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John LLB
John LLB, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1395
Experience:  8 years legal experience
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I am a leaseholder and my roof is leaking. The freeholder

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Hello, I am a long leaseholder and my roof is leaking. The freeholder has denied liability to repair, in writing, despite the leasehold agreement stating that she is responsible to organise and carry out repair and invoice me for 50%. She claims that because the repair is needed on the roof of an extension, which was built well decades before the creation of the lease, and not part of the original building she is released from her obligation to repair. I can find no evidence of this in the lease but she lis claiming that it is the law because the small ground floor extension built in the 1980s does not have planning permission
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No
JA: Where is the leasehold located?
Customer: I have it here
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thank you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I have tried to upload my lease but failed, can I email it?

Hello, how are you? Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. Hopefully we can resolve this quickly.

Issues such as this are governed by the lease and it is usually the case that the freeholder is responsible for the building's structure, including the roof and guttering. Your freeholder is breaking the conditions of your lease if they don't carry out repairs they are responsible for. You may be able to take your freeholder to court to force them to do the work. You can go to the local county court for an order for specific performance. Specific performance is an order of a court which requires someone to perform a specific act, usually what is stated in a contract. The court could also order them to pay you compensation.

Write to your freeholder and:

  • give details of the repairs needed that they are responsible for
  • give the freeholder a realistic deadline for carrying them out
  • explain there is no clause in the lease that you are responsible
  • explain you will take court action if they continue to refuse
  • date your letter and keep a copy

If they insist they will not repair the roof then you have little option but to take court action. Also report the problem to the council's environmental health department if disrepair means that your home is dangerous or damaging to your health. The council can order the freeholder to do the work.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please let me know if you need me to clarify anything or if you have any additional questions. I am happy to help.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you. So it doesn't matter that it was not part of the original building, the fact that it was in existence as part of the building at the time of the creation of the leasehold agreement and detailed in the lease plan as part of the building makes her liable to repair as per the lease? Nowhere in the lease does it mention or outline the shape of the original building. "Original" is a term she has come up with to exempt herself. Is she basically talking nonsense?

Hello, yes you are quite correct. Her comments do not have any legal basis. The only situation where she would be correct is if what she is saying is contained within the lease. If there is no reference to the freeholder being exempt in the lease, then her duties and obligations under the lease will continue and she will be liable for the repairs.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you so much!

Pleasure. I am glad I was able to help. Have a great day.

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