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Hello, I am solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
He may be but you will need to look at the terms of or lease which should include a clause covering maintennance of the common parts.
The issue is actually that the communal electricity for the communal lighting is wired through my individual meter, therefore I am paying for the communal electricity. I see no clause in my lease to suggest this is part of the deal! I can not legally touch the box from which the electricity is coming into my meter because it is not mine - is that right?
You should not touch the box. How much is it costing you to pay for the lighting? Have you asked for a rebate on your service charge to take account of this or for contributions to help pay for it?
I don't know how much it is costing me because it just goes into my meter and can't be calculated. I have written to the Property Management agents and they say I have to contact the building supplier (I have no idea who that may be) for them to install a new meter and then share that cost amongst the other owners/tenants. Surely if this was done the meter would be property of the Freeholder?
You may be able to use this link to estimate the running costs. http://www.ukpower.co.uk/tools/running_costs_electricity it may eb that the cost of installing a new meter is disproportionate to the costs you are incurring.
Ok but I have lived here for four years and I can only assume the situation has been the same for the previous 30 years or so!
It may well have been but I am not sure why that would matter. There is almost certainly a clause stating that the costs of the common parts are joint costs. This would be valid no matter how long the occupiers of your flat had been paying for the lighting.