Freeholders to force payment

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    Freeholders to force payment


    The majority of the freeholder in our building voted to take down an overgrown tree meanwhile some of the freeholders never agreed to this? Can they force us to pay for this? We never agreed on this and the tree has now been removed. It's obviously not a necessity to take down the tree, however, it needed a trim.

    Curious to hear your thoughts and what's my right in this

    a) There is only one freeholder

    b) You may have a share of the freehold

    c) The freeholder makes a decision (it is not a split up decision) which at the very least must adhere to the lease and the law.

    d) If the freeholder is a standalone person they make that one decision (usually to rip off lessees as much as possible)

    e) If it's a company the company (the singular freeholder) makes that one decision according to Company Law and articles of the company.

    f) If there is a payment to be made based on that decision, it is paid according to the lease (by all to whgom the leases apply)

    If you understand that you will have answered your question

    The shorter answer is "None".


      Sad to lose a tree but you will probably save money on long term pruning, cleaning or damage.


        The tree MAY have been a cause of concern re possible subsidence issues and had to be removed

        If the power to take down the tree rests with the freeholder then unless you can demonstrate that it was wholly unreasonable to take it down the cost will be recoverable from you assuming the cost incurred was reasonable


          Originally posted by adamsmith2343 View Post
          Curious to hear your thoughts and what's my right in this
          There are three separate issues here:

          1. Is the tree the responsibility of the freeholder?
          2. Was the decision to remove the tree, rather than trim it, made in accordance with the applicable policies of the Freehold company?
          3. Are the costs of the work recoverable from either the leaseholders or the shareholders/members of the freehold company?

          Presuming that the tree was within the boundaries of the property, the freeholder will be responsible for work that is necessary to 'maintain' it unless it is in a garden that is demised to one of the leaseholders or was planted by one of the leaseholders without permission (in which case it may be the responsibility of an individual leaseholder).
          Regardless, and even if the tree is outside of the boundaries of the property, the freeholder has a responsibility to take action if the tree is considered likely to affect the building - although that action might be limited to telling someone else that they need to deal with it.

          If it has been established that the tree is the freeholder's responsibility, a decision needs to be taken on what action is required. How that decision is made will potentially vary depending on whether there is a single freeholder or a company where each leaseholder has a share of the freehold.
          A share of freehold company may have a limited number of directors, perhaps even just one, who can make a decision like this without asking all shareholders what their opinion is. In this case it sounds like all shareholders were asked, and a vote was taken, so unless the company requires unanimous acceptance, or a specific percentage of the vote (both of which would be unwise for a decision like this), the decision will have made appropriately.

          Finally, if the work is something that is covered by the leases, and the leases make the cost recoverable via the service charge, you do not have any right to refuse to pay but you do have the right to challenge the reasonableness of the costs by taking the freehold company to a tribunal.
          If the costs are not recoverable as service charges, or if they are challenged at a tribunal and it is found that they are unreasonable, they may still be recoverable from you because the companies articles might allow company costs to be recovered from shareholders (and if the costs can't be recovered by the company there is a risk of the freehold company folding - which would not be good for the value of your flat).


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