Council charging for new roof – can they?

by Readers Question

10:35 AM, 13th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Council charging for new roof – can they?

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Council charging for new roof – can they?

Any advise would be greatly received as we have a problem with a new roof being put on a council block where we lease a flat.

The block is 1950’s build, we have had the flat 7 years and have always paid our service charge bill by return. We were advised in Autumn 2013 that the flat would need a new roof. There are four blocks. It was advised that the cost would be approx £3-5k per flat. Council charging for new roof - can they?

We know our obligations as leaseholders but there are a few points I’m not happy with:

  1. When I contact the council to ask about the details, I asked about what comments the structural engineers report had made regarding why the council thought a new roof was needed, I was told that one hadn’t been done and that there had been a few repairs on the roof recently so someone had decided a new roof was needed.
  2. We have never been advised of the outcome of the companies that tendered for the contract, for all we know the mayors son could have got the work. Should we have received a letter giving these details?
  3. The council in the wisdom have started the work and we now have a flat with no roof (we own the top floor one) in this weather. What happens if we get heavy snow or this awful wet weather continues, I don’t think our tenants are happy about being roofless in January and it’s getting cold!

We have no problem in paying the charges but have things been done correctly by the council? This is what I would appreciate advise on.

Many thanks

Elaine



Comments

All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

10:46 AM, 13th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Councils have a statutory consultation process to go through in order to put out to tender larger capital repairs which they will then charge to their leaseholders. If they do not do this consultation, then the most you can be charged is £250 !! i would get researching this like mad, but, if you find what i say to be true, then i would stay quiet until they send you a bill, then quote the relevant regulations at them.

Shakeel Ahmad

11:12 AM, 13th January 2014
About 7 years ago

A typical issue when buying from a Council, due to the size & the yields the Council properties offers. They are very popular with the BTL landlords.

I should take the above advise and do agree with you that the nepotism, kick backs could be in play

Recently a Council was caught out where they had over paid a contractor. The Councils's defence was we over paid to the contractor & later the contractor will refund the over payment. QUE !!!!!!!!!! Guess what no action was taken against the Council. They are incompetent & corrupt to the core.

Mike W

12:55 PM, 13th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Elaine,
Read the lease carefully.
Contact the Leasehold Advisory Service - government run and free legal advice.
Then contact a good leasehold lawyer and an intial free consultation.

I think the Council are wrong but by knowing your rights you will be in a strong position.

Elaine Hassall

13:04 PM, 13th January 2014
About 7 years ago

hi thanks for the replies, it was interesting, Sunday morning there was a discussion on a 5 Live radio programme regarding the same problem as ours, councils charging for works, one poor old lady got a bill for 50k from Newham council. I was more concerned that large works could be carried out without proper reports being issued. I'm on to it know checking my lease and on to the LAS just wanted to get some views on it - thanks again


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