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    • t45
    • By t45 12th Jun 17, 11:45 AM
    • 76Posts
    • 5Thanks
    t45
    Leasehold issues
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:45 AM
    Leasehold issues 12th Jun 17 at 11:45 AM
    Hello,
    I was wondering if anyone can offer e some advice on a leasehold issues.
    Basically, I live in a conversions 3 flat – it’s leasehold. One of the flats owns the whole freehold and makes decisions on work that will be carried out each year.
    Every year the freeholder decides upon what jobs are to be done and all flats contrinute – this is fine.
    My issues are:
    Already this year I have spent £450 on jobs (that the freeholder decided would be undertaken).
    The latest job that was carried out in our garden falls below standard in my opinion and I paid towards the cost of this. It was well over £600 in total and i am unhappy with the finished work.
    The next issue is this: the freeholder has now decided that more work needs to be carried out in the garden – I am reluctant to contribute given the state it has now left in. Where do I stand? Can I refuse?
    Next issue: On top of the above, the freeholder has now decided to have paintwork undertaken as well as some exterior porch work.
    I am very unhappy about paying out more sums of money – I am trying to work on my own flat and the freeholder keeps coming back with more work they would like to have carried out - I think I have paid more than enough for the year £450.
    I also pay ground rent on top of this.
    As a leaseholder what are my rights to refuse to contribute towards more jobs? I think there’s been more than enough jobs so far this year and we are only half way through – at this pace, the freeholder would be adding a job a month!
    It is the freeholder who decide which jobs are to be carried out and i am sure if left the freeholder would list up to 10 jobs a year, of course each flat pays towards a contribution.
    Any advice on this.
    Thank you!
Page 1
    • LAC789
    • By LAC789 12th Jun 17, 12:07 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    LAC789
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:07 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:07 PM
    I thought in these situations there was usually an annual service fee payable which contributes to communal areas
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 12th Jun 17, 12:16 PM
    • 4,637 Posts
    • 4,295 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:16 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:16 PM
    It sounds like the freeholder is doing stuff informally. If you're happy with that - that's fine.

    If you're not happy you can insist that they follow a formal process for collecting service charges.
    See: http://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/service-charges-and-other-issues/

    If you want to formalise everything....
    The lease will state what the freeholder must do. The cost of doing those things will be shared amongst leaseholders, as prescribed in the lease.

    So the lease may say that the freeholder must maintain the garden (and re-charge leaseholders).

    But it probably doesn't say that the freeholder can improve the garden, and charge leaseholders.

    If a job is going to cost a leaseholder more than £250, the freeholder has to consult with the leaseholder first.
    All charges must be 'reasonable', and you can challenge them at a tribunal if they are not.
    • t45
    • By t45 12th Jun 17, 12:48 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    t45
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:48 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:48 PM
    Many thanks – this is useful
    Yes, you’re absolutely right in saying that jobs are carried out informally. This has pros and cons. Think in this context it’s not working because, all jobs are at the will of the freeholder who decides – and it’s fine to a point but my concern is where does it stop.
    For example, i have paid £450 in total since January on jobs – one of which was just under £250 and I am not happy about the result of the job. The freeholder normally brings in the company/person to carry out the job.
    The recent job that has been carried out is not, in my opinion up to standard and the knock on effect is that it now results in another job to improve the garden.
    On top of this, I have been informed that the freeholder would like to do some paintwork and work on porches. So this would be in effect an additional 3 jobs onto thr tally so far, and who knows by the end of the year, there could be a longer list.
    My questions are: Can i refuse these jobs as I believe

    • I have paid out enough this year on jobs (one of which is below standard in my option
    • The paintwork job and porch are not what i deem essential and i believe these can wait another year
    I pay my ground rent and building insurance yearly and these too is up for renewal next month.

    We DO NOT have a managing agent nor a resident’s association, and as you have correctly pointed out it is informal.

    In the past I have paid well over £400 (a contribution paid by each flat )for a single job but I was unaware of the fact that if a job costs more than 250 the Freeholder should consult with leaseholder. This did not happy then.

    I am not happy with the way things are and perhaps we should consider a more formal process for collecting service charges.

    Would you know the definition of ‘service charge’ as really, in this context, it can mean anything from painting a wall to cutting a hedge or a branch off a tree.

    I don’t mind at all contributing to jobs, I expect that, but what I am seeing is that the list of jobs keep growing and growing.

    So for example, the freeholder might turn up and look at the path and say, mmmm, i think we need to do some work on the path or mmm think we could paint the wall.
    Please could you clarify what you mean by


    “So the lease may say that the freeholder must maintain the garden (and re-charge leaseholders).

    But it probably doesn't say that the freeholder can improve the garden, and charge leaseholders.”


    Is there a difference between ‘maintain’ and ‘improve’ ?

    Thanks so much
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 12th Jun 17, 2:50 PM
    • 4,637 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 2:50 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 2:50 PM
    Please could you clarify what you mean by [/FONT][/COLOR]


    “So the lease may say that the freeholder must maintain the garden (and re-charge leaseholders).

    But it probably doesn't say that the freeholder can improve the garden, and charge leaseholders.”


    Is there a difference between ‘maintain’ and ‘improve’ ?

    Thanks so much
    Originally posted by t45

    Examples of maintain (or repair) are:
    • Remove weeds from a garden path
    • Repair a garden path that is crumbling
    • Repair a garden wall that is crumbling
    • Replace a fence that has worn out and fallen down
    • Replace a lock on a communal door that has worn out
    • Prune a tree that has grown too large
    • Replace worn out garden lighting
    • Replace a worn out garden bench

    Examples of improvements might be:
    • Add a new length of garden path
    • Add a water feature to the garden
    • Build new garden walls
    • Plant new trees
    • Install new garden lighting
    • Install a new garden bench

    - i.e. adding new stuff which wasn't there when the lease was originally granted.

    Would you know the definition of ‘service charge’ as really, in this context, it can mean anything from painting a wall to cutting a hedge or a branch off a tree.
    Originally posted by t45
    'Service charge' covers the cost of the freeholder doing anything that the lease requires/allows them to do.

    So if the lease requires/allows the freeholder to cut the hedge, paint the wall etc, then the freeholder can recover the cost via a service charge.
    Last edited by eddddy; 12-06-2017 at 2:56 PM.
    • t45
    • By t45 14th Jun 17, 10:58 AM
    • 76 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    t45
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 17, 10:58 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 17, 10:58 AM
    This is very helpful - thank you all very much
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