Lessees' co. owns f/r; how to make it fix flooding etc?

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    Lessees' co. owns f/r; how to make it fix flooding etc?

    We have bought the freehold and so therefore we are freeholders as well as leaseholders (within a group of six flats). We then set up a management company to manage the property etc and collect service charges, however the secretary of the company who manages the property only appears to manage what he wants. I had to call in plumbers because the outside drains were blocked and they took 18 months to give me the money back because they said that it could not be proved that it was the outside drains, the drains became blocked again and I had to pay out 638 pounds for an emergency plumber because sewage was coming into my flat as the drains were blocked so I stopped paying the service charge until the money was paid back, obviously this is not ideal. I have now received a letter telling me that they will charge 10 pounds per letter if they have to write and ask for the service charge. I am getting thorougly fed up with they way the property is managed as it seems that the secretary and the treasurer only carry out work if it directly affects their own flats, is there an association which governs Residents Association which manage properties so that a code of practise can be adherred to.

    #2
    Yes. ARMA - the Association of Residential Managing Agents. www.arma.org.uk but the agents will have to be members before you can do anything, and it is only a Code of Practice to which they should adhere it's not a legally enforceable code.

    If the agent doesn't belong to any regulatory body you can probably change to somebody who is, but it depends on what contractual arrangements you already have with them.

    On another point you can either be the freehold owner or leaseholder - you can't be both.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

    Comment


      #3
      Directors

      Originally posted by surreygirl View Post
      We then set up a management company to manage the property etc and collect service charges,
      A) --you-- set up a management company, it's either - you are a Director of a Management company, with 6 directors, 1 from each flat, and asked for an estate agent to manage the property.
      or
      B) you set up a management company,- you are a Director of a Management company, with 6 directors, 1 from each flat, and one of the directors is the Company secretary and one is treasurer, both living in one of the 6 flats.

      Either way, are you a Director ?

      But what you can't do, is have work done without telling the Managing company ( Estate agent or secretary in the flat ). Call plumbers in an emergency, of course, but imediately get authorisation from the powers that be. Was authorisation asked for on the day ? - let us know

      Without knowing if you are a Director or not, or you got authorisation, answers will differ on here.

      association which governs Residents Association and others are :-

      ARLA http://www.arla.co.uk/infosheets/

      RLA http://www.rla.org.uk/

      ARMA www.arma.org.uk

      to name 3........

      R-a-M

      Comment


        #4
        Residents Association

        Yes that is quite correct, we have formed a company and I am one of the directors.

        Well I had no choice as the secretary/manager refused to attend and sewage was coming into the flat. Raw sewage that is, so what else could I do as he had refused to attend, peoples poops were quite literally sitting outside and the water was rising mixed with urine and other ghastly bits were just about to enter my flat!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ram View Post
          association which governs Residents Association and others are :-

          ARLA http://www.arla.co.uk/infosheets/

          RLA http://www.rla.org.uk/

          ARMA www.arma.org.uk

          to name 3........

          R-a-M
          No! They don't "govern" anything, they are merely trade associations.
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
            No! They don't "govern" anything, they are merely trade associations.
            Of course,
            but if a member of a "trade association" fails to conduct themselves in the manner they have ageed to, by not observing the codes of conduct, they "could be" repremanded by the "trade association", by having their membersip revoked, etc. -- So govern is partially correct.

            Govern may have been the wrong word, but Agents have signed up to observe the codes of practise, so a threat of a complaint may usualy see an agent correct themselves for fear of not being able to show the trade association logo on their letterheads / adverts.

            An agent that has to say - "We were thrown out of the -abc- trade association, because we did not observe the codes of practice we signed up to observe, shows that the trade association govern who are suitable candidates to be members.
            No legal clout, but you see my drift.

            R-a-M

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by surreygirl View Post
              have formed a company and I am one of the directors. - secretary/manager refused to attend
              1) The overflow.
              Usualy, pipes, sewer pipes that are within the fabric of the building are covered by the Management company's block flat insurance, those pipes that serve everyone.

              Pipes that are on show in your flat are usualy your responsibility to fix.

              You may be able to claim on your own flat insurance, AND on the Block insurance -- it's worth a phone call on Tuesday.
              We have had sewer overflow outside, and the block insurance paid to replace pipes in the garden that were full of grass roots.

