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    • londondealer
    • By londondealer 11th Oct 17, 6:51 AM
    • 193Posts
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    londondealer
    Over Bearing Committee
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 6:51 AM
    Over Bearing Committee 11th Oct 17 at 6:51 AM
    Good Morning All,

    Just a quick question from any fellow landlords on here.

    I have a couple of properties in a block of flats. I have in the past had issues with the committee who have a real bugbear with landlords and think all the flats should be owner occupied. (but that’s another story).

    They have installed CCTV cameras in order to monitor the bins area and have also been given recycling bins from the local authority. All good and I agree it should be carefully monitored.

    The committee have also sent out notification that they intend to fine anyone who breaches the rules around waste disposal and in the event the offender is a tenant pass the fine onto the landlord.

    I suspect this has no legal foundation but curious to get other people’s views on it especially from anyone with legal experience.

    I take my responsible as a landlord very seriously but they have a problem with me owning two properties.

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 11th Oct 17, 7:43 AM
    • 23,306 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 7:43 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 7:43 AM
    If this committee is made up of residents, like the one which oversees a development of barn conversions near me, then there may be no one with the background to caution others over making rash and unenforceable statements like this.

    Assuming that this info has come via committee meeting minutes, I would write to them via the chairperson to point out that as your tenants are adults, you cannot be held responsible for their behaviour, or for fines imposed on them by a court of law.

    Leave it at that. It may just dawn on one of them that fines need to have a basis in law. Anything else is not a fine; it could even be extortion.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 11-10-2017 at 8:00 AM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 11th Oct 17, 9:02 AM
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    LEJC
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:02 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:02 AM
    I'd be interested to know what they plan to do with any fines that they collect....
    It opens up a question whether they intend to use the money to fund lower management charges or charitable donations...or use the money to get the rubbish cleared by a professional company.
    What sort of figure are they proposing per offence?

    I'm not convinced that fining is the correct answer....for example if you don't pay a fine that they impose are they really going to go to the expense of taking one of their fellow leaseholders though a claims procedure to recover money.

    Not the greatest use of management funds.

    I sympathise with your frustration and indeed found myself in a similar position a few years ago with a set of fellow leaseholders who were against anything other than owner occupiers....I applied to become a director of the management company....attitudes have started to change now!

    I love the fact that actually you own 2 properties...that could give you potentially 2 votes in management decisions if you choose to become involved.............no wonder they don't want you on the committee! you are probably in a stronger position then each of them singularly and their dislike of you may even stem from that.
    My belief has always been that there should be a mix of directors/committee members and as an owner occupier you have no more right than an owner who is a LL....the term is you are all leaseholders.

    Do you believe that your tenants contribute to the problem?
    maybe an email from you to them passing on details of the new "rules" and consequences will be enough to at least advise them that if they are captured on the footage and a fine imposed you may need to pass it on to them.

    For what it's worth...it's probably no more your tenants creating the problem than the "live in's"....and actually having the CCTV might throw up some unexpected's!

    You say that the committee plan to pass the fine onto the LL if the tenant is at fault..I assume they will fine the owner occupiers too who are abusing the waste policies?....this isn't just a penalty for tenants/LL's?

    I understand the need for everyone to adhere to the waste/recycling policy but there needs to be fair monitoring of all not just targeting of a few.
    It could be that the way forward does involve higher management charges for all in order to routinely clear dumped rubbish....its about getting everyone to understand that they need to act responsibly...not about shock tactics of on the spot fines.
    Last edited by LEJC; 11-10-2017 at 9:34 AM.
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    • aneary
    • By aneary 11th Oct 17, 9:51 AM
    • 599 Posts
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    aneary
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:51 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:51 AM
    I actually agree with the fines but to the tenants not the LL the state of the bins where I used to live was a nightmare 'adults' seemed unable to flatten boxes mess ended up on the floor, matteress and sofas etc were left in the bin store.

    The cost came out of the service charge (I didn't pay this my LL did) but I think it's unfair that anyone other than the people who were unable to use a bin store properly should pay for the clear up.

    There is no reason for you to put in a AST that if you are given such a fine that the tenants have to pay?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Oct 17, 10:14 AM
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:14 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:14 AM
    They have no legal right to fine. If you (or tenant or whoever) refused to pay, how are they going t enforce.....?

    However the purpose of their policy (flawed though it is) seems just.

    I agree with davesnave a letter to the chair. Not written agressively denying liability, but referring to the decision in the minutes (rather than the letter to you) pointing out the problem with the policy.

    I would also approach your tenants (perhaps over tea and cake at the next inspection) pointing out the roblem with the re-cycling and asking them (ask, not tell!) to do their best to comply.

    Also consider adding a clause to your tenancy agreement next time a new tenant moves in (or there's a renewal).
    Last edited by G_M; 11-10-2017 at 10:16 AM.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 11th Oct 17, 10:28 AM
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    davidmcn
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:28 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:28 AM
    I presume the "fines" are just an invention of the committee, rather than them passing on charges from the council or whoever has to deal with the wrongly-sorted waste?
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 11th Oct 17, 10:37 AM
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    D_M_E
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:37 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:37 AM
    Who authorized and paid for the CCTV system and will the installation charges be passed on to the leaseholders?

    Was the installation decided after consultation with leaseholders, or did it just appear one day?

    Who will be monitoring it and where from and will there be an ongoing charge for monitoring?

    I agree that any "fines" should be ignored as I don't see how they can be enforced.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 11th Oct 17, 10:50 AM
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    NeilCr
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:50 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:50 AM
    I think there is a difference between fines and recovering costs. I am not entirely clear which this one is. Fines is a bit of an emotive word, to be honest.

    Speaking as a director of residents committee (we do employ an agent for clarity). We certainly have instances where one resident (be they tenant or not) commits an action which results in additional costs. For instance, one person in their hurry to get through our automatic gates ran into them and caused damage. We went after them for the costs of repair as we didn’t think it fair that the others on the estate should shell out

    Again, someone, recently deposited a full pot of paint in a communal bin - unfortunately with the lid loose. We had to get someone in to clean the pavement under the bin

    If it was a tenant we’d chase them first. But, if they didn’t pay we’d be in touch with the landlord. In my experience they can be quite good at exerting pressure! And they are responsible for the service charges for that property. The fact that they may go up because of their tenant concentrates the mind

    If it is a fine, though, then I don’t really agree with it. I know from my own experience that people can be awful about litter but, to be honest, life’s too short to get too worked up about it. We are introducing parking fines but that’s because we have some selfish residents who ignore signs and park in a way that would stop emergency vehicles getting on to parts of our estate

    Legally, I am sure we couldn’t enforce fines on the landlord in your example. But, as has been said, worth checking your lease (especially if it is about recovering costs)
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 11th Oct 17, 12:02 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    • #9
    • 11th Oct 17, 12:02 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Oct 17, 12:02 PM
    I presume the committee have registered the CCTV system with the Information Commissioner's Office and that it complies with the various Codes of Practice?
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 11th Oct 17, 12:47 PM
    • 23,306 Posts
    • 88,887 Thanks
    Davesnave
    I think there is a difference between fines and recovering costs. I am not entirely clear which this one is. Fines is a bit of an emotive word, to be honest.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    I just think it's the wrong word. Recovering reasonable costs is a different matter.

    I presume the committee have registered the CCTV system with the Information Commissioner's Office and that it complies with the various Codes of Practice?
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    Definitely save that for possible use in a future letter!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • londondealer
    • By londondealer 11th Oct 17, 6:18 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    londondealer
    Fantastic advice thank you all so much.
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