What action next against a Freeholder ?

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    Originally posted by siva View Post
    You mention monthly fees. Are you paying a monthly direct debit or standing order? Why are you paying this if you have never received a demand? How much have you paid since October 2014, ignoring ground rent?

    *** There was a conveyancing questionnaire during purchase where it was indicated how much the FH wanted paying monthly for Maintenance, and Annually for Ground Rent. Invoices were formally requested but he never provided anything at the time - the solicitor advised us to pay by Standing Order until further notice. They did not pick up that the GR had been increased outside of the contractual terms. Appx £600 has been paid out so far exc GR

    What does the lease say in terms of what the freeholder can demand and when? In advance of incurring costs or in arrears?

    **Going to request a further copy of lease as this section has not been supplied clearly - what seems strange is there is no mention of Fees to be paid to him for maintaining but only reasonable fees to a Managing Agent

    My initial feeling is that payments should infact be in arrears but as mentioned the copy I have is not clearly definied by whoever copied it

    Does the lease refer to a reserve fund?

    **As above uncertain at this stage BUT in conveyancing questionnaire was the question is there a Reserve Fund and what is the balance - and the reply was Yes appx £1100

    Is the property now in good condition?
    **Reasonably - no obvious major expenditure forseen


      Originally posted by BlueMystery View Post
      Going to request a further copy of lease
      OK. Report back when you know what the lease says.
      I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.


        Well this is the relevant fourth schedule I have had emailed to me - I can see nothing about having to pay monthly into a Maintenance Fund just having liability to pay 1/7 of any bills



          further page



            There may be somewhere else in the lease that mentions a reserve fund.

            Where in the lease does it refer to the fourth schedule?

            I know you have the statement in the conveyancing questionnaire in regard to the £1100 but in regard to the payments you have made you can't say they are made in part or in full to the reserve fund. You stated earlier that you had received invoices by email. What do these say?
            I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.


              I think this is the section you want re the fourth schedule.

              Definitely cannot see anything re a Reserve Fund in the Lease - only in questions in the conveyancing paperwork

              Have never received an Invoice for Reserve fund or anything like that again this amount which is paid by standing order was in conveyancing information and we just set it up with the information provided.

              For the 2015 Ground Rent - we received a receipt of payment that was all. And a mention the first Maintenance payment had been received.

              2016 we had an email invoice for GR - which does not comply in any shape or form with legal requirements.

              We have requested proper invoices, sight of accounts and sight of Insurance Paperwork until we are blue in the face, we also requested permission to drill a hole through the external wall to assist with a damp problem - again no response other than when we wrote collectively to receive the abusive tirade email back which I documented elsewhere on here.



                Anything in there regarding the accounting period and/or mechanism for demand & payment of items from fourth schedule?

                What do you want to happen?

                It would appear that the current freeholder doesn't want to manage the property properly. Do you know anything about the proposed purchaser? Clearly the freeholder doesn't want to sell to the leaseholders so allowing him to sell to a proper LL might work out for the best. If that doesn't work out you can always form a RTM company at a later date.

                If you want to stop the sale then you could mention that there are questions over historical service charges. There is legislation which requires that demands for service charges must be made within 18 months of the cost being incurred. Your lease looks as though it doesn't allow advance demand for payments so this legislation might apply for the leaseholders who have owned for longer than you have.

                Given these issues it might not be in your best interest to own part of the freehold.

                You really need to give an idea of what you hope to achieve and whether you are prepared to start legal action at tribunal or in the Courts.
                I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.


                  Initially we wanted to purchase the FH under the Section 5, but the FH has made it clear he will not sell to us, will keep increasing price.

                  We believe the Agent acting is the interested party and they are based 250+ miles away. The Agent claims to be a larger entity than their accounts suggest. RTM is the other option we have discussed - trouble is apathy amongst people expecting one person to do everything.

                  We are actually the longest leaseholder, the other 6 have all purchased in the year following us - several of us because of other experiences had only agreed on the understanding that the FH maintained his promise he was going to stay on site - a total lie as it transpired.

                  I had already emailed the Agent with regard the issues and he simply was not concerned, saying take it up with the FH - who doesnt reply.

                  With the apathy of several of the others I feel that if a couple of us could pursue him in the Small Claims Courts for refund of fees paid and incorrect GR paid, it might encourage the others to then shake themselves up. The ones who are keen are of the opinion why should they spend money to sort the problems out via the FTT, when others cannot be bothered.

                  Ownership of the FH is not critical to my way of thinking now, as long as we can get people to pull their weight with regard a RTM being established, more so if the intrepretation of the lease is correct and we should only have been billed Annually in arrears as it suggests for Maintenance costings.


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