Environmental Repair Notice Received – Good Lawyer Required

by Readers Question

14:50 PM, 6th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Environmental Repair Notice Received – Good Lawyer Required

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Environmental Repair Notice Received – Good Lawyer Required

I have been issued with an Environmental Repair Notice on a block of flats we own the freehold of, in addition to 4 units in the 9 unit block. Don Holmes

The council officer is clearly on a ‘witch hunt’. We have been making progress on the repairs highlighted although outside the stated time scales, caused mainly by funding, but progress nonetheless. Further to this he keeps moving the goal posts and has now insisted on us extending the communal fire alarm system into leaseholders flats and is holding us, the freeholder, responsible although has not stated so in writing. I think that is just part of his intimidating tactic.

Long story but culminating in him now issuing a letter under the Police and Criminal Justice Act, stating we must now attend a meeting under caution! The witch hunt goes on.

Do we have a specialist solicitor dealing in this sort of issue in the network or can anyone recommend such a lawyer?

Thanks

Don Holmes



Comments

Mark Alexander

14:54 PM, 6th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Don

Mark Smith (Barrister-At-Law) offers a free 15 minute telephone consultation for Property118 members. That would be my starting point.

Here's a link to his member profile, which also has a contact form >>> http://www.property118.com/member/?id=1945
.

Mandy Thomson

12:45 PM, 7th February 2016
About 3 years ago

I would try Arden Chambers. They are Housing Law specialists and not only did two of their barristers represent us in our judicial review against Croydon Council, but another of their barristers, Robert Brown, did a course for leaseholder landlords that I attended recently. Robert counts Public Law among his many specialisms.

I found all three barristers to be extremely knowledgeable as well as approachable.

Mandy Thomson

12:47 PM, 7th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Are the flats in the blocks you manage subject to selective landlord licensing?

Don Holmes

17:30 PM, 7th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Mandy
Thank you for your advise I will certainly keep this is mind.

No the flats are not subject to SL. We own 4 of them and the freehold interest in a block of 9, he is just being a 'jobs worth' where because I yanked his chain in the first place is now abusing his authority and using this interview as part of his intimidating tactics, If we read between the lines in a recent email he sent me he says " And the other freeholder will be getting the same letter" by which he means my wife? Just another day in the life of a busy landlord hey?

Don Holmes

17:32 PM, 7th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Thank you Mark
I have sent a message and hope to hear during the week.

Kate Mellor

12:12 PM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Do you have copies of the other five leases Don? Usually this gives clear guidance on who's responsible for what repairs. We are freeholders on a couple of blocks of flats and ours say we need to carry out all repairs and maintenance to the superstructure, exterior and common area and then recharge the costs to the tenants proportionally.
Knowing these details will be useful before going into any meeting.

Kate Mellor

13:06 PM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

In addition to my comment above, the leases may have a covenant requiring the tenants to pay a monthly fee towards the repair & maintenance obligations mentioned in my earlier comment which you perhaps haven't previously enforced & as with ours, you may have the right to demand in writing that the tenants carry out certain necessary work giving them a reasonable notice period to comply. If so, issuing this notice may be sufficient to get the council to give you some breathing space with regard to their deadlines.

Don Holmes

14:36 PM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Kate Mellor" at "08/02/2016 - 13:06":

Thanks again Kate but we are way beyond that.

Kate Mellor

15:00 PM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Don Holmes" at "08/02/2016 - 14:36":

Sorry to hear that...best of luck with it.

Don Holmes

16:15 PM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Thanks.

I have just had my 15 minute telephone chat with a lady called Margret at Cotswold Chambers and in fact in 10 minuets I have explained the issues which she grasped immediately and has advised me exactly how to deal with them, so highly recommended and Thank you to you all for the response and assistance
Kind Regard Don

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