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    • Johndo
    • By Johndo 19th Apr 17, 6:21 PM
    • 3Posts
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    Johndo
    Communal Maintenance
    • #1
    • 19th Apr 17, 6:21 PM
    Communal Maintenance 19th Apr 17 at 6:21 PM
    Hi, I have a question around the maintenance of a communal area shared by 10 maisonettes situated above shops.

    They are all rented out and I have bought one as a buy to let.
    The maisonettes have a single communal entrance which is in a very bad state. There was a management company many years ago but no one seems to know who they are and no work has been carried out in at least 5 years. The stair way is in a very bad state in that the entrance door has fallen off. There is absolutely no lighting at night which is very dangerous and against health and safety, on top of this the stairwell is being used as a hangout for kids who are drinking, smoking and doing drugs and leaving broken bottles and needles around. Fights have broken out on many occasions and the police have attended.


    There are children and families living in the maisonettes which use this entrance and they are feeling threatened and intimidated by the anti social behavior.


    So what I would like to know is are there any laws etc that say how communal areas have to be maintained?


    I am happy to do the leg work, get quotes, speak to people, oversee the work, update all the owners etc, I have contacted most of the owners of these maisonettes with the view to set up a maintenance fund. Every one pays the same amount in and we use it to carry out the required maintenance work and pay electric bill for the lighting.


    What happens (and is probably likely) if one owner gets awkward says they are happy to leave it in an illegal state and has no interest in getting the maintenance carried out?
    I suppose I would have to get some kind of agreement signed by all the maisonette owners stipulating the maintenance agreement.



    Has any one come across a free on line draft of such an agreement?


    Do I have to set up a company to do this?



    Please help and offer any advice or experiences you may have.
    Thank you
Page 1
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 19th Apr 17, 6:48 PM
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    eddddy
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 6:48 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 6:48 PM
    The way it works is as follows:

    Presumably it's the freeholder's responsibility to maintain the communal areas (confirm this by reading your lease).

    So you need to formally tell your freeholder to do this.

    The freeholder will want to collect a proportion of the cost from each leaseholder. If the cost to each leaseholder will be more than £250, the freeholder will have to do a section 20 consultation (which is likely to take 6 months or so).

    If one or more leaseholders can't/won't pay, the work probably can't start and it gets very messy... legal action etc.


    Alternatively, if you can get the support of 50% of the leaseholders you can form a 'Right to Manage' company - then the company can take over management of the building and do all of the above.

    See: http://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/right-to-manage/
    • Johndo
    • By Johndo 19th Apr 17, 7:08 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    Johndo
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 7:08 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 7:08 PM
    Thanks for your reply Eddddy,

    Each building has a different freeholder, the communal access leads to the upstairs maisonettes. There are 10 freeholders and 10 maisonettes owners,
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 19th Apr 17, 8:15 PM
    • 4,360 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:15 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:15 PM
    Each building has a different freeholder, the communal access leads to the upstairs maisonettes. There are 10 freeholders and 10 maisonettes owners,
    Originally posted by Johndo
    So who owns the freehold of the communal access?

    According to your lease (and other peoples leases), who is responsible for maintaining the communal access?
    • Johndo
    • By Johndo 19th Apr 17, 8:33 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    Johndo
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:33 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:33 PM
    The communal access and walk way is situated above the shops below. There dosnt seem to be any mention of the communal walk way owner other than that it's shared owner ship :s
    • quotememiserable
    • By quotememiserable 19th Apr 17, 8:56 PM
    • 362 Posts
    • 217 Thanks
    quotememiserable
    • #6
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:56 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:56 PM
    What state was this area in when you bought the property?
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 19th Apr 17, 10:37 PM
    • 4,360 Posts
    • 4,022 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #7
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:37 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:37 PM
    The communal access and walk way is situated above the shops below. There dosnt seem to be any mention of the communal walk way owner other than that it's shared owner ship :s
    Originally posted by Johndo
    What document are you looking at? A lease wouldn't use the phrase "shared ownership".

    You should have asked questions about ownership and maintenance of communal areas when you bought the property - your solicitor could have checked it all out.

    Now I guess you'll have to make sense of the lease yourself (or pay a solicitor to go through it for you)....

    ... or you can ask your freeholder. But it doesn't sound like they're particularly interested.
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