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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Myself & 3 other self employed people bought a quarter share

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Myself & 3 other self employed people bought a quarter share in an office building for us all to work out of. one of the people has now decided they do not want to use the office now, he is saying is legal obligations are only to the mortgage company and not for the rates, gas water etc.
Could you confirm if this is correct or incorrect and if so, what liabilities he has for the building & if there is a website I can look at & print off to confirm this to him.
Much appreciated
Are you all in the same business?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Yes, we are all finincial advisers but not in partnership, we are all sole traders

Is it in the name of 4 individuals? What bills doesn't he want to pay?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes it is split 4 ways so we each own 25% of the property. He would prefer not to pay ANY bills apart from the mortgage, we gave the general costs of rent, rates, heating, lighting, waste removal, photcopier lease (which he signed the contract for this) & would cost money to get out of the lease, cleaner, buildings insurance, all the "bills to riun the office cost each individual £350 per month which is what he doesn't want to pay (until the building is sold OR we buy his share).


He still has his office & no-one is using it so I fell the £350 should be paid until one of the above events happens?





Please bear in mind as I have no vested interest in
saying whether he is liable for these bills or not. I can only give you an
answer based upon the fact that you present

The
general rule is that you don't have to pay the bills of a property that you do
not occupy (apart from a share towards the standing charge or fixed bills such
as rates) provided the property is not occupied.



However,
this one is occupied by the three of you.



He is
certainly liable for the mortgage. I do not believe that he is liable for any
of the other costs except for perhaps, rates. You mention rent which confuses
me because you tell me that you own the building and you refer to a mortgage.



He
signed an agreement for the photocopier and he is liable for 25% of the cost of
the equipment but not the servicing or copy charge.



He
has no benefit from the heat, light, or waste removal. He gets no benefit from
the cleaning because he cannot be responsible for any mess and even his
individual office will not deteriorate if the door is closed. In my opinion, he
is liable for the rates in respect of his office.



So to
summarise, I think he is responsible for a small proportion of the costs but
not everything.



I
appreciate that this is not the answer you wanted to hear but there is no point
in me mislead you.



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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Surely he is responsible for 25% of the buildings insurance? Sorry, my mistake about rent, not in the office so haven't got a list of actual bills.


 


So you are saying that unless he signed the agreement (like the copier lease) he is not liable and with regards XXXXX XXXXX bills, unless there is a standing charge payable, again he is not liable?


 


Just for clarification as I need to relay this to the two other partners.


 

He is only reponsible for bills for which he gets benefit or has legal committement. Insurance would be included in what he is liable for
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Is there any way this conversation can be put into pdf format so I can email it to the other two people?

Sorry, not that I know of but you can copy and paste the text.





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