              Looks like the problem was within the grounds of the premises, and not in your flat, therefore it is the responsibility of the Managing company to rectify, either from funds in the maintenence account or via insurance.

              2) The Company.
              As you are a director, if you are unhappy that the Secretary refused to see the problem, or even understand the problem, -- you could call an Extra Ordinary General Meeting to discus this problem. Give 14 days notice, hold meeting in your flat, and get some answers.

              If you are not happy with the Secretary, you can have him removed.
              The directors "choose" the Company Secretary, and can remove him from his post, or what ever his title is.
              You dont legaly now have to have a company secretary, but it best you keep the title, as it sounds better than "Administrator".

              I see you are in Spain, so are you subject to the Spanish legal system on "Company Legislation" ?

              Hope this helps, for now,
              I run a Management Company of 5 flats, and sometimes you have to force issues ( as some of my posts show )

              R-a-M

              Comment


                #8
                Residents Association

                Yes you are quite right RAM I am in Spain, but my flat is in the UK, so governed by UK rules and regulations.

                I would like to get rid of the secretary but no one else wants to take on the job. I would like to put in a Managing Agent only because as I said above the "secretary" only does what he feels like doing and what benefits his own flat - which is rented out -. Other problems are that he does not understand the lease and I have had a long battle with him over the interpretation of the lease in the end I had to go to the LVT and my interpretation was the correct interpretation so he had to repay me monies which he again refused to do and so the sage continues. A Management company - hopefully - would be impartial and get on with it, and also hopefully be able to interpret the lease correctly, but not only that it has all become very personal. The lighting is not working outside my flat and again I have had the same response, he doesnt want to know. All these things are breaches of the lease (under varias clauses) and also they breach health and safety and in frustration I contacted the health and safety office in Richmond where my flat is in the UK and wrote and told him so, he is now going to do something about it, but it is an uphill slog with him all the time. Place is a mess - garden, lights hanging off their henges etc - and there is 10,000 pounds sitting in the bank!

                All very frustrating, but thank you for your very helpful comments, especially your last post and also the sites which look very interesting so I am going to recommend what we join one or the other. The last one looks the best.

                I think I have put this post on the wrong thread should have been under Landlords etc. not to worry
                Last edited by surreygirl; 24-08-2008, 15:35 PM. Reason: spelling

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by surreygirl View Post
                  my flat is in the UK, and I would like to get rid of the secretary. Place is a mess.
                  I am going to recommend what we join one of the trade associations.
                  First, if you are not in the job of renting out flats, not a managing agent ( such as an estate agent ) i don't think you can belong to a trade association, as you are not trading to the public to manage flats in all areas of Richmond !

                  get rid of the secretary ?
                  Just in case you can see a reg' that you can put to the Secretary to get him to comply -- see
                  http://freespace.virgin.net/xx.x/manco/CS_offences.htm

                  You must ? be able to get 3 people from your Flats ( you and 2 others ) to agree that the present company secretary is useless and to attend a meeting, then have a meeting to remove secretary and appoint a new "Administrator".
                  If everyone attends ( including the company secretary, ) make sure you get 4 votes in your favour.

                  But get their views before you set a date/ write / and you only need 3 on your side ( 50 % ) maybe less if different in your lease / articles.
                  Just a 5 minute meeting... all those for, and against, -- thank you. meeting over, job done, and Mr. Secretary, please hand over all documents, bank accounts, cheque books etc etc. to new administrator.

                  Use 288B to terminate Secretary http://freespace.virgin.net/xx.x/manco/288B.pdf
                  Use 288A for appointment http://freespace.virgin.net/xx.x/manco/288A.pdf

                  As you are in Spain, you need a contact, but if you have none, give me a call and i could start the ball rolling. ( Names addresses phone numbers ) and i could write the letters on your behalf, even be a temporary Secretary, to make sure the present one has done the legal things he should have done. Yes I am a fair way from the Flats, but my costs are minimal, -- anyway -- help there if you need it.

                  R-a-M ( R-a-M services )

                  Comment


                    #10
                    residents association

                    That is more helpful inforation Ram. He has refused to send me minutes because I do not live in the UK although since I contacted the health authorities in Richmond over his failure to remedy the drains and lights I have now began to receive them!!

