I am a shared freeholder (one of 25) we have 3 directors of the Resi Management company. Lots of politics since 2 have recently joined the other one who used to have sole directorship, accusations and bull headed ways of management from 2 new directors. I put in plan perm for extension to be built over my patio (part of my demised premises) in 2011 which was objected to by the 2 directors, however was granted PP nonetheless. One of directors lives directly next door to me and complained re light and privac - she has a conservatory herself which was voted by all shareholders as consent in 2000. I now need to seek freeholder permission and these 2 directors are implying that it shouldn't go to communal vote of shareholders as with my neighbours consent, but that they decide solely on this. On a posting on a forum one of directors hs made it very clear they will vote no to consent. I look at memorandum and articles but not sure where reference is found re how to reach decisions re freeholder consent etc, so would like guidance. If they overrule going to communal vote, what do I have as recourse to argue consent has been unreasonably withheld?
Yes "not to make structural alteration or structural addition to the demised premises or the internal arrangement thereof........ without the previous consent in writing of the lessor such consent not to be unreasonably withheld"
My concern is that as I will use 2 external walls to form 2 walls for patio, I need lessor consent to use lessor property as these walls aren't mine and I think this is going to form basis of the withholding of consent, without any mindfulness to reasonableness in withholding it.
1 of directors is my next door neighbour & had own conservatory built in 2000 against external wall and cut into it to create opening, but got collective consent from a shareholders vote. Both these directors clearly have a bias against the build, having both objected to planning permission and 1 of them posting on a landlord zone forum asking if they need to even consult with other shareholders& concluding "The flat owner may well genuinely believe no further consent is needed, and it is tricky to refuse something which hasn't been sought..." which to me is crystal clear the way they want to go with the decision without any care as to whether this will be a fair and representative decision on behalf of all the shareholders whose interests he's supposed to represent.
Both have self interested reasons not to want it, not ones for the good of the whole of the freehold community and I have nothing I can do to stop them abusing their power in this way.
If I take it to court can these 2 directors use money from company garnered from the service charge to cover their legal costs? This was implied by director who posted a listing on an advice forum - I'd have thought this was gross misuse of all of our shareholder funds, especially if the majority disagree with their decision to refuse consent in first place but haven't been given a chance to vote on it.
The shareholders can always propose a resolution to remove them as directors on the basis that they propose to use the company money to fund their self-interest litigation. You can also ask the court to award costs against them personally and order them, under no circumstances to take the money from the service charge
unless you have experience of this kind of litigation, you really do need to see a solicitor because it is about as much a do-it-yourself job as taking out your own appendix!
I wouldn't dream of representing myself in this!
What muddies waters is that I have marketed my flat for sale with planning permission in place (whilst at no time said I'd also got the freeholder consent) However, fear is now that I have interested buyers whose mortgage has just been agreed, it could implode once their solicitor approaches the property company to find out if a licence to alter is going to be granted, which it probably isn't. I'd then be likely to have lost my sale and the property I've had my offer accepted on.... so the 2 directors actions have wider implications than just an annoyance in refusing consent.
I would not withhold this information from them as I am sure their solicitor will ask if consent has been granted from my solicitor, who is aware it has not. I wasn't meaning I'd use this to claim further from the Directors, more to put it into context.
I think it is going to be a better proposition if request for requirements to get consent comes from buyers solicitor rather than directly from me, given that there has been lots of politics relating to the ways in which the 2 people have been conducting themselves since becoming directors, many shareholders are very dissatisfied with them. I will leave it until then to gauge what reasons they have for the refusal.
Would not the buyer's conveyancing solicitor include the reference to consent not being reasonably withheld too though? I don't want to antagonise them at this stage as feel they may try to be fairer minded if its the buyers requesting it rather than me...
I understand what you mean though, and I will reserve right to additionally send them a letter from a litigation type solicitor if my sale is at risk of collapsing after refusal to consent is relayed to the buyers conveyancer (which is looking likely) and it is revealed what reason they are using to refuse it.
Yes that s why my inclination is probably not to request it myself but leave to buyers conveyancers to request it on their behalf.
If it means renegotiation of price of flat then I'll deal with that when and if it arises.
Thank you, your advice has been useful and at very least I now know I could try to take them to court if need be.