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We have a number of electric heaters in the common areas. The directors mindful of the costs of running such heaters wish to keep the heat level down. However some owners, and more often or not tenants wish the temperature to be higher. Has anyone had any experience of this and can recommend a minimum temperature.

the answer is it would be unlikely that the lease requires there to be heaters int he common parts 99% of blocks do not have heaters in the common parts if one were to choose what temperature they should be at I would suggest adopt the usual temperature level reco...

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Each of the flats in our development has an associated garage with a separate Lease, that the shareholder Lessees purchased at the same time as they purchased the Lease of their respective flats. Unfortunately, neither Lease contains a specific clause that subletting is, or is not, permitted; with the result that none of the tenants of these 4 flats, is able to use the associated garages for their cars. For example, the non-resident Lessees of two of the flats have refused their tenant permission to use the garages. In one case, the Lessee himself is using it to store furniture and, in the other, to store his own motor vehicle. Because of this, one of the tenants has 3 cars parked in our restricted roadway, and another, his commercial, long wheel-base Transit van. When the cars belonging to the other two tenants, and resident Lessees are also parked in the roadway which is designated as being for the reasonable use only of the residents it is sometimes impossible for the contractor, delivery and emergency vehicles to obtain access. The garages associated with the two other Buy-to-Let flats are used by the tenants to store their company work materials, trade items, stock, tools, etc., and for use as an occasional workshop albeit possibly without the knowledge of their Landlord Lessee. In addition, not one of the tenants of these 4 flats respects the important terms and conditions of the main Leases scrupulously observed by each of the resident shareholder Lessees, and it would appear that no stipulation requiring them to do so is included in or added as an integral contractual codicil to the wording/terms and conditions of the one size fits standard, Short Term Assured Tenancy Agreements, the Lettings Agents ask them to sign. Given the current situation outlined above, I should like to ask if we, the Directors of THRALL, are empowered, entitled or able in any way to introduce and implement the following stipulations/requirements, i.e. that: (i) the garages associated with each Buy to Let flat MUST be let, empty, with the flat and used by the tenants ONLY for parking their cars ? i.e. that the Lessee cannot retain it for his own use, or sanction its use, for any other purpose during the period of the tenancy; (ii) only one car per flat is permitted on the premises (excluding short term, visitors)? (iii) each Short Term Assured Tenancy Agreement MUST have a summary of the main clauses of the flat and garages leases attached, and a custom worded clause added to their wording/terms and conditions, that includes the stipulation that these MUST be strictly observed at all times? (iv) persistent or failure by the tenant to observe the foregoing e.g. following one verbal and two written warnings by the Board will result in immediate termination of their Short Term Assured Tenancy Agreement and notice to quit? (v) NO tenant is permitted to sub-let a room in the flat to a third party? (vi) Letting Agents must notify the THRALL Board (or its property company ) IN ADVANCE of the name, number, nationality and entry dates of incoming tenants, and confirm that an adequate current, contents insurance policy is in force ? (vii) the non-resident shareholder Lessees of the Buy-to-Let flats be required to sign an agreement with the THARL Board, accepting the foregoing, and that any breach by the Lessee of these terms and conditions, will result in a legally-recoverable financial penalty ?

Here's your answers: 1) if subletting is not restricted it is permitted 2) tenants have no right to use a separate garage/parking space just because they rent a flat that notionally goes with it (that is a matter of contract) 3) a good lease will prohibit...

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I am the Company Secretary of the company which owns the freehold of Hillside, a building which comprises 7 flats. All 7 lessees are shareholders in the company. The company is a member of the FPRA. I am the leaseholder of flat 2. We are about to appoint a contractor to carry out the external decoration of the building which is a three story Victorian house. We are unclear whether the Directors have any other responsibilities when appointing a contractor. We have read, for example, about the HSEs CDM regulations. To what extent do they apply in our case? Do you know of any guidelines or can you help us to decide what we need to do to ensure that we comply with them?

The answer on CDM is The CDM Regulations deal with the management of health and safety and they place duties on clients, planning supervisors, designers and contractors to plan, coordinate and manage health and safety throughout all stages of the construction projec...

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1. What practical requirements are there for the purposes of the buyer becoming a member of the freehold company, as envisaged by clause 34 of the 4th schedule of the lease. 2. Please could you confirm if clause 4 of the 5th schedule of the lease can be amended to ensure it fully reflects the risks to be accounted on the buildings insurance.

Your answers in short are: 1. If they are not already a FH shareholder, buying a share at market price - our valuers can establish this for you at "their cost" 2. Any schedule of a lease can be amended but only with both parties agreement, therefore when a prope...

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Gatchell Oaks is a development circa 6 years old, we are concerned about the quality of management and installation of the double glazed windows as well as what appears to be a sham management arrangement.

Ideally you should find a way to take control. Right to Manage would be the best way, as you don't have to prove fault, but you will need 50% of owners of interested. It is hard to force an unwilling Agent to manage and exhausting too. in respect of your windows...

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We are contemplating buying the Freehold as we have received a Section 5 Notice offering us the 1st right of refusal else the Freeholder has nominated another buyer. My questions are: 1) assuming all parties were interested in purchasing their share what would we each end up having to pay? 2) Would all the shares be equal?

The answer to question 1 is A - that would be up to you as shareholders in the new freehold owning company to decide, some choose 1/9th, some choose to do it by relationship to flat sizes or flat values, in valuation terms it is normal for valuers to add a notional ...

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I have heard that there could be alternatives to having hatches fitted. Is this true?

Visual examination checks by engineers via inspection hatches is currently the preferred method recommended by the industry guidance that explains how to judge that a flue is working safely and effectively. However, where inspection hatches are not practicable indust...

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When a flat is sold and there are arrears on service charges and/or ground rents what happens? Also if after preparing the year end accounts there is a surplus to redistribute back to the leaseholders, is it the leaseholders at that point that get the refund or the ones that actually paid towards the service charges on account during the year?

The mechanism to help stop sales complete when there are service charge/ground rent arrears is a restriction registered at HM LAnd Registry. This restriction usually requires the Managing Agent to issue a certificate of compliance so that UNLESS a certificate of com...

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I am a developer of a new build scheme involving flats and commercial units. The buyer of a commercial unit is not agreeing to a restriction at HM Land Registry preventing a sale of the unit without the Managing Agent issuing a compliance certificate. What kind of risk is he to me?

A restriction requiring a compliance certificate is critical. Its purpose is to ensure that arrears (and any other non-compliance/breach) are made known to a buyer before they take registration of the property. Effectively, the buyer cannot become the registered pr...

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We are self managing a block in W2. The building has 7 flats. 4 owners own the freehold at 25% each. Each flat has a different value and pay a different % of service charge. The other 3 flats are only leaseholders (they do not own the freehold). So far we have been managing since 2009 without asking any money to the leaseholders for managing the property, nor for director or secretary fee. Since lately one of the leaseholders wanted to extend his property against the lease we had to stop him legally and we (the freeholders) incurred in high legal costs. We have been asking for ground rent, but that is all. Now we would like to ask for managing costs and we would like to know how it works, what are the expenses we can recover as freeholders.

Whether as a self managing landlord you can recover your management costs will be specified in the lease. Similarly whether you can recover the cost of appointing a professional Managing Agent will also be set out in the lease. Many leases whilst providing for a Ma...

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