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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 778
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I live in a block of Flats. We purchased the Freehold and

Customer Question

I live in a block of Flats.

We purchased the Freehold and took on the lease and the management of the block of flats in House.

The Head Lease is a long document and when we upgraded from wooden frame windows to PVC double glazing this was done across the board with agreement from everyone and a 5 year savings plan put in place that all those affected co-operated with.

This was when I was running the Management Company. I took it on from the start.

I am still a director but in recent years we got administrative help. One person was good and took advise from Directors. More recently the administrator is sort of acting like a management agent.

Well the key question is if there is something on the Head Lease that each individual owner and shareholder bought into upon purchasing the property can it be overturned by a small number of people. Like 2 directors. I put a veto on some building upgrade work that undermined the Head Lease until at least I found out more about the works. I was backed up by another owner director. I suggested a sit down meeting to go through this. I was ignored and the work went ahead. As essentially I am a 1/9th portion of the landlord of the lease I though overturning it would have to be unanimous. In this instance I think 2 people voted this through and the administrator booked in the works.

My obvious concern is that if the Head Lease can be overturned so easily then it could happen again. An extreme example would be to say tarmac over the garden so there was less maintenance suiting investor owners as the maintenance fees would be less.

Its my belief that as I bought into a property that the solicitor had to check out the Head Lease that there has to be some sort of protection for an individual say owner residents against block votes of say owner landlords.

It could be that this is a "grey" area but ideally would be good if it was more black and white.

Regards,

John
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

I am a little unclear about the question you wish to have answered. I think you will need to look at the head lease and the constitution of the company.

Customer :

The head lease was taken over from the original landlords. Then we ran things ourselves.

Customer :

No actual constitution was put in place but agreements at meetings and notes were taken so things like a free for all wouldn't take place i.e. it is a managed block within the terms of the lease or by agreement of all the shareholders for anything of significance in the head lease to be overturned. It was previously discussed having a set of terms and conditions or constitution put in place that could then be used in conjunction with the head lease but this didn't materialise. We are a small block and as such the notes from the meetings that were documented would act as evidence of decisions and how they were made.

Customer :

It is clear that now there are many owner investors that a constitution with a set of terms and conditions needs to be put in place to officially protect the lease.

Customer :

If the agreement, as documented, has always been that anything on the head lease that is overturned must be done across the board by all co-owners of the lease. Then surely there are legal grounds for even one or two people to veto any changes to the head lease as they bought into this lease when they purchased the property.

Customer :

Please can you suggest a possible way forward.

Customer :

Surely the head lease provides individual flat owners with some protection?

LondonlawyerJ :

I am not going to be bale to give you a clear answer here. You need to look at the head lease and at the documents you refer to to see what is possible in this situation.

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