Does a Freeholders Association have to use a Chartered Surveyor or will a builder do?

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    Does a Freeholders Association have to use a Chartered Surveyor or will a builder do?

    We've just discovered that the Directors of our Freeholders Association (all residents are Leaseholders with a share of freehold) have been using their building project manager (basically, their old builder) as their main surveyor, including sending him in to oversee and sign off on any building works/renovations leaseholders have done in their flats. This project manager has no qualifications at all, is not company registered nor VAT registered (there's not even a website) and was apparently employed directly by the Directors and not via the Property Management Company.

    We now find that breaches of lease have happened in a lot of flats, quite a lot of building regulations violations, and no building notices registered at the council - all of which have been overseen by this project manager. There has been no Chartered Surveyor employed at any time - by him or anyone else - to oversee any works taking place, as the Directors refer to this chap as their main "surveyor". We presume the management company think this man is RICS registered so haven't got involved. This has been going on for years, apparently, so there's very little paperwork, and all questions sent to the Directors about the project manager have so far been ignored.

    We can't find anything requiring chartered surveyors in the archaic lease, alas. Are large blocks (we have 80 flats here, purpose built, Victorian Mansion flats) allowed to use people to oversee and sign off on building works, that are NOT chartered surveyors? With no qualifications or liability insurance etc? Is there a legal precedent/housing act or something we can point to, to stop them using him instead of a proper chartered surveyor?

    Since you refer to Directors I assume there is a Company to direct. Is this the case ? If so, have you not had A.G..Ms when you could have raised issues ? If they are not using suitably qualified people and permitting breaches of lease they should be removed.
    Have you got people willing and competent to replace them ?



      I think OP means their "company" which owns the freehold title and the building; and appoints a managing agent to operate the service charge account. "Freeholders association" is the wrong term for leasehold property .

      The "members of the company" are the leaseholders. The managing agent collects the annual service charge from the leaseholders and provides maintenance for the building and communal areas.

      If breaches of the lease means "leaseholders not paying service charge", this problem would be followed up by the managing agent . There should be an annual meeting for the leaseholders to approve the service charge accounts, appoint the auditor for next year 's accounts, raise any issues for discussion and appoint directors for the freehold company.

      What type of building works and who should sign off the works are not written into the leases .


        Much clearer and comprehensive Gordon.


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