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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10776
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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I live in a leasehold flat which appears to have an absentee

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I live in a leasehold flat which appears to have an absentee freeholder. Nobody pays any ground rent, although I did pay until about 3/4 years ago. What can I do to make the maintenance/upkeep of the block (4 flats) legal and binding?

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

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

There is legislation now in place, allowing leaseholders to exercise the right to manage (RTM). What this means is that you and the other Leaseholders can formally manage the Building yourselves and collect the service charge. The Freeholder does not have any power to stop you from doing this.
Until such time as you have set up the RTM, I'm afraid you do not have any legal right to ask/obtain payment of any service charge from the one Leaseholder.

You should speak to a local specialist Solicitor or Surveyor concerning the setting up of the RTM, but here is some initial information-

To meet the criteria, the building must meet certain conditions and a minimum number of leaseholders are required to take part.
•the building must be self-contained (or if part of another building, be capable of being redeveloped independently);
•it must include at least two flats;
•at least two-thirds of the flats must be let to 'qualifying tenants';
•it can be part-commercial but the non-residential part must not exceed 25% of the total floor area.

It will not be possible to exercise RTM if the landlord is a housing authority (such as most local authorities) nor where the resident landlord exemption applies.

If the building qualifies, at the time the Claim Notice is served membership of the RTM company should comprise the qualifying tenants of at least half of the flats in the building.

I hope this assists you and sets out the legal position.

If so, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

Kind Regards

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