Hazard Awareness Notice?

Hazard Awareness Notice?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

14:33 PM, 13th December 2021, About 3 years ago 4

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Due to excess heat in some flats in a block (where I have a couple of units) some tenants contacted the local council who appeared and are now proposing to issue a Hazard Awareness notice (cat 1) on the Freeholders. We are in the process of a RTM (successful) but do not take over until March.

A couple of questions if anyone has been through this:

Will this apply to all flats in the block? Not all have the same level of heat/problem and I imagine that the Freeholder will be told to put this right.

Will this be through the service charge or at their cost? It is a new build (new badly build but not the same Freeholder).

Does it make any difference if we have our RTM or not? We are retaining the current management who has been working with us on many issues on this block. It’s an absolute disaster of a block with so many build issues and beats me how developers can get away with these things, but it appears that they do.

Harlequin Garden

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Mike in Worthing

11:22 AM, 14th December 2021, About 3 years ago

You need to establish several things:
1. What is causing the excess heat?
2. Is the present freeholder liable?
3. What does the lease say?
If the answer to 2 is yes you can make a claim against the freeholder. If it doesn't pay you can get a charge on the freehold title (+ ultimately a power of sale even)
The freeholder cannot quickly flip to another company without giving you the right of first refusal.
As you're heading for an RTM, why not go all the way to compulsory acquisition of the freehold?
A word of warning. DIY management is only as good as the lessees themselves. Have the wrong ones (remember good lessees can sell their flat at any time) and the situation can be worse.
As always I am not a lawyer


12:12 PM, 14th December 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike in Worthing at 14/12/2021 - 11:22
Thanks, excess heat is poorly fitted extracts, no insulation on the pipes, issues with the heating valves and user error with tenants not putting on the poorly working extracts - also vents blocked.
I've no idea if the Freeholder is liable, this is something I am hoping but no way of telling, most if not everything seems to come down to the leaseholders to pay for. The buck always seems to stop with the leaseholder when it comes to paying for anything - but if this did not comply with building control yet signed off surely there must be liability - but common sense is not always the case with property I've found.
Haven't looked at the lease for this - this is not the first freeholder, it was sold within months of the building being finished and many of the leaseholders are overseas investors it took months to drag up the 50% needed for the RTM. Central London and many leaseholders investors so not up for spending a lot of money on a freehold.
We have a few strong members of the RTM - one very strong - a bit too strong.

Michael Barnes

22:00 PM, 17th December 2021, About 3 years ago

Does NHBC not cover this?


23:57 PM, 18th December 2021, About 3 years ago

It may. The management company is looking into it but each unit has a £1000 excess we are getting quotes of around £800 to redo the air handling per unit assuming all need doing but all will have to be checked.

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