Flat owner in service charge arrears and breach of lease?Make Text Bigger
This is an unusual one. I’m the MD of a Right To Manage company who look after the management, maintenance and service charges for a block of 10 flats of which I own one.
One of the landlords has now failed to pay the service charge for the last year now totalling arrears of £400. This has now got to the level where it starts to make sense to issue county court proceedings against her.
Another more serious and complicated matter, however, is that her tenant and his relatives/friends who visit his flat engage in anti-social behaviour – this includes but is not limited to smoking cannabis in the hallway, knocking on other residents doors asking for money (presumably to buy drugs), dumping furniture in the hallway and outside, making noise and being intimidating to the other residents. This behaviour is in breach of the lease therefore in theory the landlord should be culpable.
The issues I have so far are:
1) I’ve been unsuccessful in attempting to contact the landlord over the last few months either by E-Mail or phone. Writing by letter is now the last resort.
2) The other director of the RTM company contacted the freeholder’s representatives who indicated that whilst they agreed that the tenant’s behaviour constitutes a breach of the lease, it is the RTM company’s responsibility to instigate further action.
The service charge arrears I could probably deal with directly by way of a notice of intent to progress with county court proceedings. Dealing with her tenant’s behaviour is, however, another matter – I need to address it because it is upsetting the other residents and denigrating the appeal of the block where the other 9 residents are wonderful – clearly this could lead to decent tenants moving out.
I wondered if anyone has experience of a good legal company proficient in dealing with these sorts of cases. For convenience, I’d prefer to instruct such a firm to deal with both issues simultaneously however without paying an extortionate amount!
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