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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi, I am looking for advice on my position as a leaseholder,

Resolved Question:

Hi, I am looking for advice on my position as a leaseholder, with resepcts to a damaged garage, which has been found to contain asbestos. I am disputing the cost of removal and replacing said garage as soley my responsibility. When the garage was damaged a few months back due to storms/high winds, we reported to the company representing the freeholder, who referred us to a loss adjustor/insurance company, the claim was refused. I have queried what the freeholder is responsible for, as from my understanding of our lease agreement it mostly has to do with the structure of the property.
IF you need any more information please let me know, hoping you can offer some advice on this matter for me.
Thanks
Michael
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Is there anything in the lease that states it is your responsibility please?
Customer:

the lease states that it is our responsibility in one of the schedules " to keep the flat and all parts thereof and all fixtures and fittings therein and all addidtions thereto in good and tenantanle repair and decorative condition throughout the said term (including the renewal and replacement of all work or damaged parts)" though in another Schedule (Landlord's Covenants) it states "to keep the retained parts and all fixtires and fittinfs therein and additions thereto in good and tenantable repair decorative condition (including any renewl and replacements of all worn or damaged parts) but with prejjedice to the rights of the landlord to recover from the tenant or any other persons the amount of value of any loss or damage caused by the negligant or other wrongful act or default of the tenant or such person"

Customer:

according to the company representing the freeholder, we own the property so liability is ours for the garage, though we are not allowed to make any changes to the property with out the freeholders consent.

Alex Watts : That refers to the internal fixtures and fittings.
Alex Watts : The garage is a structure. Therefore as structure it is the landlord responsibility.
Alex Watts : You are responsible for fixtures inside.
Alex Watts : But if the garage structure contains asbestos, ie the roof etc, this is down to the freeholder.
Customer:

and by landlord, this would constitute a freeholder?

Alex Watts : You don't actually own the garage or flat, in effect you have a long tenancy.
Alex Watts : Freeholder is the person that owns the property according to the land regsistry.
Alex Watts : So you pay ground rent I assume to the freeholder.
Alex Watts : That person owns it.
Customer:

yes we do

Customer:

pay ground rent

Alex Watts : If you own the garage outright, ie not for 99 years then you are responsible for it.
Alex Watts : But if you have a fixed term contract, a lease, then you don't own it and the freeholder does.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer:

the garage is part of the property as outlined in the lease agreement we have, as the property is a purpose built flat, so upstairs/downstairs, and lease highlights our property from upstairs

Alex Watts : ok then the freeholder has reaponsibility.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
Customer:

just one more thing please

Alex Watts : Sure
Customer:

how would i go about get this advice in writing in order to present to the company representing the freeholder, as they are adamant that it is our responsibility

Alex Watts : You should get a local surveyor to produce a report saying who is responsible for what.
Alex Watts : They can't ignore that. Then if you sue them for repair you can use the report in court.Z
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Customer:

or are the same?

Customer:

land surveyor, or property?

Alex Watts : Ask when you instruct, describe the problem. They may not even need to come out.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
Customer:

ok, thanks, ***** ***** fine.

Customer:

thank you.

Alex Watts : Great, happy to help.
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

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