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Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.
I would completely disagree with that proposal.
The leaseholders simply own the (long) lease and not the freehold (usually). The freeholders own the building and the gas pipes should not be the leaseholder's liability - it should be the freeholder's. To pass on the cost to the leaseholder(s) is completely wrong in my view. You should ask them to point out where in the lease it says you are liable for the gas pipe works. I would bet there is nothing. If there is nothing then they have no right to look to you for payment. If they try to disguise the cost in a service charge you must challenge the service charge.....
You can involve the First Tier (Property) Tribunal in the dispute with the freeholder. Assuming you own the leasehold. The application costs £100 unless you qualify for a fee exemption, so if you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits. If you do, this form must also be used when you apply :
The tribunal route is quicker than the county court claims procedure and it's one form which you will need to complete and send to your regional tribunal. The tribunal will then make a decision which is binding.
The Tribunal is made up of 3 people: A lawyer (Chairman), a surveyor/valuer (who could also be Chairman), and a lay person (member of the public). You can present the dispute to them in person or use a firm (such as either of these law firms : https://www.bishopslaw.co.uk/first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber-advice/ or www.bradysolicitors.com who have a specialist department for these Tribunal claims).
The hearing itself is quite informal. Once made, the order is then binding - if the order is ignored then the county court will recognise it and you can apply for an injunction to force them to comply.
You will need to fill out the relevant form and then email it to your regional Tribunal. The Tribunal should then make a decision within 6-8 weeks.
I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.
Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.
Thanks, it's like asking a tenant to pay for the landlord's work to the building - not in a million years. As I say, if you ask them to show you where in the lease is says the leaseholder is liable for the cost of those works, I would be keen to see it.
No problems, thanks
Well, normally you would be liable - unless he has done something illegal which he has - illegality make a contract void so I still think you refuse to pay.
No problem, yes, in UK law if someone under a contract does something illegal it makes the contract void
That does sound rather suspect to me.