Unspecified service charges

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    Unspecified service charges

    Hi

    I'm a first time buyer in the process of buying a leasehold ground floor flat of a two storey/flat maisonette. The freeholder owns the flat upstairs and I will be buying the ground floor flat with a new 125yr lease.

    My solicitor has raised a concern regarding the new lease as the new lease (differing from the old lease) says that I am 50% responsible for all maintenance, repairs, etc on the building as required. There is no set charge or limits and apparently it is quite unspecific as to what I may be obligated to pay for. There is a ground rent of £150pa and I think the freeholder only has to arrange insurance.

    Is this usual or a cause for concern? I am worried that there is no limit as to what I may have to pay out for although I do appreciate that any charges have to be 'reasonable' and have to go through a process of notice, approval, etc.

    I have not had a full structural survey done on the property as the valuer stated that they could not perform this due to being unable to have access to the upstairs property as it is separate. So could I be paying for roof repairs on a roof above someone else's flat, for example?

    Any help, advice, guidance would be much appreciated as I'm still trying to get my head round this complicated business!

    #2
    L should be entitled to 100% recovery of service charge BUT L should recover only in respect of service charge work delivery. Usually, L covenants to carry out a specified list of functions (e.g. maintaining all structure and common parts, buildings insurance, gardening, outside lighting, etc.) Only for these items should L be entitled to collect service charge. Make L insert such provisions into your lease; if he won't, walk away and buy something less likely to produce future problems.
    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).

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      #3
      Pay for shared roof

      Originally posted by ukjon77 View Post
      So could I be paying for roof repairs on a roof above someone else's flat, for example?
      On this one point only, if you bought a house, you are responsible for keeping the roof on. Likewise, if you rent a flat, the costs to keep a roof over your head still applies, as if no roof, you will get rather damp. The roof is there to keep --both-- flats dry.

      The good thing is, if any repairs are required, your cost will be shared and cost 50% less if you bought your own house.

      There are no set charge or limits, you say, but then there can't be, as repairs are "As and when required" - and "If required", and lets hope the the timber framed roof will last a few years longer.

      You can neglect your own property, but when shared, you must be decent and agree costs and maintenance program, and in conjunction with Jeffrey's post, make your own decision.

      R-a-M

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