L/H in breach has put flat up for sale

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    L/H in breach has put flat up for sale

    Hello all, hope everyone is well and thriving.

    Haven't posted on here since last year, had to re-register. In short, I own the f/hold of the house I live in, split in to two flats, the L/H of downstairs flat led me a song and dance from 2011-2013 but Solicitor sorted him out. I had not received his insurance document this year so wrote to him for it. (Haven't received GR either, but there you go). I contacted his insurer, as my name was on policy, they were able to tell me he hadn't renewed for this year. Couple of days ago I saw a for sale sign appear downstairs. It's gone now but I have rung the agents and got the price. Point is, it sounds like he hasn't bothered insuring. Probably because he knew he was going to sell, though that's no excuse. Is it in order for me to write to his Letting Agent (he rents out the flat) asking them to forward a copy of the insurance to me, or his mortgage lender as detailed in his deeds? I can write to him again directly. There is a bit in the lease about the L/H having to pay all costs fees and legals to the F/H in or in contemplation of proceedings as in S146 etc. Would that sort of thing cover me taking out insurance for the G/F flat and charging him for it? I had to get a solicitor involved before to get him to stump up G/R and stop him trying to start developing a new flat in the basement/cellar (which is not mentioned in his lease), but I really don't want to go through that rigmarole again if I can avoid it. I would say I'm surprised he is breaching his lease now with a potential sale in the pipeline but sadly I am not at all surprised. Hey ho.

    Thanks all.

    #2
    I run the RTM Co for a block of flats.

    We have a couple of leaseholders in breach in terms of they are in massive service charge arrears. They are also both up for sale.

    When the solicitors write to us to request deed of covenant and leasehold packs, we simply refuse until the arrears are settled.

    Could you do something similar?

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Milhouse, thanks for that.

      Yes it did occur to me to just leave things be until such time as someone writes to me as Freeholder to give them information. There are no service charges on our two flats, just the ground rent and we have to insure our own flats, but my name has to be on his insurance as the F.H. I was just a little concerned that the flat downstairs may not currently have insurance! I know the L/H has to send the F/H a payment if selling/transferring their lease, will any buyers solicitors be contacting me? I mean, will I have an opportunity of letting any purchaser know that there are current breaches? Thank you

      Comment


        #4
        But then if he is uninsured and he has a fire....

        You need to look at the lease as to what rights you as freeholder have to remedy that in terms of insuring yourself, or recovering your cost of so doing.

        You then write a simple letter before action setting out that they are in breach have 7 days to remedy it failing which you will insure and recover your costs and start forfeiture proceedings for a breach of the lease at the FTT, a fact that you will declare to all solicitors who will doubtless approach me for enquires related to the sale of the flat. Oh and by the way pay your ground rent or I will issue a county court claim.

        You might add without prejudice that a simple chat might find a solution on insurance etc such as solicitors undertaking to repay out of sale proceeds to repay the cost of insuring and o/s rent and let him move on with little fuss.
        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


          #5
          Hi LHA,

          This bloomin' website is a lifesaver and worth it's weight in Mogadon. Good to see a reply from you and thanks. I did actually dash off a letter this morning and have posted it something along the lines of "Further to my letter of blah blah to which I have not received a reply. I am aware you have not renewed your policy and have put the lease up for sale but the property should still be insured and I DO STILL NEED A COPY OF THE DOCUMENT. Please refer to my solicitors previous letter/s regarding breach of lease." I will give it a week, I have searched through my lease and it doesn't actually say anywhere that I should insure his property and can claim those costs back, just that we should each insure with the name of the f/h, and if anything happens and there's no insurance in place the l/h has to pay out of his/her own monies. But as you rightly point out, that's going to be of little comfort to me when my first floor flat collapses because what was underneath it has burnt to a frazzle. (I have insurance, so would I still be covered in any way? It's a thought).

          Sorry LHA, what is FTT? Anyway, if he doesn't come up with the goods, I will just have to do something about starting forfeiture proceedings as mentioned. I'm not going to let him run rings around me again. At least all costs associated with or in contemplation of forfeiture are recoverable from him so he would have to pay my solicitors fees. Even if he then remedied. And you're right, it wouldn't appear too impressive to a buyers solicitor.

          Many thanks.

          Comment


            #6
            First teir tribunal.

