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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25424
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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what is a leaseholders rights in a dispute with neighbours

Resolved Question:

what is a leaseholders rights in a dispute with neighbours of a leasehold association
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Are you able to outline the nature of the dispute in brief please?

Joshua :

Are you a leasehold owner?

Customer:

yes I am a leaseholder no association has been formed the block is small 6 flats. My question is if an association was formed

Customer:

and residents voted 5 for/1 against where the 5 where united what would be the position for the 1

Customer:

?

Joshua :

My sincere apologies for the delay in reverting to you. I had to step into a client meeting.

Joshua :

So to be clear this is presently hypothetical whereby if an association was formed how would they effectively decide matters and what would the rights of the minority vote have in the face of such decisions. Is that correct please?

Customer:

Yes and what if the other 5 continually ran the association to suit 5?

Joshua :

Thanks. A residents association would be limited in the authority as regards XXXXX XXXXX provided for in the lease which would typically be maintenance of the building, insurance, potentially provision of services and so on.

Joshua :

Every leaseholder has his own individual rights from the lease and must be provided with minimum provisions such as right of access, right of services such as utilities and any other services provided in the lease, parking if rovided for and so on.

Joshua :

In addition in respect of any service charges demanded for any of the above a leasehold has considerable rights under both the Landlord and Tenant Act and Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act to require that such charges are reasonable and can dispute any charges which are excessive. In addition any works which require more than £250 per tenant require detailed consultation to be undertaken with the individual tenants or such charges in excess of £250 per tenant cannot be collected.

Joshua :

Are there any specific issues that concern you or is this just a general due diligence exercise on your part?

Customer:

For 14 years the landlord has not been proactive and the property needs to be kept to a standard for 14 years no one has complained and been happy to let that happen only requesting permission for small items of repair. Fencing replaced by the neighbouring block and charged to landlord and subsequently tenants. a new tenant is demanding the property is brought up to standard and wants 14 years of

Customer:

delapidations done

Customer:

£55,000+ is the figure being put forward £10,000+ per flat

Joshua :

Thanks. Is this being put forward by the landlord at present?

Customer:

No as far as I know he is unaware. The 5 called a meeting no association exists and presented the list and costs with no backup quotes/estimates

Joshua :

Thanks. If no formal residents association has been established in agreement with the landlord or under statutory right to manage provisions then the association has no formal authority and their proposals can if you wish be ignored. In any event if they went ahead notwithstanding the above unless formal s20 notices were served on you and statutory consultation was carried out you would not owe more than £250

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

That is very clear thank you the situation is further complicated by the sale of two leases without our knowledge of the roof space to a builder and variation of lease is required to enable build. my lease states that the lease is of 6 flats is 8 leases an unauthorised variation of my lease. The tenants were all against until the new tenant moved in and money compensation has been sought by the new tenant they have changed their minds now and I have not.

Joshua :

Thanks. That is a wider question which would need closer examination. In essence if the landlord had retained the roof space he can sell off the roof space providing a) that he has not already granted any rights over the roof space and b) he can provide access to the roof space without needing to take any areas already demised as existing leases. Subject as above if some tenants will not agree to a variation of their lease which is necessary and not adverse to them the landlord can make an application to a leasehold tribunal for an order in respect of variation.

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

To build the Council approval of plans insists on 3 parking places and a lift must be provided for the extra floor which means communual garden lost front door access reduced for lift no other exit is in place so fire risk is one exit door could that change your answer re tribunial.

Joshua :

The landlord cannot derrogate from rights he has granted. He would need permission from all the tenants to vary the leases to reduce existing rights over communal areas including the garden. If one or more tenants is not prepared to agree, he will not be able to proceed. You could consider charging him for consent a share of the profits or a fixed fee.

Customer:

Could I go to tribunal to remove this hanging over us as it is now setting tenant against tenant and I do not have "quiet enjoyment" anymore

Joshua :

You could seek a claim against the landlord if he is causing nuisance. You could given him notice that you propose to claim damages for harassment and breach of covenant for quiet enjoyment and seek damages in the county court if he is harassing tenants.

Joshua :

Ideally all of you would be able to come to an agreement and present a united front as you could potentially turn the position to your advantage and extract some benefit, be it money or works to the property for free as payment but that may not be possible from what you say.

Customer:

That is possible but I stand to loose the most in particular the garden and outlook as my flat is across the whole garden being bedroom windows and a reduction in garden will force other tenants closer to them, which would be horrendous. The lift is sited on the corner of my lounge, all tenants will make money sell therefore any detriment will not bother them purchasers will buy as seen, I want to remain for the rest of my life, money is not the important factor for me.

Joshua :

On that basis you may simply refuse to give up your rights. You cannot be forced to.

Customer:

Joshua thank you for your patience and replies, I am very grateful and satisfied for the understanding of my position I have come to; re all this. Have a good evening, goodbye.

Joshua :

I am glad it was of assistance. My pleasure.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Customer:

Thank you I will.

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