How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

We own a rental flat (leasehold) we pay the freeholder

Resolved Question:

We own a rental flat (leasehold) for which we pay the freeholder (management company) a service charge. In June 2014 major structural issues were found with the building for whith the freeholder was responsible. They *eventually* put temporary roof supports in our flat but have since failed to fix the issues with the building.
We have withheld our service charge as we believe them to be in breach of contract for making the repair works and as we are losing rental income due to having reduced rent due to the inconvenience of roof supports in the flat.
Do we have a claim for breach of contract? And if so should be continue to withold our service charge or pay it and then take legal action.
Also can we force the repairs to the building?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know why they have refused to fix the roof
Customer:

They haven't refused to fix it, they have put supports in to ensure the roof doesn't collapse and cause injury but have since done nothing to get it fixed. We keep chasing them for an update and keep getting fobbed off (we think they may not have the money to do the works)

Customer:

They have sent out section 20 notices but this was done end of last year and still nothing.

Customer:

When we ring up to speak to them about it we are told to just email and they refuse to talk to us. And never respond to our enquiries.

Customer: Hi any update on this?
Alex Watts :

Do you know the cost of getting the work done please?

Alex Watts :

Sorry for the delay, I was in Court

Customer:

Around £3,500 + VAT

Alex Watts : What is it you want to achieve, the roof fixed?
Customer: Yes, we have no problem paying the service charge but we are losing rental money as the flat can't be used properly due to massive floor to roof supports. We just want it fixed and they don't seem to be in any hurry to fix it whatsoever (as I said this started last June).
Alex Watts : Ok you need to write and ask them to do the work within 14 days or say you will seek a court order against them
Alex Watts : if they refuse then you can issue proceedings. You would need to complete form N1
Alex Watts : http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf
Alex Watts : You are asking the court for an order that they do the work and for damages.
Alex Watts : The court will send the other side a copy and they will have a limited time to defend it.
Alex Watts : If they do not then a judge can make an order that they do the work - this is called specific performance
Alex Watts : If they do not then this is Contempt of court and they can be warned, fined or sent to prison
Alex Watts : You can also claim for damages which can be assessed by the court
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: Ok that's great. Should we pay the service charge arrears before we do this?
Customer: Sorry two more things...
Customer: 1. Are we asking for the work to be started within 14 days (as I don't think it would be complete within 14 days)
Customer: 2. If we do need to claim, is the amount claimed just our damages or the cost of doing the work?
Alex Watts : 1) you could say start but they may be very slow so perhaps extend to 28 days
Alex Watts : 2) cost of doing the work plus some damages
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Customer: Yes perfect. And finally I assume it's best to pay our service charge arrears before doing any of this?
Alex Watts : Yes I would pay it because technically your property could be forfeit
Customer: Ok great, thanks for the help and advice!
Alex Watts : Happy to help.
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Remus2004

    Remus2004

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    2446
    Over 5 years in practice.
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Remus2004's Avatar

    Remus2004

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    2446
    Over 5 years in practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TG/TGraham12/2012-7-17_81212_bigstockBusinessHandshake508163.64x64.jpg Thomas's Avatar

    Thomas

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    453
    UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    42
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4708
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/Aston Lawyer/2013-10-8_19517_JAPROFILEPICTURE.64x64.jpg Aston Lawyer's Avatar

    Aston Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1907
    LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CH/chathamchamber/2011-4-24_191833_1.64x64.jpg chatham-chamber's Avatar

    chatham-chamber

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    846
    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CL/clairep80/2013-8-25_191218_dreamstimexs267279822nd.64x64.jpg Clare's Avatar

    Clare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    308
    I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
 
 
 

Related Property Law Questions