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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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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...

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On decision making - at present the Freehold flats have one vote each in the Freehold company, which may causes a stalemate in the future. However, we don't want the non freeholder director to have the casting vote, as this will give them greater control than the freeholders. So the question is: Can we appoint a non freeholder as an additional director, but limit their vote to only maintenance issues and not issue affecting the interest of the freehold.

YES, you can and you can call up on that person when you need to. Qualified Chartered surveyors such as myself can act as a 'professional Director' the cost is 100 per annum

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We would like any changes to leases to done at market value, but with a get out that its done at the Freeholder's discretion. We could then allow changes to Freeholder's leases for a nominal 1 upon agreement by both freeholders. Is this possible?

In short YES this would be achieved via passing resolutions which then need to be held in the company minute books

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The Agent is demanding 5,000 of me in July for a new roof, I have had no say over this what so ever, is this a correct way of dealing with things, can I then pay this in installments.

You do have a say, any demand over 250 for any 1 service charge payer must be subject to statutory section 20 consultation (up to 3 notices of 30 days each) the notices are 'statutory consultation' and you have 30 days to make observations, all such observations MUST...

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My balcony wall has crumbled away and part fallen down, its been 3 months now and they haven done anything about it, is this something I can claim of my Buildings insurance for ? not likely, sounds like due to disrepair.

In theory you should be threatening the management company with action for breach of covenant and getting them to make the repairs. Best to check your lease 1st to see if it is the freeholder's or management companies responsibility to do the repairs, or whether you...

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My garage roof and sidewall have now big gaps in it, everything is ruined in my garage, this could have been caused by the erection of a new Morrison Building next door, have asked the Management Company and they have said its not down to them and no.

Depending on how close to you the morrisons building was you might have been supposed to be protected by the party wall act procedures. I'd start by sending photos and threat to Morrisons. Yes you could get the buildings insurance involved, but probably to be cover...

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We achieved our RTM 1st and run the block through a RTM company, we have since bought the Freehold and have a Freehold company as well and would like to simplify things. The problem being, 1 leaseholder is a member of the RTM company only and a Director

There is little point having 2 companies on a small site such as this as the accountancy costs of preparing service charge accounts for the RTM company and 2 sets of dormant company accounts for both the RTM and Freehold Company is dis-proportionate to the benefits. ...

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