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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3840
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I am contacting you on behalf of a owner run property

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Hello, I am contacting you on behalf of a owner run property management company, responsible for eight houses and four apartments. Myself and one other owner are currently the directors responsible for the day to administration. One of the few items that we have to collect money from owners for is the insurance for the four apartments. Last year the premium for this insurance was increased following a claim from the garden apartment which involved damp ingress. The same apartment then had a subsequent claim for repairs following a break in. Therefore the insurance will increase again this year. The owner of the first floor apartment above has questioned whether they should have to pay more, as they haven't claimed, they have contacted the insurance broker who has informed them that the only way this can be brought about would be to Vary the lease, (which currently states that all bills be shared 25% per apartment.) We ( the directors) feel that this is both too expensive and may discourage residents from making necessary claims if they feel they have to carry any premium increase. We have offered them self management if they don't agree with the manner in which we carry out the business. They have refused this. What next course of action would you recommend. The freehold is held by the company of which each owner is a shareholder.
Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. If you take no action will this flat owner refuse to pay the insurance? Does the flat owner have a mortgage? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If we do nothing the the owners who I believe are mortgage free will continue to push us for a resolution. When I spoke to them they accused us of not being professional, and spoke of the owner who had the claim as if he had claimed on the insurance for personnel gain and they are paying for. I think they expect that they will keep pressuring us to vary the lease in order that the owner who claims pays the increase in annual premium.
Hi, Thank you. The bot***** *****ne is they signed and accepted the terms of the lease when they bought the property. Part of this means accepting that you share common utilities and benefits that serve the block as a whole - if you decide you do not like this you cannot force the change - everyone has to be in agreement to amend the leases. If you (as the director) refuse to do anything, it is tough on those leaseholders because ultimately they have to pay for the obligations that they are required to pay for under the lease. If you did not want to amend the lease, you could informally agree a different split of the insurance contributions (without formally agreeing the leases) but again everyone in the block would have agree. You have done all you can, which is simply offer them an opportunity to participate in the management, if they want to turn that down again that is not your problem. You are under no pressure to force the other lease holders to accept this change. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards AJ
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