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  • Windows

    I have a question regarding windows, and who is responsible for their management.

    4 storey house split into 4 flats. Flat 1 had new windows about 5 years ago. They are in very good condition and the work was paid by the leaseholder. The other flat’s windows are in a very bad state, and need to be replaced.

    Basically – who’s responsibility are the windows? I have heard that the leaseholder is responsible for the inside frame and the inside window pain, while the freeholder is responsible for everything else – is this true? How on earth does that help in reality where you have sealed double glassed windows? Does it make any difference that one leaseholder carried out the repair themselves (with consent from the freeholder)?

    The lease does not help – it doesn’t specifically mention window, just structure roof gutters etc.

    Surely this is a common problem? What do other people do?

  • #2
    The first point of reference is the lease as I am sure you will appreciate.

    Look for the definition of demised premises and quote the relevant part of that to us

    Then look at what the Landlord covenants to do with regard to maintenance and again quote the relevant part.

    Then look at the lessee covenants with regard to maintenance

    All the lessee covenats will be in one place as will the Landlord covenants. The demised premises will often be at the start of the lease

    Hopefully with this some guidance can be given


    • #3
      Thanks guys.

      I think I have the right bits:

      The definition of demised premises:

      The lessor herby demises unto the lessee all that self contained flat together with the easement rights and privileges contained in the first schedule excepting and reserving from the demise the main structural parts of the building including the roof, roof timbers, foundations, external walls, boundary walls, internal and external means of escape, passages, staircases and other parts thereof but not the interior faces, of such, of the external walls as bound the flat excepting and reserving to the lessor the easements rights contained in....

      The Landlord covenants to do with regard to maintenance:

      The lessor hereby covenants with the lessee as follows...that the lessor will maintain, repair, redecorate and renew - the main structure, in particular the foundations, roof, gutters of the building the gas pips...wires...the forecourt...all party walls
      The lessee covenants with regard to maintenance

      The lessee herby covenants... to pay the lessor ...a service charge... which relates to the provision of all or any of the following services:- cleaning, lighting, maintaining, altering, renewing, or rebuilding any parts of the building and grounds and anything serving the building other than those which fall within the liabilities of a tennant and complying with any statutory requirements. (ii)Maintaining, repairing, making up and cleaning the forecourt, corridors, staircases and landings...

      Please shout if I have been a bit harsh with my paraphrasing.


      • #4
        the managing agents arent based in southend are they. that is pretty much my lease word for word


        • #5
          The key question is: Are the windows part of the "main structural parts" of the building?

          If it is then the landlord repairs and recovers the cost.

          If not the lessee is responsible for the fabric of the window but the landlord is charged with the responsibilty of painting.

          I think the windows are part of the main structure. If it can not be resolved then an application to the LVT would be necessary and this could be done as a paper review ie no attendance at the LVT would be required.


          • #6
            Although it is no real help for your case, my lease DOES include the windows as part of the communal upkeep done by the landlord, EXCEPT the glass. (Presumably so if a football breaks it, you pay for the new glass but in every other respect it is from communal costs).


            • #7
              Difficult one. Some windows - e.g. some bay constructions are load-bearing and therefore part of the structure. Others may be of the ‘pop in’ uPVC variety.

              Some leases, where windows are a specific item, give lessor responsibility for the non-moving parts of the frame (which are generally screwed or such into the structure) and the lessee, responsibility for the rest incl. hinges, casements, sliding sashes, glass etc.

              Glass/glazing is generally the responsibility of the lessee - double glazing or not. The sealed unit is inserted into the frame and beaded. It can be replaced. Although it may be more cost effective to replace the entire window.

              I’d imagine your neighbour with the new windows is a lessee. Ask what permission was needed from the lessor and if a deed of variation (dov) had to be completed. If there was a dov then the lessor retains ownership of the windows and you will need permission to alter plus a dov to take on maintenance responsibility/ownership. What does your lease say about alterations?

              Ditto what sgclacy said, with the clarification of external painting,


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