Need some advice please re management company (if they are acting correctly or not)

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    Need some advice please re management company (if they are acting correctly or not)

    Insight: Flat is ex council bought under Right to Buy. Council appointed a management company (basically just a front). This company are like dictators. They also overcharge for any work done and try to invent work to be done. e.g. A few years ago we had bad weather and a tile came off the roof. My neighbour who lives above me (also a leaseholder) reported she had water coming in at the extention side (rear of property) and every time it rains she can see water dripping past her window. So she thought the guttering needed repair as well. They sent a guy round who cut off a piece of the caste iron pipe at the front (reported possible fault was at rear) and stuck a plastic piece of pipe in. Guy comes along and sticks a tile in on the roof above the kitchen. Neighbour keeps complaining about the guttering. Guy comes up and says guttering is ok. They then sent a couple of lads who said the roof was ok but the guttering needed to be moved up as whoever had fitted it did a rotten job. (I have lived here for about 20 years and there was never any problem with the guttering). To cut a long story short, 7 Team Leaders became involved. In the end, I got sick of it, took my extention ladders, climbed up with a camera. Took a photo and told them that the tile which had been replaced had been pushed too far in by about an inch. Hence it was not over the guttering. (This was work done by one of their roofers). They pulled the tile out a bit. Problem solved.

    Then there was the one about the flat roof on the extention. They got some company to come round, hammered three nails to bring down where the felt had come up. Tarred it. Took the workers half a day. £920.

    Last one was the neighbour complained she had water coming in. We are supposed to pay 50% each. For repointing 1metre square, they charged £291. A trowel from B&Q is only £2.99 and a big bucket of sand and cement is £6 for crying out loud. To repoint 1 square metre of brickwork will take not more then 30 minutes.

    Now to the questions:

    1: Does my neighbour need to notify me before she reports any fault/possible fault? As said above, this company will make a mountain out of a molehill and invent work to bring costs up (Please see the example above about the tile and the guttering). At the end of the day, we all have bills to pay.

    2: Re 1 above, is there anything I can do to stop her just getting on the phone and calling this cowboy company?? Maybe get an injunction telling her she has to contact me first unless it is an emergency (e.g. half the roof has blown off)? I am disabled and money is tight. Cannot keep on with all these big repair bills.

    3: The management company, when they sent us the quote for the extention roof, sent a photocopy of what type of company we can contact to obtain our own quotes. The list is ridiculous. e.g. The company must provide two full audited accounts and other financial details.

    I wrote to the management company and asked them why there are all these conditions. Their reply was that these are conditions imposed on them, by the Goverment, when they (the management company) appoints somebody on their behalf. Fair enough, if these are conditions imposed on the management company BUT they cannot be imposed on me. I am obliged to act as per the lease. There is nothing on the lease about adding conditions if work needs to be done. It just says that the building has to be kept in good condition. Before becoming disabled, I used to be in the trade (electrician). My next door neighbour (other side) is in the trade (a plumber). We both have contacts in the trade. To hammer three nails in and retar a roof my nieghbour and I can get quotes of about one third the price we were charged. Hence the question is: Can these conditions be imposed on me considering they are not on the lease??

    IF by any chance there is any legal links that apply, I would deeply appriciate them.

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by nick20045; 08-01-2014, 16:00 PM. Reason: typo error

    #2
    1. No, she can clearly inform the man co./FH of any work that needs doing that she believes the FH is obliged to do under the lease (and as she is above, she no doubt would notice leaks, etc first).

    2. Again, No. If there is work that needs doing and the lease is clear that it is the FH obligation, then he should do it and it is perfectly normal for a LH top tell the MC/FH of any problems, the fact you find the bills diofficult is itrrelebvant and talk of injuctions is bizarre.

    3. These rules often apply to Council LH properties and companies must jumpt through lots of hoops I'm afraid (this isnt normally the case for non-council properties).

    You can of course dispute any work that has been done/proposed at an FTT (previously LVT), if you think it was unneccassry/not covered by the lease/excvessive in amount.

