Freeholder failure to maintain

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    Freeholder failure to maintain

    What to do about a freeholder that doesn't maintain property?
    Unfortunately right to manage is not an option
    There is damage to my property due to FH failure to repair



    #2
    Unfortunately, there is often no 'easy' way for leaseholders to take action against freeholders who are failing to meet their obligations under the lease.

    What is appropriate in any individual case will depend very much on the circumstances, but it will always be best to ensure that you have as much evidence as possible that you have have to get the freeholder to meet their obligations.

    If you really can't get the freeholder to fulfil their obligations, the likelihood is that you will end up having to go to county court.
    Depending on the circumstances, you can either pay to get work carried out yourself and then take them to court to recover the costs (taking into account that you will need to pay a share of many costs in line with your service charge obligations), or seek a ruling that obligates them to get the required work done. You should probably seek proper legal advice before proceeding with either option.

    An additional consideration is that historic neglect may mean that you can challenge any costs that are passed onto you as service charges when work is eventually carried out (if the neglect has resulted in increased costs) and any damage to your own property that has occurred as a result of neglect may be something that the freeholder can be required to pay out of their own pocket (even if it is costs that the leaseholder would usually be responsible for).

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you

      The freeholder also appears to have little regard for statutory requirements with regard to service charges - I receive demands for sums of money intermittently, not annually, and not requested formally in accordance with legal requirements. He fails to respond to requests for further information regarding the basis of charges (some of which I doubt are valid) and has not given notification or organised quotes for major works as stipulated. I understand that I do not have to pay these service charges but that just makes things worse. However, if I do he just gets away with everything, meanwhile failing to maintain the building in every way - structurally, cleaning and decorating. I am also concerned about fire safety regs.

      My only recourse seems to be to go to court which of course is a costly endeavour for ordinary mortals

      It seems to me that in these situations leaseholders have fewer rights than renters, who can report landlords to councils

      Comment


        #4
        And further to above, if service charges are paid, is it still possible to argue about them later and seek refund if insufficient evidence is produced by FH?
        If so can this be done via FT tribunal?
        And how to enforce proper accounting of service charges in the future? And proper management?

        If there was adequate regulation of this industry this freeholder would be barred. I imagine there are numerous others who have little regard for the lives of those who live in their properties and who have little regard for the law

        Does the proposed leasehold legislation address this?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Catastrophiser2020 View Post

          If there was adequate regulation of this industry this freeholder would be barred. I imagine there are numerous others who have little regard for the lives of those who live in their properties and who have little regard for the law

          Does the proposed leasehold legislation address this?
          I would suggest writing to ur MP to raise awareness on this issue. They might be able to help. U can also contact the LKP team for their opinion to see what they suggest in ur situation.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Catastrophiser2020 View Post
            And further to above, if service charges are paid, is it still possible to argue about them later and seek refund if insufficient evidence is produced by FH?
            If so can this be done via FT tribunal?
            Yes, service charges can be challenged, even if they have already been paid, usually up to about six years after they have been demanded/paid. Tribunals will sometimes allow service charges to be challenged going back further - and if you haven't been receiving the required statement of 'leaseholder's rights and responsibilities' with service charge demands, and you can convince a tribunal of that, you may have a good chance of challenging older service charges (if you can convince the tribunal that not having this included meant that you didn't fully understand your right to challenge costs).


            Originally posted by Catastrophiser2020 View Post
            And how to enforce proper accounting of service charges in the future? And proper management?
            Most leaseholders probably wish that they knew how to do this.

            In some cases, simply challenging previous service charges and management may lead to management improving, but unfortunately I think that this is relative rare.

            You need to get the managing agents (and/or freeholder) to understand that managing the property well benefits everyone. There does need to be an appropriate balance between the amount of work done and the costs involved, but generally most leaseholders would like to see the property their flat is in properly maintained and realise that this means that they have to pay a share of the costs. When costs really are reasonable, it is only the unreasonable leaseholders who complain.
            Actually achieving this is far easier said than done, because (in my experience) most managing agents don't actually want to manage the buildings under their management, they just want the fees paid to them.


            [QUOTE=Catastrophiser2020;n1183851If there was adequate regulation of this industry this freeholder would be barred. I imagine there are numerous others who have little regard for the lives of those who live in their properties and who have little regard for the law

            Does the proposed leasehold legislation address this?[/QUOTE]
            Barred from being a freeholder? That's highly unlikely.

            Unfortunately the proposed legislation is likely to do nothing to address freeholders who fail to properly maintain their building and is instead focussing on things that scarcely matter, such as ground rents (which are mainly an issue solely because well-meaning, but foolish campaigners have made them into a problem).

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