Leaseholder seeks repair costs from freeholder

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    Leaseholder seeks repair costs from freeholder

    Hi there,

    I own a 999 year leasehold on a first-floor flat in a house of two flats. The freeholder for the entire building also owns the leasehold for the downstairs flat. This flat has been vacant for about 3 years following the death of the elderly resident and is now "maintained" by the adult daughters.

    There are two faults that need repairing:

    We have had a minor problem with the roof/guttering for about 6 months. This is causing water to enter our kitchen through the ceiling and walls.

    One of the drains is leaking into the back garden. All waste from our flat and some run-off from the roof / balcony connects to this drain.

    According to our lease, it is the responsibility of the freeholders to carry out maintenance / repairs, for which we have to pay 50%. The freeholders have been aware of these problems for several months and have been dragging their feet getting them fixed. I have even compiled builders quotes which I have presented to them.

    They are now trying to sell the flat and have told me that they want to leave these repairs for the new owners and have no intention of paying.

    Questions:

    1. Can I force them to carry out repairs? If so, how?
    2. Can I have repairs done without their consent and force them to pay 50%? If so, how?
    3. Are they breaking the law in withholding maintenance or leaving it for new tenants?
    4. Do they have to disclose these faults / disputes to potential buyers?

    This has been a very stressful situation. Any help would be gratefully received.

    Many thanks

    #2
    1. Yes, by enforcing lessor's covenants in your lease.
    2. No. You cannot carry-out work to what you do not own.
    3. Not 'breaking the law', no- but they are in breach of covenant. Only you can enforce this.
    4. Yes- depending on what questions the prospective purchaser's solicitor asks.
    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
      Originally posted by senik343 View Post
      We have had a minor problem with the roof/guttering for about 6 months. This is causing water to enter our kitchen through the ceiling and walls.

      One of the drains is leaking into the back garden. All waste from our flat and some run-off from the roof / balcony connects to this drain.
      The quickest solution is to contact the local authority environmental health dept and notify them that human waste is leaking from the drains and that the freeholder is ignoring requests to repair.
      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the sound advice and encouragement

        Comment

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