Management with history of extraordinary service charges

by Readers Question

14:35 PM, 6th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Management with history of extraordinary service charges

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Management with history of extraordinary service charges

I have two flats in a block of around 120. The block is undergoing a programme of refurbishment – long over due and has a history, unknown to me of taking ‘extraordinary service charge’ and not carrying out the work, a number of years ago residents took the block management (not these) to a tribunal and money was returned for not carrying out the work – the history.divide and conquer

Since I bought in the sinking fund charges have been massive, but this was more or less reflected in the price of the flats and the work to be carried out is/was extensive. We are now in a situation where the central heating and hot water (communal) has been upgraded and totally renewed – including radiators and since then we have had reduced water pressure (not enough to shower) and reduced water heat, also many days there is little or no heat, I reported these issues as I assumed it was just me and was told that it was because I had carried out refurb works and it would be my responsibility to deal with – so long story short I had the pressure increased using the valves outside my flat – I’ve now found that this is a general issue and the management have been keeping us all apart as it were, telling everyone that it is just them and they have to deal with it even though the heating system belongs to the freeholder.

It is getting worse and this weekend little water pressure (I haven’t increased mine, I don’t think I can, it was the heating I increased) and very cool water and heating – it’s supposed to be hot water all day and heating temperature controlled.

We are trying to get ourselves together and fight this but with no response from the management of any use we are just going around in circles – with me they had me call back all my contractors to check the installations when it was simply a pressure issue for the heating.

Anyway a direct route of where we go from here? The Freeholders are kept in the loop – but don’t appear to care – they are currently doing other repair works but we are all very anxious now that the work will be any good as this example has shown us that they have given us a new system that is worse than the old.

Anyone with any expertise in this area? My flats are tenanted by they way – tenants love the area and flats so are putting up – but I don’t know for how much longer.

Elizabeth



Comments

Neil Patterson

14:38 PM, 6th February 2017
About 2 years ago

It may be RTM (Right to Manage) time:

From the Leasehold advisory service >> https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/right-to-manage/#

"The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 provides a right for leaseholders to acquire the landlord’s management functions by transfer to a company set up by them – the Right To Manage (RTM) company. The right was introduced, not just as a means of wresting control from bad landlords, or managing agents, but also to empower leaseholders, who generally hold the majority of value in the property, to take responsibility for the management of their block.

The right to manage is available to leaseholders of flats, not of houses.

The process is relatively simple. The landlord’s consent is not required, nor is any order of court. There is no need for the leaseholders to prove mismanagement by the landlord. The right is available, whether the landlord’s management has been good, bad or indifferent.

The right is exercised by the service of a formal notice on the landlord. After a set period of time, the management transfers to the right to manage company (the RTM company) which has been set up by the leaseholders. Once the right to manage has been acquired, the landlord is also entitled to membership of the company.

However, there are important issues to consider and a substantial amount of work to be done before service of the notice, if the takeover of management is to be successful. This leaflet sets out the issues and the practical operation of the right, from first considerations to full management of the building."

Gary Nock

11:39 AM, 7th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Neil the Leasehold Advisory Service don't tell prospective RTM Companies about the pitfalls and nasty tricks employed by freeholders to keep the management cash cow. Do not try and do it yourself. Use a management company who will do it on the leaseholders behalf for a low or no fee. But check out their track record first. We lost one two years ago due to a change in the interpretation of the law by the Lands Tribunal on RTM. Cost me and another 9 leaseholders £8,000. It can be done and I have done it on over 130 flats across 6 schemes but it has been hard at times.


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