                    I would not be able to get rid of him on votes, as flat 6 is the treasure and they get on like a house on fire and the secretary is currently trying through the LVT to reduce his payments towards the decorations to a smaller amount even though through my own applicaton which was successful and the the LVT made it a one fourth to each floor with the lower floors divided by two becomes one eighth for each flat on the two lower floors, as laid out by the LVT.

                    I can I think get rid of him through the LVT as they can appoint a Managing Agent irrespective of votes if the company are found to have breached the lease which of course they have (or he has) because he is the one who keeps stating things and the others follow however in reality he hasnt got a clue about the lease and even when it is pointed out to him he thinks he can override it with a show of hands. All very frustrating and time consuming and driving me insane and frankly I cant wait for the housing market to pick up so I can sell it!

                    But thank you for your time

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Extending The Lease To 999

                      What is the procedure of extending the lease. I have about 76 years left on my lease to a 999 lease, bearing in mind that we are supposed to be changing the lease by "Deed of Variation", although some of the changes are questionable!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by surreygirl View Post
                        What is the procedure of extending the lease. I have about 76 years left on my lease to a 999 lease, bearing in mind that we are supposed to be changing the lease by "Deed of Variation", although some of the changes are questionable!
                        1. I do not fully understand your post.
                        2. Is this a house, flat, business property, lump of land, or what else?
                        3. For how long have you owned the leasehold interest?
                        4. If you are extending a lease, no Deed of Variation would usually be needed.
                        5. What do you mean by your final seven words?
                        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


                          #13
                          Can I assume you own a share in the freehold? If so, I would advise you and the other leaseholders (who also own one share in the freehold) seek the professional help of a solicitor who will draw up the Deeds of Variation.

                          However, it appears from your comments draft Deeds have already been prepared (you mentioned some of the proposed changes are questionable). If so, you really need to speak to the legal advisor who drafted the Deed.

                          I am afraid it is a little difficult to give any more guidance, as there is a lot more information to obtain from you before further answers can be given i.e. do you actually own a share in the freehold? Or, if not, have you negotiated a deal with your freeholder already? If so, was this a result of direct negotiations or a result of previously sevring a formal notice on your freeholder...etc?. If I were to assume every possibility, this thread could go on for some time!

                          Jeffrey - don't understand what you mean by stating "no DoV is usually necessary"? In my experience, extending the term of the lease is done either by DoV or by a brand new lease. Extending the lease by way of DoV is by far the easiest way forward and is cheaper for the leaseholder therefore.

                          Tom

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Can Co. Sec. defer lease extension until year end?

                            Can the company secretary just make up his mind to charge for extending the leasehold at the end of the year.

                            We were having the lease changed by "deed of variation" and then at the same time extending all the leases, now I believe someone wants to sell their flat and so the secretary has written to say that individuals can extend their leases until the end of the year and then there will be a charge, but so far we have not yet decided how to go about changing the lease by "deed of variation" however how can the secretary just make up his own mind on this without a meeting etc, I am also a director of the company and have not been asked or informed how he came about this decison!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by surreygirl View Post
                              Can the company secretary just make up his mind to charge for extending the leasehold at the end of the year.

                              We were having the lease changed by "deed of variation" and then at the same time extending all the leases, now I believe someone wants to sell their flat and so the secretary has written to say that individuals can extend their leases until the end of the year and then there will be a charge, but so far we have not yet decided how to go about changing the lease by "deed of variation" however how can the secretary just make up his own mind on this without a meeting etc, I am also a director of the company and have not been asked or informed how he came about this decison!
                              1. In a word: no.

                              2. Decisions by Co. are collective, i.e. by Directors. See Articles of Association, where this is almost certainly stated.

                              3. Anyway, "Deed of Variation" is not very sensible. The law treats it as a new Lease (= Deed of Surrender and Regrant) so solicitor should draw it as such- to avoid future problems on sales/mortgages.

                              4. No premium [= purchase price] should be payable, if lessees already collectively own the f/r; only legal fees for new Deeds.

                              5. For a flat in mortgage, the mortgagee must also be involved. It will need a Deed of Substituted Security, shifting mortgage from the old lease to the new lease. Even if Mgt. Co. cuts corners by not using a solicitor, each mortgagee will assuredly demand one- at lessee's expense.
                              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

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