One of freeholders allowed to stop paying service charge

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    One of freeholders allowed to stop paying service charge

    Sorry another question!
    In my last accounts I noticed that one of the people had not paid their service charge. I queried this with the managing agent and was told that the person would no longer be paying the service charge, but would be doing maintenance round the estate to the amount instead. No details were forthcoming regarding how much maintenance would be done in return for no service charge, so no idea if this is value for money. I was told that this had been agreed by the freeholders of which the person is one (I am not), and so the managing agent says they had no choice but to agree as they are employed by the freeholders company and have to take instruction from them. Surely there are some health and safety issues and public liability issues that need to be addressed? Suffice to say said maintenance is not being done satisfactorily. Surely this is a variation in the terms of their lease, and I have a clause in my lease that says all leases must be the same. In these austere times, I too would like to stop paying service charge and do some work round the estate instead!!! Is there anything that I can do?

    #2
    Not sure..but Im contemplating something similar but as you point out what are the H&S and liabilty issues.

    If maintanence is not done properally then you would have various options.

    Andy
    Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

    I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

    It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

    Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

    Comment


      #3
      thanks for answer - hopefully someone on the forum will know if this constitutes a variation to the lease and what are the HS issues. Please post when you have done your research if you do decide to do it yourself.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by lacktd View Post
        thanks for answer - hopefully someone on the forum will know if this constitutes a variation to the lease and what are the HS issues. Please post when you have done your research if you do decide to do it yourself.
        What is the annual service charge should be paid by the flat which is paid by work in lieu of cash?

        In this situation, the proper way would be for the flat to pay the service charge when due and the Management Company places a series of casual jobs on the leaseholder at the minimum rate of 6.50 pds per hour for weekly cleaning visits or gardening work ?

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          #5
          the annual service charge is £1200. I am guessing that they did not have the money to pay hence this cosy arrangement between the freeholders. The accounts have the list of service charges paid for each flat but zero alongside their flat which is how I picked it up. I really then dont know how this is accounted for in the accounts because it is in effect a debt until they have done enough work, but then lease says that if you dont pay within 21 days then you have to pay interest and lessors will take action, so it is in effect a variation in the lease terms which should apply to all the leaseholders. All seems very muddled to me. I would really like it if someone could tell me if it is a variation in the lease which i would feel more comfortable getting it stopped rather than complain about a neighbours poor work which is more personal insult!!

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            #6
            ARMA have produced a Leaflet that examines this very topic > http://www.arma.org.uk/doc/public/LA...--15-8-11-.pdf

            Andy
            Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

            I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

            It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

            Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for such a useful link - didnt really take on board how many ramifications there actually were. I will pass this on to the managing agent who I now have discovered has been made a director of the freeholders co so he cant wriggle out of responsibility by passing the buck to freeholders co. Anyone out there who knows if this arrangement constitutes a variation of lease terms, in which they would have to apply to all the leases, which would be great as I can think of stacks of jobs around the estate that i can do instead of paying service charge.

              Comment


                #8
                In principle there is nothing wrong with it however it is open to debate whether his work and efforts equal the amount offset so that your share of the costs are fair and reasonable.

                A sneaky technical argument is that if you pay say 1/4th of all expenses, it leaves them 1/4 short.

                I would suggest you take that line and without prejudice suggest that he invoices and sets out his time materials and work so that they can simply offset his SC against bills owed.

                It also gives you an understanding of what they have done for the value waived.
                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.

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