            In these cases its usually cashflow and the quick chat to pay his premium and add it to the bill by exchange of letters ( if the lease does not allow you insure in his defualt) and as above sorts both your problems out.
            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


              #7
              Thanks. It has been almost a week now and I haven't heard anything as yet. I will give it till Saturday. According to the price being asked for the flats lease, he will be making £100k which is not bad profit over 7 years. I don't think it's a cashflow problem, more a "need to be obnoxious" problem. There won't be any cosy chats or exchange of letters. I do all the writing of them and he does all the ignoring of them. Never has put anything in writing to me.

              I can't do a money claim online as I don't want to re-request the ground rent and thereby waive right to forfeiture etc now that the insurance is outstanding. I think on Saturday I will write again to him, and simply state that if I don't get a reply with the necessary info at the end of the week I will apply to the courts for forfeiture without further delay (I know I won't get it, but the point is to get him to do his bit and pay the costs I will incur.) I did think about writing to his mortgage lender, and even wondered whether it was feasible to ask his tenant if she would insure (buildings) with my name added, paid for by me of course. But neither of these really address the issue I suppose. Actually, I should mention also that we are in a borough where they have Landlord Licences, of which he has one. Don't know whether the council would be impressed with a L/L who hadn't got his property insured................

              Is it complicated applying to this First Tier Tribunal for determination of breach? Could you point me in the right direction for the forms, etc I would need please? There must be some sort of instruction somewhere online for how to go about it. I'll start trawling through various bits of info I looked at a year or two ago, try and refresh the memory.

              Many thanks,

              W

              Comment


                #8
                Hi all,

                Milhouse, thanks for that.

                I have the application form for determining a breach at the FTT. As far as I can see, I don't have to incur costs/fees at this stage for this. I would like to put as the reason the issue of the l/h not having insured (as far as i am aware) and not providing proof of on request. As his Ground Rent was also due in January and he has also not paid that, would I be waiving my right to forfeiture if I also included that as a 2nd reason for determination? Is it ok to include that or is it best to leave it just as the insurance issue at the moment please? I could put that he has put the property on the market as a reason for requesting the fast track version. I have written to him twice now, I could write again and c.c his mortgage company but then they are unlikely to insure if I have not yet got a determination, although hopefully they will afterwards.

                Any advice gratefully received....

                Wobble.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I believe as a condition of lodging your application with the Tribunal you first need to send a copy to the other party as well as to the mortgagee if there is one. So definitely do this beforehand.

                  As regards outstanding Ground Rent I don't think you need to apply to the Tribunal for Ground Rent because it is obvious whether this has been paid or not, you only need to apply to the Tribunal to determine whether a breach of covenant has occurred.

                  If I were you I would await the decision of the Tribunal and (assuming they agree that a breach of covenant has occurred) you can then issue a s.146 Notice. If then he still doesn't remedy, you then can start forfeiture proceedings in county court for this breach as well as for the failure to pay Ground Rent, thus saving costs to have two individual claims.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi Matt,

                    Thanks for that reply, very kind of you.

                    He's had two requests from me so far, so I'll send a seven day letter as a last chance to him, and if he doesn't reply, I will go straight for the determination for the insurance only and attach copies of all the letters I have sent him.

                    Splendid!!

                    Ta ever-so

                    Wobble.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Wobble1 View Post
                      so I'll send a seven day letter as a last chance to him, and if he doesn't reply, I will go straight for the determination for the insurance only and attach copies of all the letters I have sent him.
                      This is not what I said. I said I think you need to serve him (and potentially also the mortgagee!) a copy of the application to the tribunal before applying to the tribunal. This is different from sending him a 7-day reminder letter.

                      You need to fully understand how the tribunal works before embarking on this - have a look at the following which may help:

                      http://www.lease-advice.org/document..._Tribunal1.pdf

                      http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/...i-1169-l8-.pdf

                      Particularly the latter as those are the rules of the tribunal which you need to check you adhere to.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Wobble1 you are falling into the common trap of being given a detailed explanation, well relatively for a forum, and then trying to to turn that into a tweet- don't!

                        Ground rent should be included in the FTT application as
                        1 In order to forfeit it has to be determined, and while the Court can do that, its pointless starting two sets of proceedings
                        2 It establishes a pattern with the leaseholder- 2 fingers to the freeholder and their lease obligations.

                        The requirement is not as Mattl suggests merely that the respondent and other persons who might have an interest in the outcome have been advised. The notice of application is in fact THE application while to many it would imply a notice BEFORE the application, which it isn't (civil service aka the sucking mudpit drafting, again).

