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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25429
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Leashold flat management issues

Resolved Question:

I own a leashold flat in a very small block (converted house, 2 other flats). The maintenance of the building is is some state of neglect and although some work is planned (fixing the leaky roof), other urgent work particularly the painting and sealing of exterior walls, is not planned. My flat has water ingress through cracks in the walls. The managing agent does not respond to any correspondence I send him. I have written to ask about the painting and to request insurance claim forms with regard to interior damage caused by the leaky roof. I need to know my rights in this regard, so I can determine my next course of action: I suspect a letter from a solicitor may provoke some response. It seems to me wrong that the negligence of a managing agent can be allowed to have a detrimental effect on value and saleability of properties in this way. I also wonder how I can get the details of the other leaseholders (all the flats are rented out) so that I can perhaps discuss with them a change of managing agent.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I ask if you know who the freeholder is please?

Do you know that your lease provides that the freeholder (landlord) is responsible for maintaining the building - the lease should provide as much but older leases for small conversions sometimes provide that individual leaseholders are responsible for different parts of the building.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua

Thanks for taking on my question.

Yes I believe that I have a name and address for the actual freeholder. And the lease does provide for the usual arrangement of freeholder to maintain, changeable to leaseholders.

All of this is in place and does happen, but it happens inadequately and slowly and the building is deteriorating.

Thanks

Leon

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. there are two principal approaches you can take to deal with the position.

Assuming the landlord does not live in the building, if you can gain the support of at least one other leaseholder, you could exercise your statutory right to take over management of the building from the landlord. This is a statutory right whereby all management and repair functions are transferred to a newly constituted right to manage company of which you are eligible to be a director. this can be a very effective way of taking non-responsive landlords out of the loop and allowing direct control the management of the building yourselves as tenants.

As above, you would need at least one other leaseholder to join with you in order to exercise your right because you need 50% or more of the leaseholders in order to lawfully exercise your rights under the legislation.

You can trace the owners of the other two properties by obtaining copies of the title register for both the flats at a cost of 3 pounds each from the land registry. You can do so using the following link:
eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/wps/portal/Property_Search

The alternative approaches to hold the existing landlord to account. You can do so initially by serving notice on the landlord that he is in breach of his repair covenants under the lease and setting out a schedule for the various issues you have identified as requiring attention. You can ask that the landlord submits substantive proposals for dealing with the issues within 10 days failing which he reserved the right to make an application to the County court for an order that he does so. You can make such an application using the following form:

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=424

I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Joshua, that's informative. When you talk about 'serving notice' on the landlord I presume you mean officially via a solicitor?

And further to that, if the contact details I have for the landlord are incorrect, will I be able to find them via the land registry link you gave?

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
I am glad I was able to be of assistance.

You do not need to use a solicitor to serve notice on the landlord that you may do if you wish. you can serve notice by writing an official letter and in fact these days notice can even be served by email.

You can obtain the freehold title from land registry just as you can for the flats and the landlords address for service will be shown in the proprietorship register of the entries you obtain. It is also possible to simply give the notice to the managing agent if the landlord is employed one as this is deemed to be service on the landlord via his agent.

I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
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