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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10736
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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I am a leaseholder of a flat in a shared block of 3 flats.

Customer Question

I am a leaseholder of a flat in a shared block of 3 flats. The freeholder (who also owns one of the flats) is difficult to communicate with and every year I have to chase them for the building insurance/Ground rent and other charges. This is what I got from them (they communicate with me via a solicitor) this year:
Dear Martin,
Jackie (the freeholder) was advised by the insurers to change the policy, hence the date adjustment to September for commencement of the policy.
Jackie also suggests the exterior of the property requires decoration in the coming year. She will let you have quotes to cover your share of the cost or alternatively and is happy for you to make enquiries of the same.
Attention: Martin Klopstock
Ground rent for year April 2013- 2014 £50.00
Buildings Insurance till Sept 2013 £99.90
Building Insurance from 11th September 2014 – 11th September 2015, £207.53
Total £357.03
Please make payable to Ms J Walker
Bank details 40-47-86
First Direct,***** Leeds
No policy documents were provided, which I requested and was sent.
Is the above a 'legal' invoice? I am supposed to be paying a third of the full premium (for my flat). The freeholder says that insurers never issue them with an invoice, just a renewal notice. But from the documents I have received I cannot see a renewal notice.
I would appreciate some advice on what my rights as leaseholder are vis a vis payment of annual charges/building insurance etc. What is the freeholder obliged to provide me with, so that I can discharge my obligations as a leaseholder?
Martin Klopstock
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

Under the Schedule to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 an individual leaseholder can ask the landlord for a written summary of the policy or an opportunity to inspect and take copies of the policy. The request must be made in writing and the landlord must comply within 21 days. Your landlord can only be required to provide the summary once in each insurance period (usually a year).

The summary should contain the sum for which the property is insured, the name of the insurer and the risks covered in the policy.

Where a landlord fails without reasonable excuse to comply with either a request for insurance details or to inspect or have copies of the relevant policy or associated documents, they commit a summary offence and are liable for a fine of up to £2,500 (level 4 on the standard scale) on conviction. The local housing authority, usually through the Tenancy Relations Officer, has the power to bring proceedings, or they can be brought by the leaseholder privately. Any prosecution must be presented to a magistrate within 6 months of the commission of the offence!

If the paperwork relating to the Buildings Insurance provided by the Freeholder does not include a note of the premium, you are entitled to ask for evidence of this sum.

As regards ***** ***** charge demands, under Section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, they should contain the following information-

- how the costs relate to the service charge demand, or if they will be included in a later demand;

  • any items for which the landlord did not receive a demand for payment during the accounting period;
  • any items for which a demand was received and for which no payment was made during the accounting period;
  • any items for which a demand was received and for which payment was made during the accounting period; and
  • whether any of the costs relate to works for which an improvement grant has been or is to be paid.

I hope this assists you and answers your question.

Kind Regards