it to Tribunal they would say you are responsible for the frames.
                  It mentions glass separately. And words the doors sort of in parallel.
                  Thanks for all your replies. One last comment, would the fact the plan on my lease clearly excludes the windows as part of my demise be a factor? (see attached). The lease also states that service charge is to cover "the structure and exterior of the Building". Wouldn't windows be considered the exterior of the building?

                  Regarding other comments, the building and windows are just over 10 years so no warranty unfortunately.

                  demise_of_flat.jpg

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                    #10
                    You may have a chance, but I wouldn't bank on it. The red lines do not override the words - generally they are regarded as vague blodges (and if they did the freeholder would be responsible for your interior decoration as well with these blodges!).

                    That said I am not 100% sure why you are fighting this. It is a positive advantage to sort out your own windows, and will likely cost you half as much in the long run.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                      I suspect if you took it to Tribunal they would say you are responsible for the frames.
                      It mentions glass separately. And words the doors sort of in parallel.

                      In a way it would be cheaper in the long run for you to take this responsibility. Just make sure it applies to all flats not just you.
                      I would agree that it may be cheaper in the long run if the window frames are the responsibility of the leaseholder, but would not necessarily agree that a tribunal would say that the leaseholder is responsible for the frames.

                      Especially if this was argued well, I think that it s more likely that the freeholder could be considered responsible for the window frames. The quoted section of the lease defines "The Premises", which I would presume refers to the demise property. Anything not specifically mentioned will therefore be the responsibility of the freeholder - unless it is specifically mentioned in the lease.

                      Additionally, if the lease is not clear it should be construed in favour of the person who didn't write it, so in favour of the leaseholder in this case - if the leaseholder argues that it should be construed to mean that they aren't responsible for the frames.

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