9:58 AM, 21st August 2020, About 2 years ago 11
I wonder if I could possibly get some advice, I own a leasehold flat that is part of a block of 155 luxury flats that has a swimming pool at the top as well as a gym, sauna, Jacuzzi and concierge on the entrance.
My purchases the property back in 2003, this was one of the most luxuries flats in Harrow to live.
The block was managed extremely poorly whereby the underground car park, communal area, external building etc., needed major attention due to negligence and a lack of maintenance, the swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna has been closed and off limits for over 9 years, and it’s was hit-and-miss if the lifts were working, enough was enough, in the end and the Leaseholders got together and applied for RTM which took over 4 years as the freeholder constantly appealed, they didn’t want to relinquish this, as they had some affiliation with the management company at the time.
Over the years about 11 of the Leaseholders decided not to pay the service charge which I completely understand their point of view, i.e. wasn’t getting the service back in return,
Problem that we have now, the management company appointed by the RTM board of directors are still trying to fight arrears on a few leaseholders which is caused a problem for myself as and others, the property is still in need of major repairs even 3 years after RTM took over due to the arrears. Still there’s not enough money to complete the work that’s required and on top of this, the reserve fund has gone up as well as the building insurance,
It was an absolute nightmare to try and find an insurance company that would take on the building due to the condition, eventually they found a company but they insisted on a £100,000 excess, last year there was a fire that damage 4 flats, so a claimed was necessary causing further expenses to the Leaseholders
I’ve been told by the management company they can only go so far with the non-payers of services charges legally and it’s up to the freeholder to take the final legally steps which they aren’t interested in, as there’s no financial gain for them
I’ve sent numerous emails to the RTM board expressing my concerns as the building is in such a derelict and unsafe state, as something must be done with an action plan taken, but this is just falls on deaf ears as no one responds back
I’ve also spoke to the management company and said I’m extremely disappointed with the condition of the building and deterioration which has also lead to the value dropping significantly compared to properties across the same road by up to £100,000
I am paying the service charge, but we don’t have a working swimming pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi etc., the buildings is in such a derelict state I said if this cannot be controlled and the building brought up to the standards and safety needed, I will find myself in awkward position, I may have to move out of the property as it’s unfit to live in and therefore why should I pay a service charge with an increased reserve fund for something I’m not getting, as I said before RTM took over this 3 years ago and unfortunately the building is still in such a bad state
I’ve explained this to the management company, they understood all my concerns, I even said I’m willing to pay a percentage of the service cost, which they said they couldn’t do, I understand their predicament, they’re short of money due to the Leaseholders that refused to pay the service charge, besides I didn’t want to add to their problems, but if I’m not getting the service that I’m paying for and I might have to move out as well as the property is devalued, consequently can’t sell. What do I do?
1) How can you force the freeholder to take action against the non-payers so the build can be put back to its normal state and be a pleasure to live in once again?
2) Should I pay service charged knowing that I’m not receiving a quality service back?
3) Is it reasonable to request a percentage of the service charge off, as I’m not getting full service in return?
4) What are my options and what would you do in my position
Thank you all in advance
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