Share of freeholder not paying for repairs. Sue him?

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    #16
    As to payment that is nonsnese and I wont dignify their reply with an explanation. the appointment is as per psot 14 and in the link to lease's own site.

    As to what route to take we can only comment and suggest; advice acan only be given with full familiarity with circumstances and an inspection.

    Applying for specific performance is relatively simple and inexpensive, it can be lengthy and costly if the compliance is complicated, or the respondent will dispute it.

    if you are only seeking the roof to be repaired then perhaps use the repair protocol earlier in the thread.
    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


      #17
      Thanks Leaseholdanswers, I really do appreciate your help and suggestions.

      I have spoken to a solicitor explaining to her about my case and explaining that maybe I would go for a specific performance and she said that would be quite expensive and would cost thousands! I hope this is not true - maybe I was speaking to a junior and she didn't have much experience...

      One thing the solicitor, or was it LEASE (I can't remember after speaking on the phone for so long!) said that one of the problems is that the company (freeholder) does not have any cash because no service charge was collected. Will this affect what I can or cannot do?

      Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
      if you are only seeking the roof to be repaired then perhaps use the repair protocol earlier in the thread.
      Sorry to be thick, but which is the repair protocol?

      Comment


        #18
        The cost could easily be in the thousands to do so, or it could be so simple "there is a huge hole in the roof- fix it, this bit of the lease says you must" supported by the obligation in the Housing Act 2004 and Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 re repairing obligations.

        The fact that landlrod has not funds collected is problematic but that is his own fault. He has the obligation to repair, while some leniency can be given to arrange that, & perhaps consult, if the need for repair, and the consequences of delay are greater than the time needed to collect funds, is, bluntly, his problem ( and his fault) not yours.

        http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/c...s/prot_hou.htm
        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


          #19
          Thank you. I will contact another solicitor today to see what they have to say.

          Comment


            #20
            I think you are at the stage here you are moving between sources of advice hoping for a revelation.

            I hope you know what your options are, as to how to proceed needs you to appoint a paid advisor to understand your detailed circumstances and outline the best option and related costs.

            Two last things

            1: Ask the potential advisor " how often have you done these in similar situations"

            2: If you read the disrepair protocol, and with the help of an inspection by a chartered building surveyor experienced in leaseholds, you may be able to start the process yourself.
            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


              #21
              Is the leak in your roof due to missing tiles which could be easily replaced or blocked guttering or blocked vertical drain pipe ? Or does it need completely new tiling over entire roof ?

              I think you ( as Director ) need to set up a proper service charge account for your block of flats and to make annual service charge demands at the start of each year ( as per dates mentioned in your Lease ).

              Draw up a service charge budget for the 2012 year to raise funds for the freehold company to carry out its obligations under the lease and to protect the capital value of the properties - for example say

              800 pds for buildings insurance ,
              500 pds for minor repairs,
              1000 pds for future internal & external painting decoration etc and
              600 pds for longterm reserves ( window frame replacement or similar )
              100 pds for company annual maintenance.

              Then call a Directors Meeting to formally approve the annual budget of 3000 pds and setting the annual service charge demand at 750 pds per flat and write up a set of minutes of the Directors Meeting.

              When the service charge demand is sent out , point out in cover letter that flats which fail to pay before the final due date may face additional interest charges under the lease and legal charges for collection of service charge.

              For collection of service charge arrears from a delinquent flat , you should contact a specialist solicitor
              ( make google search " Solicitor + Service Charge Arrears ". )

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                I think you are at the stage here you are moving between sources of advice hoping for a revelation.

                I hope you know what your options are, as to how to proceed needs you to appoint a paid advisor to understand your detailed circumstances and outline the best option and related costs.

                Two last things

                1: Ask the potential advisor " how often have you done these in similar situations"

                2: If you read the disrepair protocol, and with the help of an inspection by a chartered building surveyor experienced in leaseholds, you may be able to start the process yourself.
                I think you are right - I am moving between sources..

