Missing Leaseholder won't carry out repairs, Freeholder not stepping in

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    Missing Leaseholder won't carry out repairs, Freeholder not stepping in

    Hi I wonder if anybody knows what the legal obligation of a Freeholder are in the case where a leaseholder is not carrying out repairs.

    We live in a house with 4 flats, one of them is owned by somebody who has not lived there for over 5 years, in which period the property has fallen into huge disrepair: we have had vermin from the flat, he hasn't pruned his trees which are now overhanging our balcony, the garden is a tip and there's japanese knotweed all over.
    The Freeholder is taking legal action, against this leaseholder (as they're not paying costs either) however they are taking their sweet time over it ( 5 years and counting) and in the meantime refusing to carry out any work on the property as they say it's the Leaseholder's responsibility.

    My position is that the Freeholder should pay for the clean up and repairs, and then recuperate the costs amongst the rest from the Leaseholder via the Legal channels, however they are refusing to do this.

    Any thoughts ? Many thanks for your help

    #2
    Do you have a mutual enforcement clause in your lease? If so then you can take action directly, rather than having to wait for the freeholder to do so.

    What action exactly you're planning to do though is a mystery from me. And by the way, you hopefully know that if the freeholder cannot get his money back from the leaseholder then it is most likely you other three who will end up paying for this all.

    However, if there really is japanese knotweed in the property then if I were you I would also consider running away.

    Comment


      #3
      Read your lease and see whose responsible. May be time to do RTM.

      Comment


        #4
        Does depend on the lease, it may have a clause obliging leaseholder to do certain repairs and if not the FH can take action (but as you point out, this doesnt help you, if his does nothing).

        As also mentioned there may be a clause obliging the Fh to take action against LH breachers, if so, you may be able to sue the FH for not following his obligations.
        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.

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