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    • Money_girl
    • By Money_girl 11th Aug 18, 8:42 PM
    • 17Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Freeholder nightmare - suspected subsidence
    • #1
    • 11th Aug 18, 8:42 PM
    Freeholder nightmare - suspected subsidence 11th Aug 18 at 8:42 PM
    We live on the 1st floor (i.e. top floor) of converted flat in a detached property for the last 2 years. The building is old and was built in the 1920s. The freeholder lives on the ground floor.

    We have had issues with the freeholder with regards to buildings insurance. We pay 50% towards the building insurance, but we pay him the full 50% upfront, whilst he pays the insurance company via monthly Direct Debit. We paid him for insurance covering 17 April 2017 to 16 April 2018, however, late last year he failed to pay the insurance company the monthly instalments and so the insurance company cancelled the insurance (which we knew nothing about).

    The freeholder then got insurance from another provider covering the period from 21 Dec 2017 to 19 Dec 2018. Again, paying via monthly Direct Debit. In May 2018, he asked us for 50%, at this point we discovered the following: -

    1. He had stopped paying the previous provider (we don’t know when) and potentially left us uninsured up to the period he obtained the new insurance. Which is a breach of the Lease agreement.
    2. He wanted us to pay 50% including the months we had already paid for i.e. from 21 Dec 2017 to 16 April 2018.

    After some debate, he agreed to pay the new insurance company the full amount for the year at which point we would pay him an agreed amount, which was above the 8 months the insurance we were actually benefitting from. We heard nothing from him – presumably because he did not want to pay the whole amount (but insisted that we could not pay him monthly but only the full amount in advance).

    After the recent hot dry weather, we began noticing internal cracks appear in the house, which began to widen and grow rapidly. We also noticed cracks appear on the outside wall, which also has begun to widen and grow rapidly. We became worried that we are suffering from subsidence and immediately contacted the freeholder to ask him to contact our building insurance company. He promised to contact them, then didn’t. After daily chasers and knocking on the door, we received a message saying that the cracks look like “new building works” and that he will not be contacting the insurance company and then demanded insurance payment – going back on his agreement to provide details of his full payment (which was in writing albeit a WhatsApp message). We are extremely worried about the structure and integrity of our property. The freeholder has numerous debt issues, he regularly gives lenders our address, and so we get to hear from Bailiffs and courts and Lenders. His flat is in a bad state and he does not seem to care.

    What would be the best thing to do in this case?
    Losers take chances, winners make choices.
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    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 11th Aug 18, 10:40 PM
    • 26,336 Posts
    • 70,946 Thanks
    • #2
    • 11th Aug 18, 10:40 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Aug 18, 10:40 PM
    Right To Manage
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
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