                I think my problem is not knowing which route to take based on the need for speed of resolution and limiting cost.

                From what I have gather so far is that I have 3 options (Please correct me if I'm wrong):

                1, Appoint a manager
                2, Specific Performance
                3, Disrepair Charge

                From the 3 options, I'm leaning towards the 2) Specific performance, simply because it deals directly with the issue and thus hopefully a quicker resolution.

                So now I have to find a decent solicitor with a history of these types of cases and they will advise me of which is the best option to take. I hope I have understood everything correctly so far and am moving in the right direction by seeing a solicitor.

                Also, is it possible to pursue more than one option at a time?

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
                  Is the leak in your roof due to missing tiles which could be easily replaced or blocked guttering or blocked vertical drain pipe ? Or does it need completely new tiling over entire roof ?

                  I think you ( as Director ) need to set up a proper service charge account for your block of flats and to make annual service charge demands at the start of each year ( as per dates mentioned in your Lease ).

                  Draw up a service charge budget for the 2012 year to raise funds for the freehold company to carry out its obligations under the lease and to protect the capital value of the properties - for example say

                  800 pds for buildings insurance ,
                  500 pds for minor repairs,
                  1000 pds for future internal & external painting decoration etc and
                  600 pds for longterm reserves ( window frame replacement or similar )
                  100 pds for company annual maintenance.

                  Then call a Directors Meeting to formally approve the annual budget of 3000 pds and setting the annual service charge demand at 750 pds per flat and write up a set of minutes of the Directors Meeting.

                  When the service charge demand is sent out , point out in cover letter that flats which fail to pay before the final due date may face additional interest charges under the lease and legal charges for collection of service charge.

                  For collection of service charge arrears from a delinquent flat , you should contact a specialist solicitor
                  ( make google search " Solicitor + Service Charge Arrears ". )
                  The leak is coming from a hole in the valley gutter which needs to be replaced. And because of the disrepair there is now possibility of rot in the joists. It's a big job so I can't really do just it myself!

                  Whilst a service charge does need to be set up in future, my primary concern is getting this repaired first.

                  Although as a director, can I demand a service charge even though the other directors disagree?

                  Comment


                    #24
                    1. If you are able to pay for the repair first and claim it back from the service charge account, you can contact a roofing company to order them to replace the section of leaking gutter . You can write a note to let the other flat owners know about the leak and repair and that you will be claiming back the cost from the communal "service charge account".

                    2. If the freehold company has responsibility under the terms of the lease to maintain the building in good order, the company directors are not able to disagree. But you have told us only one flat owner is refusing to pay service charge so the other 2 directors should support you. If any flat owner is objecting to the AMOUNT of service charge demanded, that flat owner should be asked to make an application to the LVT for judgement on the reasonableness of the levy.

                    3. By having a formal service charge account and annual s.c demands , you can establish when service charge arrears have arisen and be able do something to recover arrears from the deliquent flat. If you google search the solicitor - not allowed to quote their name - they may be willing to recover the arrears ( and their fee) from the deliquent flat.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by johndoe1 View Post
                      Although as a director, can I demand a service charge even though the other directors disagree?
                      Sadly no. The directors as a board must ratify the annual budget ( unless the articles allow a minority to convene a meeting and approve one ). While the lease may put obligations on them, as in your case, that does not mean they have to comply, but at their peril if action is taken against them.


                      As a director, subject to any limitations in the articles, could instruct a building surveyor to inspect the area to establish what needs doing, as they are discharging the duty of director in meeting the companies obligations.

                      In theory they could proceed with instructing the work, at the risk of failing to consult (section 20) and litigation by others if they disagree. It would even be possible with some legal acrobatics to have the work certified as recoverable by the LVT, thereby undermining the position of any directors seeking to take action against you for acting unilaterally.

                      I would stick with paying for a chartered building surveyor to have a poke round first, then take the report over to the solicitor with your tale of woe
                      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


                        #26
                        Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
                        1. If you are able to pay for the repair first and claim it back from the service charge account, you can contact a roofing company to order them to replace the section of leaking gutter . You can write a note to let the other flat owners know about the leak and repair and that you will be claiming back the cost from the communal "service charge account".

