Can’t get building insurance certificate from freeholder?

Can’t get building insurance certificate from freeholder?

9:33 AM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago 11

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Hi, despite my repeated emails to my block managing agent, my freeholder is not providing the block’s building insurance certificate.

I am entitled to a copy by law. But what law? How do I identify the individuals who own the freehold (I have the company name) and their addresses in order to write to them direct?

Block managing agent writes “I assure you it is insured.” I have replied, “I want the certificate as I have the legal right to it.” The last insurance expired Jan 2024.

The freeholders bought the block specifically to add 2 extra storeys of flats on top. They have planning permission and have started some building structure investigations.

I have some ceiling cracks in my top floor flat I want the insurers to look at. The freeholders know about the cracks. Managing agents have advised me not to call in insurers but pay £600 plus vat for their own appointed surveyor.

Refundable if issues are found. Should I say I want to use my own trusted surveyor instead? Neither of these surveyors are likely to go on top of roof to inspect it as would probably need a cherrypicker.


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Comments

Darren Peters

10:15 AM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

"The last insurance expired Jan 2024."

Not a complete answer but write to the previous insurers asking if they have reinsured this year and if so if you can have the certificate.

NewYorkie

12:56 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

The name of the freeholder will be on your ground rent demand from your managing agent. Look up the company on Companies House. Also on Land Registry.

I'm not certain but I believe you could be entitled under the Party Wall etc Act to receive a Party Structure Notice from the freeholder. Under normal circumstances, if you 'dissent' from the Notice, work cannot start until a Party Wall Award is in place. You are entitled to appoint your own surveyor, and the freeholder must pay. Each affected owner with a demised property which could be affected by the works is entitled to the same.

Of course, the law being on the side of money, it's an ass, and the freeholder can refuse to comply with the Act. You must then take out an injunction to stop the work, which could cost many £000s, and take weeks. By which time, work will be well under way.

Judith Wordsworth

13:26 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

The block managing agent may not be the freeholder.

You should have copies of the transfer documents and your lease which will tell you who the Freeholder is. Your lease will also detail rights to insurance policy documents.

If you don't have these, and you should have got them hard copy when you purchased, including a Report on Title, ring the Land Registry give them the postal address of the building and they will give you the Title Number of the building, not your flat. Go on HM Land Registry website (it's a gov.uk ) pay £3 or so and download the Title Register. Not the plan.
If the freeholder is a Ltd Company look them up on Companies House.

You should have a copy of the buildings insurance policy forwarded to you each year. Is your lender a noted party on the policy? They should be as probably a T&C of your mortgage, if you have one.
Have a read of this https://www.moneysupermarket.com/home-insurance/leasehold/#:~:text=Your%20freeholder%20will%20normally%20arrange%20leasehold%20building%20insurance,and%20take%20copies%20of%20the%20buildings%20insurance%20policy

You have a right to object to any development. Did you?

Kizzie

16:26 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

In addition to the previous reply you should request fromLR the TR1 deed transfer of the freehold interest to the residents management co.If each leaseholder holds a £1 paid up voting share in the man co.and you have a share certificate then each leaseholder is one of the joint freeholders and the man co a bare trust owned by the leaseholders who are also the freeholders, that is to say the legal and beneficial owners. Directors are the trustees.
Check with your mortgage lender what documents they hold for your leasehold property.
Your title certificate will also show leaseholder name as the registered proprietor with Absolute guarantee.

NewYorkie

16:38 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Kizzie at 02/04/2024 - 16:26
This is not a share of freehold.

Kizzie

16:51 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Did the original post say whether it was not share of freehold?
The questioner doesn’t know who holds the Freehold interest.
If the man co is incorporated limited liability then the shareholders own the company and these may be the leaseholders who consequently legally and individually own a share of the freehold and have obligations under Memorandum & Articles and companies act separate from their obligations under their own leases.

NewYorkie

19:01 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Kizzie at 02/04/2024 - 16:51
He talks about being a leaseholder, with a managing agent, not a management company, and an unknown freeholder. I'm sure he would know if he was a share of freehold leaseholder.

Property Gal

21:12 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 02/04/2024 - 19:01
First, thanks for all the helpful replies. Just to clarify, it is not a share of freehold and there is no residents management company. The management company is appointed by the freeholders. And yes, we had about 100 objections to the 2 storeys of flats they want to put on our roof presented by objectors on the planning portal but the council officer passed planning permission through the relatively new law on permitted development rights re: building upwards. These decisions no longer go to committee so one council officer gives it the nod. Btw, there is presently a government consultation re: amending this law to which individuals can respond - deadline 9 April. Questionnaire is on gov.uk.

Richard Arko-Adjei

22:50 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Hi,

If a landlord refuses to provide their insurance documents to the tenant when requested, it would be considered a breach of their statutory obligations under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

If you can summarise a list of your communication (dates and points made) and provide photos of the damage, you would have a reasonable basis via the insurance company to have a surveyor inspect the cracks and seek a claim from them directly. One point though is what is the cause and are the cracks significant?

Property Gal

9:38 AM, 3rd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Hi Richard, Thanks for your interesting reply.
I have sent photos/video of the living room ceiling cracks to my longtime surveyor who advised calling in the building insurance surveyor to identify if they are serious or not. Hence the need to identify the buildings insurance to ask them to send in their surveyor. MY block managing agents wish me not to do so. Their preference is for me to fork out £600 plus vat for their surveyor refundable if it is serious.... I don't know the cause as I am no expert. All I know is I have owned the flat for 13 years and never seen this type of crack before.

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