What qualifies as a shared cost in Share of Freehold

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    What qualifies as a shared cost in Share of Freehold

    I share the freehold with the flat above which has a tenant living there while the owner is living in South Africa. The tiling and gutters were a bit dodgy so we agreed to jointly pay someone to fix and replace them.

    The problem is there was quite a lot of rain water that ran down his internal walls during the last storm, meaning the ceiling will have to be repainted and various other walls will need to be treated (not damp proof coursing).

    My question is, am I liable, under "shared costs", for the cost of redecorating for the other freeholder due to an external issue? I was happy to pay for the tiles and gutter repairs, but should I be paying for the cost of his internal redecorating?

    To make it even more compilcated, his tenant has asked for a reduction in his rent due to the inconvenience of living in the flat and the owner has also asked me to share in those costs as well!

    Thank you for any advice.

    #2
    There may be a valid claim under the buildings insurance policy. Otherwise, it depends on what was agreed with the leaseholder, you have probably agreed to share all the costs, unless you can demonstrate to the contrary,

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      #3
      Hi eagle2. Unfortunately, we agreed verbally to share the costs for all external repairs, like roof, gutters, drain pipes and chimney but not in writing. How can he ask me to share the costs of his tenant's rent reduction? He claims that due to agreeing to the shared costs of repairing the roof and gutters, the cost of redecorating and rent reduction, is an extension of the first.

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        #4
        Damage due to lack of maintenance would not be an insured risk, but storm damage could possibly be claimed together with the redecoration costs. If it's just routine repair and he should have noticed sooner that repairs were needed then I wouldn't be paying anything towards his redecoration, no .
        Maybe offer a token contribution as goodwill

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          #5
          The lease should state what percentage each flat contributes to service charge account ( and for building maintenance and insurance )

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            #6
            More details about what actually happened, and what the leases say, are probably needed.

            If you have agreed to pay half of the costs of the repairs to the tiles and guttering, you may need to stick to that.
            Presumably your leases say that you share the costs of repairs to external parts of the building? Who does it say is responsible for maintaining the roof and guttering though?

            If the leases make the upper floor leaseholder responsible for maintaining these, and the ground floor leaseholder just has to pay a share of the cost, the cost of internal repairs/redecoration should be the sole responsibility of the upper floor leaseholder.

            On the other hand, if you are jointly responsible for all maintenance of the outside of the building, including guttering and roof, it is completely reasonable for you to be jointly responsible for any uninsured costs that occurred as a result of a failure to maintain the building.

            If the damage was a result of something that couldn't reasonably be expected to have been prevented it is likely to be covered by insurance.

            It is also perhaps worth considering whether the amount you would pay if you share the costs of the redecoration is worth arguing about if it will damage the relationship you have with the person you share the freehold with.

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              #7
              I bought my ground floor flat in 1983 and there has been 2 other owners of the top flat before we decided to buy the freehold in 2005. We created a company for the freehold and we hold 1 share each. My original 1983 lease states, as far as I can understand, that I am jointly responsible for the upkeep of the outside of the building.

              When we bought the freehold we just agreed, verbally, that we would share the repair costs of the roof and gutters and drains and each pay for the inside of the flats. I know what you are going to say, "We should have put that in writing".

              Unfortunately they then moved out about 10 years ago and are now renting the flat out through an estate agents.

              Besides him claiming half the costs of his redecorating, he ALSO wants me to share in the tenants request for a reduction on his rent due to the disturbance of the flooding.

              That's what is really annoying me!!

              He also hasn't taken into account my redecorating costs of my ceiling as the water flowed into my kitchen and part of my living room through his floor.

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