Local Authority sits by as freehold co. breaks law and LTA?

by Readers Question

9:27 AM, 29th August 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Local Authority sits by as freehold co. breaks law and LTA?

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Local Authority sits by as freehold co. breaks law and LTA?

One of my rentals is a leasehold flat, there are 18 in the building, which is run by its Co-owners, as a shared Freehold. But one of the Directors and owner of 4 flats is a self elected dictator and megalomaniac, having been on the management as a director for 20 years.

He and I don’t get on and we have had our difference over the running and maintenance of the building in recent years. This culminated in legal action 3 years ago, which I won. This cost the Co owners a fair bit of money, also the Management Co had to reimburse myself for £2k. Needless to say the already sour relations did not improve.

Now Mr A has turned the other directors and leaseholders against me, some new to the property in the past 12 months. He and another director Mr B have made public in email circulars and brought up at AGM which were logged in the minutes, false and inaccurate statements and down right lies about myself.

Using myself as the excuse why there had been no maintenance carried out on the property whilst I was conducting legal actions against the Ltd Co.

Most alarmingly of all is for the past two years or more the Freehold Co have ignored and refused my written requests for service charge disbursement and expenditure, Company audited accounts and the buildings and D & O Insurance policies and schedule of cover documents.

I have conducted my requests correctly and in accordance using templates available on LEASE website. I sent these by email and Recorded Delivery, but never have I been provided with any of the relevant documentation.

Six months ago I made a formal complaint first to the town council, then later when nothing happened I contacted my District Council, when nothing happened again, I emailed my local MP.
Eventually about 3 months ago the District Council wrote to the directors of the Freehold Co. They ignored these official local government requests.

I have tried desperately to explain to the Legal Dept at the Private Housing Sector that this is a clear breach of legislative law in both Landlord and Tenants Act 1984 and the Commonhold and Freehold Act.
The solicitor acting for my Council says its optional whether the local authority wishes to act in seeking a prosecution. He believes it is not in the intrest, benefit or protection of the Public for his Council to enforce this law.

So do you have any advice for me please, well apart from withholding my service charge contributions at £80 per month

Many thanks,
Danny



Comments

BB

14:07 PM, 29th August 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Hi Danny it might be worth speaking to your fellow co owners face to face see if they're not as disgruntled as you. Also seeing as how the Freehold/Management Co. are incompetent or inept as it seems, its worth checking out a few other areas to see if they meet Govt requirements & legislation before you stop paying your S/C and beach any covenants in your lease. Such as AGM, Accountants, reg offices invoices etc.
To be honest its a fairly common occurrence whereby a block has a little Hitler as director of the MC following a long period. Good luck.

Michael Barnes

12:30 PM, 5th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

You say "self-elected".
How did that come about?

What are the voting rules for owners of several flats?
Often it is one vote per person, not one vote per property.

Puzzler

18:51 PM, 5th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 05/09/2018 - 12:30
It's usually one per person on a show of hands but per share if a poll is called (which this person would)

These are matters you could present at the AGM

Danny 10

7:22 AM, 6th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Sorry I was being sarcastic, Mr A was elected at one point obviously, I apologize. I believe this was at the formation of the Freehold Co. but he no longer plays any day to day role and lives some 200 miles away in Cheshire. All by the by.
So could either of you 2 gents offer me advice? As that was the purpose of my post/question.

Michael Barnes

11:19 AM, 6th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Danny 10 at 06/09/2018 - 07:22
I realise he was elected; I was trying to find out how that election may have occurred, i.e. did his multiple leaseholds give him an 'unfair' advantage?
I can offer the following suggestions:
1. try to talk to other leaseholders one-to-one, to see if there is possibility of removing Mr A at AGM or EGM.
2. Seek advice from a solicitor as to what you might be able to do, likely cost, and likelihood of success.
You should get an initial consultation for free, so you could talk to several to get different perspectives; don't forget to ask about their experience and results in this area.

Danny 10

13:47 PM, 6th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Thanks Michael for the reply, just to clear matters Mr A was appointed a director prior to my purchase 6 years ago.
All that you have suggested I have done, most flats are rentals not owner occupied. I did speak to a couple of owners, they too have not be furnished with any of the items I requested, or the correct SC statements, invoices as too GR.
I spoken to 3 law firms all wanted fees upfront, non made financial sense to me. These varied from several £000s to £2,000. For what? I m not seeking renumeration or compensation. Hence I contacted Lease Advisory who told me the correct path to follow with my requests. Now it ends with my council's Legal Services dept informing me that whilst my Freehold Co is in breach of the law, they feel it's of little or no concern or warrants any action.
A little bit of dual standards there, as the same council have mooted at Landlord Registration or Licencing.

Danny 10

8:22 AM, 7th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by BB at 29/08/2018 - 14:07
I already done what you suggested a few weeks back Brian, but thanks, sound advice and its paid some dividends. The last few days I ve had some emails in reply. Looks like they are amateurs, loads of areas where they fail to meet legal requirement. So I am happy with my choice of action. Can't say too much, wink wink.

Puzzler

19:03 PM, 9th September 2018
About A week ago

How is he running the company if he is 200 miles away? and where approximately is the property? if you'd like to email me with details on rannd@hotmail.co.uk, I have had some experience of similar with a flat of mine.
When was the last AGM?

The local authority is not obliged to act and is the only party that can, which is absurd. I believe you can prosecute privately but very expensive.

Danny 10

8:56 AM, 10th September 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 09/09/2018 - 19:03
Many thanks Puzzler, yes that's my thoughts too. Mr A lives in Northwich and the property is in Dorset. There was an AGM last year the first one as long as I've been an owner, 2011. It was a bit informal and disorganised, the minutes that were recorded did not state the one previous. But I was told possibly in 2007?!? I was unable to attend being overseas on work.<br /Its just so absurd and chaotic you could not make a more ridiculous story if you tried. Its almost laughable, if I did nt have money invested.
A few years ago hoping to try to establish wtf was going on, I had to write to Companies House, as I was provide with incorrect names and address for the Directors. Those on all the invoices, statements etc were out of date, so too on the Companies House register. I wrote to all 3 Directors, one of them Mr B was shocked to discover he was a director and had been for 3 years. Never attending meetings, conducting discussions, signing forms or annual accounts. Nothing!!
He was as disgruntled about the state of the building and the knotweed infestation as I was. He said: ''I VE BEEN COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS FOR A WHILE BUT NOTHING'S BEEN DONE". Just madness!!
Well the knotweed has since spread as the PM did nt employ a professional company to treat it for the first 2 years.
So from here on in, there's no £80 p/m SC fees from me, until it gets sorted. Reasonable grounds too I say.

Puzzler

18:19 PM, 10th September 2018
About A week ago

Technically I'm surprised the company has not been struck off which would really give you a headache. Are you local now to the property? You should arrange a meeting and tidy up these loose ends, something I did for my flat so if you wish I can send some details. My email is rannd@hotmail.co.uk, I can help with the company if you send me its name but not the knotweed (which you didn't mention before) - a company can't legally appoint a director without their knowledge!

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