    Did the council follow the S20 Consulation Process for the works done so far ?
    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
      I'd agree in challenging the scope and cost of the works, and relying on Phillips v Francis on the failure to consult on the sum of expenses in a financial year 1-4 to 31-3 where that exceeds a total of £250 for any one flat. In this case it has.

      if both flats are owned then that should prevent the council from insisting on its role as social housing provider and having a manger appointed by the LVT.
      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
        andydd,

        Thanks for reply. Yes they sent a S20 Consulation Process. The question is: Do these rules that they say the Goverment impose on them also apply to us (the leaseholders) considering that there is nothing of the such on the lease?

        Thanks
        p.s. I did argue the excessive cost re when the roof was re tarred with the LVT. I have used the LVT before and always found them helpful and fair. Unfortunately, it seems that the system has changed and now it is a Judge that decides not three people (as it used to be).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post

          if both flats are owned then that should prevent the council from insisting on its role as social housing provider and having a manger appointed by the LVT.
          Thanks for reply. I am sorry but I do not understand what you mean by this part of your reply. Can you please clarify?

          Thanks

          Comment


            #6
            nick20045,

            I was under the impression that nothing much has changed in make up of a FTT tribunal vs LVT Tribunal and that its still 3 lay people and not a single judge, you can view recent decisions online and Impretty certain the make up is still the same, its just the general infrastructure that has changed and new CPR rules introduduced bringing it more inline with County Court procedures. In any event that wouldnt put me off as I prefer a single qualified Judge as opposed to the strange selection that LVT's often use (it has been pointed out that sometimes tribunal members are indeed FHers themselves).
            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
              That is correct, however there is 1 lay person, a chair normally one with professional qualifications or education, often a legal person, and a professional member a valuer or surveyor or similar.
              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


                #8
                @ leaseholdanswers

                You did not reply to my question in answer to what you originally wrote. I would appriciate an explanation of what you said in your first post.

                In answer to the matter of how the LVT have reorganised, I challenged the alleged repair to the flat roof. Namely challenge 1: I only learnt of the damage when I got the S20 and a bill for "temporary repairs" done to the roof. I sent my son up the ladders to check what repair had been done. Nothing. Had photos taken as proof. Challenge 2: The cost compared to work actually done. i.e. How can a company claim that a full extention roof was replaced, new felt fitted etc etc when there was no shute to take the old ceiling and felt down? No skip? One small van with two men? Half a days work to do all this? I won the part about the temporary repairs but regarding the rest it was judged by a Judge and a lady who has the titles BSc MRICS and nobody else. And reading the "findings" it makes my stomach churn. It is like reading a newspaper that keeps repeating itself just to make an editorial. I had a lot of respect for the LVT. Now, sorry, I doubt I will use them again.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by nick20045 View Post
                  @ leaseholdanswers

                  You did not reply to my question in answer to what you originally wrote. I would appriciate an explanation of what you said in your first post.
                  .
                  http://www.lease-advice.org/informat...q.asp?item=111

                  Originally posted by nick20045 View Post
                  @
                  In answer to the matter of how the LVT have reorganised, I challenged the alleged repair to the flat roof. Namely challenge 1: I only learnt of the damage when I got the S20 and a bill for "temporary repairs" done to the roof. I sent my son up the ladders to check what repair had been done. Nothing. Had photos taken as proof. Challenge 2: The cost compared to work actually done. i.e. How can a company claim that a full extention roof was replaced, new felt fitted etc etc when there was no shute to take the old ceiling and felt down? No skip? One small van with two men? Half a days work to do all this? I won the part about the temporary repairs but regarding the rest it was judged by a Judge and a lady who has the titles BSc MRICS and nobody else. And reading the "findings" it makes my stomach churn. It is like reading a newspaper that keeps repeating itself just to make an editorial. I had a lot of respect for the LVT. Now, sorry, I doubt I will use them again.
                  If this was a written determination then only two "hear" the case in private. Chairs can be Judges and the the lady is a Chartered Surveyor.

                  What many fail to understand is that you have to make your argument. the absence of a chute does not indicate work was not done, nor do you explain a "new roof", was the work that they did simply a recovering of exiting material or was it what you assume or assert ( if you did so) or were told, was strip and removal all, possible re-deck, and then recover? They cannot tell unless you show to them conclusively that you have an argument to make or proof.

                  I am not having a go at you, simply pointing out that you have to give the T the information to act on, not simply suspicion cursory proof or evidence, as they cannot investigate this themselves, you have to .
                  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


                    #10
                    After reading the above its unclear what your actual question is or what you are disputing.