                        2. If the freehold company has responsibility under the terms of the lease to maintain the building in good order, the company directors are not able to disagree. But you have told us only one flat owner is refusing to pay service charge so the other 2 directors should support you. If any flat owner is objecting to the AMOUNT of service charge demanded, that flat owner should be asked to make an application to the LVT for judgement on the reasonableness of the levy.

                        3. By having a formal service charge account and annual s.c demands , you can establish when service charge arrears have arisen and be able do something to recover arrears from the deliquent flat. If you google search the solicitor - not allowed to quote their name - they may be willing to recover the arrears ( and their fee) from the deliquent flat.
                        The circumstances have slightly changed now in that everyone is just twiddling their thumbs and aren't agreeing a repair without everyone being on board. So the one person is stopping everyone else or at least using that excuse to not pay up.

                        Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                        Sadly no. The directors as a board must ratify the annual budget ( unless the articles allow a minority to convene a meeting and approve one ). While the lease may put obligations on them, as in your case, that does not mean they have to comply, but at their peril if action is taken against them.


                        As a director, subject to any limitations in the articles, could instruct a building surveyor to inspect the area to establish what needs doing, as they are discharging the duty of director in meeting the companies obligations.

                        In theory they could proceed with instructing the work, at the risk of failing to consult (section 20) and litigation by others if they disagree. It would even be possible with some legal acrobatics to have the work certified as recoverable by the LVT, thereby undermining the position of any directors seeking to take action against you for acting unilaterally.

                        I would stick with paying for a chartered building surveyor to have a poke round first, then take the report over to the solicitor with your tale of woe
                        Would I need a chartered building surveyor? As it is just the joists and possible dry rot that needs inspecting, I was thinking of getting an independent timber surveyor, someone like these guys.

                        http://www.dampandtimbertech.co.uk/home.htm

                        The roof itself, I know where the leak is coming in so would it be a case of getting in quotes for that separately from roofers? Would that be sufficient or would a building surveyor be able to tell me more or have more weight in court?

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Possibly could work, perhaps both. I was thinking more in terms of the roof covering would need work as well, the work would have to be specified and if sufficient in time and scale formally tendered, which they can deal with, as well as advise on the lease and the cost. They can also appear as an expert for the court, arbitration LVT etc.

                          If they area as suggested experts in leasehold matters they may well be able to direct you to solicitors that they work with and therefore whose track record they know.

                          I really depends on how extensive the problem appears to be for you to judge.
                          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


                            #28
                            Originally posted by johndoe1 View Post
                            The circumstances have slightly changed now in that everyone is just twiddling their thumbs and aren't agreeing a repair without everyone being on board. So the one person is stopping everyone else or at least using that excuse to not pay up.

                            Would I need a chartered building surveyor?
                            Yes, definitely, you need a RICS surveyor, in his written report(worth paying yourself) he will say what is needed for the roof; he will recommend you reliable builders he knows; you need to ask them couple of quotes and send copies to your co-Directors - so they know what could be the cost you are talking about; in your articles of assoc, it may say that you can communicate in writing instead of calling a meeting. But may call an Extraordinary meeting. Do not have to send your surveyors report, but can say a brief on the problems. The RICS surveyor may propose phasing of works so it costs less than 250 per lessee.

                            The roof job needs scaffolding which makes it costly and is under the H&S with the usual risk assessment (it is the height).

                            I have been in similar situation and know others too. Your co directors may feel unfamiliar with the Section 20 consultation compliance. http://www.lease-advice.org/document..._Landlords.pdf I do not think one can dispense this, there was a recent ruling on that.

                            Good to try intensive consultations, and explain. In my experience, you might try: if 3 of you could share the cost of the 4rth one who is unable to pay or may pay later. Or try and see who's willing to share the burden with you, legal costs are unknown. I know it is hard but...
                            "I'll be back."

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