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Can you sue a property management company for negligence uk?
In short yes, however there are quite a few steps to go through initially. Firstly any complaint against a managing agent is best coming from a Residents Association, a Right to Manage Company (RTM) or a Residents Management Company (RMC) as this collective voice wil...Read More
I live in Westminster Borough and the ceiling of my bathroom fell on my tenants and luckly it did not hurt anyone! Haus first ignored my emails for 8 days. Then when I complained they told me to deal direct with the flat above me. They wouldn't send anyone to investigate. Then my ceiling fell down. Now I'm complaining why they ignored my emails on the leak. They are ignoring my complaint. What to do?
Haus have a duty to decide if it is communal or not. Your question suggests they have without inspection or evidence decided they do not intend to get involved.Here are 5 reasons why Haus should NOT be ignoring you1. They hold details of flat above2. They have duty ...Read More
We have 2 blocks on our estate - the leases provide that we collect service charges as a whole not block by block. At a previous AGM it was minuted that each block should have its own reserve towards its own repairs. This has been the convention since, but now this is being objected to by some and we need to understand how sound our decision was.
Sadly, you have fallen foul of the misconception that company resolutions can change leases. This is NEVER the case, so the minutes and intention is not enforceable in law an AGM should consider only the company accounts to be filed with companies house service ch...Read More
We encourage lessees in our large block to leave a spare key at Reception in case we have to enter their flats in an emergency. This is especially important in the case of leaks in the 80+ year old plumbing, or because many of the flats are unoccupied some of the time as they are used as pied a terres. Our question is what might constitute an emergency.
In short we feel the logical answer is Fire or Flood, and in this context flood means MAINS PRESSURE leak and to support this, these are generally the 2 instances that the fire brigade would kick a door down to gain access. For a non mains pressure leak, only if...Read More
Is there a legal basis of a "right to light" that may be blocked by adjacent trees? We are a small development of 22 flats set in what was the copse of the Old Manor House in Bedhampton, Havant. Our grounds are surrounded on two side by trees both in our grounds and outside our boundary which act as a barrier from the road for us and is part of the street scene outside. The majority of the trees in our grounds are subject to Tree Preservation Orders and every couple of years or so we apply to our local authority for planning permission to maintain the trees. A few years ago the area in which we live was designated a Conservation area so now we not only have to apply for planning consent to have tree works on the trees covered by TPO's we also have to apply for any tree work under the Conservation Order. We have four blocks, three of two floors, ground and first, and one block which is in the wooded area of our grounds, has three floors, ground first and second. The leaseholders who live on the top floor of this block have asked for the trees surrounding them to be reduced in height to allow more light into there apartments. Our local authority trees officer is of the view that the trees are healthy and form part of the conservation area/character and street scene and are not in need of reduction. The tree officer maintains the "right to light" is a factor that does not come into the decision making when considering application for reducing trees.
I know of no law that gives a legal right to light (where obstructed by trees) and can't possibly conceive there would be such a law If there were no doubt the councils would all be bankrupt from paying out !! there are rights enabling an owner to cut back parts ...Read More
Do we need to continue to run two companies (the freehold company and the right to manage company? We also have a residents association do we need this also? Can they be merged together? And, do we still need to run 2 AGM's?
Post the Companies Act 2006 need to run an AGM for any company UNLESS the Memorandum & Articles of Association specifically require you to do so companies or 1? The answer is that 1 company has to consume the other and here lies your problem. Your Freehold ...Read More
A lot of the directors' time is wasted in sending reminders to leaseholders who do not pay their service charge on the due date or who pay the wrong amount. To encourage prompt payment we recently informed everyone that in future we would impose an administration charge of Г‚ВЈ30 for late payment. However one leaseholder has said that this is illegal. We would be glad of your opinion on this matter. Although our lease agreement does not state explicitly that we can levy such a charge, it does state that the lessee shall "pay all rates taxes assessments charges impositions and outgoings....assessed or charged.... upon the owner etc (Clause 2 (1) b.
no this is not illegal I refer you to Schedule 11 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 which you can read up on at opsi.gov.uk the home for UK legislation your only consideration is whether 30 is reasonable and I would say from my experience it is.Read More
In our block of 8 flats,we have a proposal to obtain a gas barbeque. Can you advise on the regulations we have to abide by on this, or indicate the appropriate legislation etc.
These matters usually fall to the estate regulations - a typical version of estate regulations are available on request from Ringley. Essentially the usual approach is: 1) only permit organised parties, organised by the FH or Residents Management Company 2) if...Read More
Q1: In broad terms what might the valuation approach be to sell a balcony to a flat and give them the right to enclose it subject to planning permission etc when their current legal status is a right to use the balcony only. Q2: We live in a 5 year old development and have problems with the property developer repairing loose and leaky roofs on these three buildings. Crest sold the freehold to a leaseholder-owned freehold company, but some of these problems predate this changeover. Q3: The management company is supposed to run the development on behalf of the freehold company, and the management company deals with the hiring and firing of the agent. it seems that the freehold company can only step in if the management company are failing to do their job. I do wonder what power the 3 freehold company directors have in forcing an agent change, without having to propose a resolution of all members (which we are far from certain would be successful). Incidentally, there does not appear to be anything in the management company's articles of association requiring management company members to consent to a change of agent - it seems to be simply a board decision. There is however a requirement to consult members only when something will cost more that 250 per flat (ie. exceeds approx 15,000), but I don't think this applies to a change of agent?
ANSWER 1: In broad terms the valuation approach might be Added value to property from the extra floor space (post development) Less build costs = Equals residual land value to be shared between the parties The residual land value of the balcony is released ...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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 ...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
How should we approach the problem of leases, keep carpeted clauses - surely these are out-dated with modern wooden flooring?
Keep carpeted clauses are probably now considered a 'primitive way' of deadening noise arising from "impact sound" particularly in older properties where ceiling/floor insulation schemes are not up to modern standards. Many leases include a "keep carpeted" clause...Read More