                    You appear to want some means of stopping another leaseholder legitinmatley reporting faults with the property (either the faults are real and the duty of the FH to repair or not).

                    Maybe the other LH has plenty of money to pay for the upkeep of the property and you do not but this is not a legal issue and isn't something on which we can help you on other than to apply to the LVT regarding costs/reasonable, which clearly you have already done and were not happy with the outcome, as LHA has said it is upto you to provide the evidence and prove your case, I too was not that happy with the outcome from my LVT although they did conclude a lot in my favour, I did appeal to Upper Tribunal but this was dismissed although the replies from LVT (not giving permision to appeal) and the UT (refusing my appeal) were very interesting and informative.

                    I hope that the recent CPR style changes to FTT will make it more professional and bring it more into line with CC procedures. You are not alone in being unhappy with an LVT outcome.
                    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


                      #11
                      andydd,

                      Thank you for the reply. Sorry I have not written earlier but I have been in severe pain for last couple of days.

                      My Question 1 has been answered.

                      My Question 2 has been answered.

                      Does my next door neighbour have more money then me? I doubt it. I pay double the mortgage on the property every month to try and pay it off faster (besides building a reserve just in case of any emergencies). Also, last time I talked to her she told me she has terminal cancer. (Not something one will wish to happen to anybody). The problem is that she is naiive. As said, in first post, she saw water coming down between the guttering and the wall in front of her kitchen window. She thought it was the guttering. It turned out to be a tile that had been wrongly fitted by the management company. If she is told it is the guttering then she believes it.

                      My question 3 has not been answered. Namely, it makes no difference to me what conditions the management company have to comply with as imposed on them by the Goverment. They are not in my lease. So the question is: Am I obliged to abide by them or not? In short, can my neighbour and I seek quotes from "normal" companies (say a company that has two or three employees and hence cheaper)?

                      Thanks

                      Comment


                        #12
                        leaseholdanswers,

                        Again, thanks for reply and sorry for late reply. Also many thanks for the link. I will have a good read and maybe discuss it with my neighbour. I know she does not like the management team as well.

                        In so far as to the rest of your reply, I am disabled. One of my "going out" is the back yard to get some fresh air. All the time while they were working on the roof, I was with a mug of coffee in my hands sitting on my dinghy trailer (yes, I used to be very active). I never saw any felt being taken down or up. I never saw any boards being taken down or up. All I saw was a man go up to the roof. Then I heard three nails being hammered. Then they were laughing in the back alley while I could smell tar being melted. Then he went up with a brush and a shovel (to collect all the debri). Down he went. Back up with a bucket of tar and a brush and job done. But......... how can I prove it?? Heck the kitchen extention is tiled roof whereas the bathroom extention is flat roof. Yet the management companies team leader declared the kitchen extention as being a flat roof!!! So it looks like that link you gave me may come in handy. Again thanks for the link.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by nick20045 View Post

                          Does my next door neighbour have more money then me? I doubt it. I pay double the mortgage on the property every month to try and pay it off faster (besides building a reserve just in case of any emergencies). Also, last time I talked to her she told me she has terminal cancer. (Not something one will wish to happen to anybody). The problem is that she is naiive. As said, in first post, she saw water coming down between the guttering and the wall in front of her kitchen window. She thought it was the guttering. It turned out to be a tile that had been wrongly fitted by the management company. If she is told it is the guttering then she believes it.

                          My question 3 has not been answered. Namely, it makes no difference to me what conditions the management company have to comply with as imposed on them by the Goverment. They are not in my lease. So the question is: Am I obliged to abide by them or not? In short, can my neighbour and I seek quotes from "normal" companies (say a company that has two or three employees and hence cheaper)?

                          Thanks
                          it matters not what your neighbour thinks or does you can challenge the expenses and work done. if the invoice says "new roof" and if you ask a friend to pop up a ladder with a camera that shows a few splashes of "tar" then its pretty clear that there is no new roof.

                          The answer is that no you cant in general but if it is major works then you do have the right of nomination. As many will say when it comes to council contracting the qualification is bewildering and pushes out many competitors. They usually end up working for the big boys as sub or sub sub contractors.....
                          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


                            #14
                            Many thanks for your replies. May I take this opportuinty to thank both of you.

                            Thanks.

                            Comment

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