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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8987
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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We have a lease hold and our Lease is council of Havering.

Resolved Question:

Hello, we have a lease hold and our Lease is council of Havering. Last year they proposed outside works on the property which included removal of asbestos. The property has 4 flats and 3 of them are run by council, but we have a leasehold (mortgage). We have now receive an invoice and our total contributions is £1849.19
The contractor who carried out the works has advised us that we should not be charged for asbestos removal, that it should be paid by the Lease (council).
Would you have a knowledge about this subject, please?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 6 months ago.

Hello

It all depends on the wording of your lease. Leases normally allow a landlord to recover any costs/expenses from its tenants.

I can review the lease as a premium service and advise?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello, I have attached part of our lease. We are aware of the fact that we need to contribute on costs related to the property, however the ASBESTOS removal and replacement should be a different story. It even says in the survey which was carried out before we bought the property that an asbestos survey had been carried out to the communal areas of this block and is aware that Homes in Havering continue their liability to manage. One of the contractor manage s who'd been working on our property told us that we should not be charged for asbestos removal (section 28 - but not sure where to find it). We don't mind paying the rest of the cost, however we don't think they have right to charge us for the asbestos removal. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 6 months ago.

I have sent a proposal to cover time reviewing the extracts.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello, I've signed up for a membership, thinking that you would be able to help me. Now you are asking me to pay some premium service to review the documents. I am not happy with that. I only need a simply answer about ASBESTOS. Could you please tell me what is the meaning of a sentence "an asbestos survey had been carried out to the communal areas of this block and is aware that Homes in Havering continue their liability to manage"?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 months ago.

I will try to help you with this.

What you have attached is not a lease but merely a letter from the Housing Department.

Are you able to attach a copy of the actual lease please?

I will tell you at this early stage that it is highly likely that you would be responsible for this cost which would be recoverable through the service charge albeit that the work would be done by the freeholder.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I really appreciate you are willing to help me. I have enclosed the lease.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 months ago.

Some leases provide for the landlord to simply do all the structural work at his own cost and that would be down to him, and it would come out of the rent he gets. It is more common in commercial premises than residential.

Other leases provide for the landlord to do all the structural work but to recover that via the service charge. This is most common and applies to both residential and commercial. It is the situation you are in.

You are not responsible for removing the asbestos or the maintenance, the landlord is responsible for that but the landlord recovers the costs from you by way of service charge in accordance with the terms of the lease.

Please refer to page 8 of the lease, the 4 th schedule.

You are responsible to pay the service charge for:

1a maintaining repairing renewing improving and decorating the main structure including the foundations etc

It then goes on in the rest of the fourth schedule, to tell you everything else that you are responsible for.

There is a catchall in 9 “all other reasonable expenses” and then 10 allows the landlord to employ contractors to do the work.

Hence, the Council are entitled to charge you for this work based upon the lease.

I’m sorry it’s bad news for you.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive.

The thread remains open for further exchanges.

Best wishes.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8987
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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