Lessees responsible for maintenance of gardens

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    Lessees responsible for maintenance of gardens

    In the leases of a 2 storey block we manage it states that leaseholders of the ground floor flats are responsible for maintenance of the gardens. However most leaseholders are absentee landlords, and we've received complaints from one of the 1st floor freeholders that the gardens are overgrown and not maintained.

    All other maintenance issues are dealt with (as required by the lease) by a management company, who collect the service charge. I suggested they write to the ground floor flat owners to advise the situation and increase their service charge to cover the extra cost of employing a contractor to manage the gardens.

    Is this the best option? Any advice greatly welcomed. THANK YOU!

    #2
    No. The freeholder or mgt. co. has no power at all to make unilateral alterations.
    Best: Deeds of Variation (one per flat).
    Next best (but expensive/slow): Court Order for variation of leases, under Part IV of LTA 1987.
    Finally, lessees are lessees whether they owner-occupy or sublet. The covenants bind them either way.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      thanks Jeffrey, really appreciate yr quick reply.
      To clarify, the GF leases would have to be varied to include a clause that the service charge includes maintenance of gardens. There are 16 flats in the block, therefore 8 variations. This sounds expensive...

      ...or have I missed your point?

      Comment


        #4
        ...or maybe all sixteen will need varying; depends on how service charge provisions read.
        It might therefore be cheaper (and would avoid 15 agreeing and one not even replying) to seek Court Order. Do NOT try this unaided!
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          No.... this is sounding quite involved! I may need more advice...

          Comment


            #6
            Deeds of Variation ??

            Originally posted by chmg View Post
            Deeds of Variation etc etc. No.... this is sounding quite involved! I may need more advice...
            No. The lease states that the ground floor flats must maintain the gardens.

            Usualy the absent owners do not pass this info onto the sub-tenants.

            Get the Management company to write to the sub-tenants / owners, stating that they are in violation of the lease, and if the garden is not maintained, then it will be done for them on and urgent emergency rectification, and they will be charged for the rectification, ( assume the cost will be divided by the number of ground floor flats.)

            First, I would write to the owners that you are about to write to the sub-tenants ( if any ) and before you write to the sub-tenants, that may show the absent owners in a bad light, you would like the owners to rectify the situation, stating a rough cost, divided by the number of ground floor flats. ( because an outside contractor is now required, due to failure of everyone to observe the lease )

            The Management Company / agent are within their mandate to inform of breaches of the lease and make recomendations and carry them out due to refusal to observe the lease. ( They rectify the problem, or take those in breach to court........ Rectification is better then court proceedings )

            If it is in the lease that they look after the garden, then no variations are needed, - it's already in the lease !

            R-a-M

            Comment


              #7
              'Absent' lessee (T) is presumably merely someone sub-letting a flat to sub-T. If so, T REMAINS liable to L for paying all service charge AND for compliance with lease's positive covenants.

              T can make sub-T liable for restrictive covenants, but:
              a. this does not affect T's liability to L;
              b. sub-T cannot be made liable for paying in respect of these items; and
              c. T can make sub-T liable only if the sub-letting Agreement contains an express obligation on sub-T's part.
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                Thank you both, much appreciated advice.

                I will begin by writing to each L, having obtained a quote for the work from the Man Co (they manage 2 other blocks on the estate, where they are liable for garden maintenance, so presumably can employ the same contractor)

                If this doesn't work, I'll come back to you for further advice!!

                thanks again

                Comment

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