                        The letter before action, your 7 day letter, will be sufficient if it spells out the problem and the required solution and your intended remedy, apply to the FTT. A copy of the draft application is only really relevant where the issues are long and complicated and detailed.

                        The temptation is to send a pay up/do this or I'll sue letter which in these days in Court or FTT is just daft, as it should rightly be the basis for the future proceedings and written after consideration of the full case, even drafting it, before writing the letter. This is advice for those of you trying it at home, us lot wot do it, have a feel for the proceedings and therefore can summarise the LBA without a detailed review, sometimes.

                        As to the mortgagee until there is determination then the mortgagee has no real interest and its common practice for most of them to say go away until there is threat tot eh security. Arguably until you can serve a section 146 notice , or are applying to the court to forfeit for GR ( as no s146 is required for that) then a court might adjourn the hearing until they are informed. In many cases involving a mortgagee or any charge holder is useful if adding pressure to a leaseholder to reach a pre trial resolution.

                        In this case if there is a mortgagee ( see HMLR entry) then they will "pass a brick" if they discover that it is not insured.
                        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


                          #13
                          Hi Matt/LHA,

                          Clearly I have given the impression that I am some kind of twit. A thousand apologies. Matt, I did read what you said about sending a copy of the draft application to the leaseholder and mortgagee before applying to the Tribunal. I wasn't 100% sure what you meant because in all the notes I have read it says the Tribunal must, on receipt of the application, send copies to all interested and involved parties. I haven't read anything that says the applicant needs to send a copy of the filled in form, (which is all it is until I put a stamp on it and send it off) to the possible future respondent beforehand. I meant I would give him another chance by way of a seven day letter before I made my application. As it is, I have just spoken with a very nice chap at Lease who has confirmed it isn't the sort of thing I need to send the respondent a copy of first before lodging it with the FTT.

                          LHA - Tweet!!! Never have, never will. I can't apply to forfeit for GR as he doesn't owe enough, although I understand about it saving the hassle of the S146. If a FH can apply up to 6 years previous, then he has paid (at the hands of my solicitor) for 2 of the three that I’ve owned it, so that still doesn't quite make it. I know he won’t have paid since 2007 because he told me before that he’d never ever paid GR. Anyway, I know from this website and other bits and pieces that FH are generally as a rule never successful in obtaining forfeiture no matter what the reason/s. I just want him to insure. I could point out no ground rent, no insurance, garden's a mess, tenant has a dog which has left the garden looking like the crater blasted face of the moon. Said dog stands in the garden barking at shadows for several hours of an evening. Washing line is always full of stuff (not supposed to hang washing out technically). And he hasn't done a bit of maintenance on the place since he bought and rented it out 7 years ago. But to go through all that for the courts to tell me to not be mean and nasty and let the poor leaseholder keep his flat..... well, what's the point?

                          I shall send him one more sternly worded letter mentioning FTT and what it is going to cost him in charges if it gets that far, and c.c it to his mortgagee (I have his OCR). If they choose to intervene good for them. If not, it may at least wake him up a bit and I will then submit an application with a copy of his lease which is what I am required to do, and let the Tribunal cogitate and agitate and make their decision after distributing it to all and sundry.

                          Thanks both for your help.

                          Wobble

                          Comment


                            #14
                            At least lease agrees after all with 14 applications in since the new rules i think i know what i am doing.

                            its not a twit thing its when you abbreviate things get missed.
                            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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Wobble1 View Post
                              I wasn't 100% sure what you meant because in all the notes I have read it says the Tribunal must, on receipt of the application, send copies to all interested and involved parties. I haven't read anything that says the applicant needs to send a copy of the filled in form,
                              No worries, this is why I said this is what I think (not know). I just mentioned it because for an application to alter a defective lease it states in the application form itself that before submission to the tribunal it needs to be sent to the respondent for an opportunity to settle. Looks like for the s.146 breach this is not the case.

                              I know from this website and other bits and pieces that FH are generally as a rule never successful in obtaining forfeiture no matter what the reason/s. I just want him to insure. [...] But to go through all that for the courts to tell me to not be mean and nasty and let the poor leaseholder keep his flat..... well, what's the point?
                              It's not normally about forfeiting the lease, more about ensuring that the leaseholder rectifies the breaches - and pays you damages. And pays for your solicitors costs - which is normally by far the biggest stick of it all. Hit them where it hurts - with solicitor invoices

                              Good luck!

                              Comment

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