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    • Pepper22
    • By Pepper22 5th Dec 17, 12:40 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Pepper22
    Advice on leaseholder not paying for repairs/maintenance
    • #1
    • 5th Dec 17, 12:40 PM
    Advice on leaseholder not paying for repairs/maintenance 5th Dec 17 at 12:40 PM
    Hello - I am in need of a bit of advice regarding the owner of a flat in our building who is very bad at contributing for repairs / maintenance.

    Bit of background info:
    4 flats in a Victorian building - each leasehold
    Limited company owns the freehold - each flat owner has a 1/4 share of the company
    The leasehold agreement details how costs of repairs/maintenance should be split (e.g. repairs in the communal hallway are split between 3 rather than 4 as one flat has it's own front door)

    3 of the 4 flat owners are very good at paying for things as needed, but one is not. They don't outright refuse to pay, but just ignore emails etc. (they also don't live in the building it's rented, and they are overseas quite a lot so can't just knock on the door).

    At our last meeting about a year ago we all agreed to put a set amount of money in each month (rather than collect each time something needed paying), but they haven't paid anything in about 8 months.

    The other 3 of us are very fed up with it (apparently they have been like this for years), and obviously worried about anything major that might need doing.

    Anyone have any advice? Should we threaten legal action?

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 5th Dec 17, 4:37 PM
    • 42,278 Posts
    • 49,116 Thanks
    G_M
    • #2
    • 5th Dec 17, 4:37 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Dec 17, 4:37 PM
    If you can resolve it amicably that is by far the best way.

    If you know when the leaseholder will be in the country next, tea and cake!




    But failing that, legal action is the only solution.

    Just a thought: my brother has a similar (not identical) problem.

    In his case there are 3 flats and the overseas person is the freeholder. Because of the freeholder's complete failure to do anything, my brother arranges insurance, pays the communal electricity etc, and then collects back the cash. The other leaeholder pays up fine. Eventually my brother approached the letting agent employed by the freeholder. The agent liaises with the freeholder over these costs now and repays my brother (probably out of rent received)

    The issue is not really that the overseas resident wants to avoid payment etc, just that he does not understand. Of course, this does not resolve the fact that my brother, a leaseholder, is doing the freeholder's job, but at least bills are being paid and costs shared out.

    Try talking to the letting agent.

    Leaseadvice may help too.
    Last edited by G_M; 05-12-2017 at 4:40 PM.
    • Pepper22
    • By Pepper22 6th Dec 17, 1:10 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Pepper22
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:10 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:10 PM
    Thanks G_M! I agree an amicable solution would definitely be best if it's possible. I'm fairly new to the building (under 2 years), but I've heard from the others they've been like this for 10+ years.

    Another thing I'm not sure about is how it works in terms of deciding / agreeing to do any work? For example if 3 of the 4 of us decide we should paint the house does majority rule, or does it require unanimous agreement?
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 6th Dec 17, 1:39 PM
    • 495 Posts
    • 781 Thanks
    BBH123
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:39 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:39 PM
    I would read your Lease to have an understanding of what works are required and how each party is required to contribute.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 6th Dec 17, 1:58 PM
    • 5,543 Posts
    • 5,228 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:58 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:58 PM
    Another thing I'm not sure about is how it works in terms of deciding / agreeing to do any work? For example if 3 of the 4 of us decide we should paint the house does majority rule, or does it require unanimous agreement?
    Originally posted by Pepper22
    As BBH says, the leases will specify what the freeholders are responsible for doing (e.g. painting the house) and, therefore, what can be charged to each leaseholder.

    There's quite a bit of legislation in this area (designed to stop freeholders ripping off leaseholders).

    For example
    • You have to present service charge bills within a timescale
    • They must include prescribed information
    • If the bill for each leaseholder is over £250, you have to do a section 20 consultation first

    ... and if you don't follow the rules, the leaseholder doesn't have to pay you.


    But... if all the leaseholders are co-operative and just agree to pay their share, you don't have to go through any of the legal stuff above.

    See: https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/service-charges-other-issues/
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Dec 17, 10:43 PM
    • 42,278 Posts
    • 49,116 Thanks
    G_M
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 10:43 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 10:43 PM
    Provided the leases specify what maintenance the freeholder is responsible for, and what costs the leaseholders are liable for, then if 3 of the 4 joint freeholders decide to do X, and follow the requisite procedures, then each leaseholder can be required to contribute.
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