Nightmare of only half the Freeholders paying for repairs?

by Readers Question

10:46 AM, 15th July 2016
About 4 years ago

Nightmare of only half the Freeholders paying for repairs?

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Nightmare of only half the Freeholders paying for repairs?

I live in a property in Hove, East Sussex of 6 flats as part of Victorian building.nightmare2

I am very stressed with the problems of the flat and need some external advice on the matter.

Here are some of the facts

5 of the flats are share of freehold , 1 is just a leaseholder.

Due to disagreements over the years we have finally got ourselves a managing agent as we were not able to sort out repairs between us.

We have a person on the top floor who is not paying service charge or anything towards repairs – we have instructed a solicitor in this regard and we are awaiting a court date . the top floor is disputing the quality of the work which we have paid for and refuses to co-operate.

We have another person who has decided not to pay anything nor the service charge towards the repairs.

We have a person who owes service charge from previous years, but is now paying the monthly service fee, but is not paying the additional costs of running the building – it is not enough to keep the building running and recently there was a shortfall in the insurance payments which I ended up paying for!

That leaves 3 of us out of 6 in the block pretty much paying for everything and we are running out of money with the legal costs before we even get to court!

it’s a nightmare

Can anyone help me please
I cannot see an answer to this problem nor a way out!

Many thanks

Susan

 


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Comments

David Price

19:45 PM, 16th July 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nick Pope" at "16/07/2016 - 16:25":

I fell for that one. That was not what the barrister said, she referred to him in two words which were a contradiction in terms (sorry too strong to repeat in public).

Kate Mellor

21:18 PM, 16th July 2016
About 4 years ago

I think it's unusual to deal with someone as patently stupid as poor David had to deal with. I think if I were in your position I would rely on the leasehold terms.

On non-payment of the amount due I would make a 'money claim on-line' for the amount. Once they realise u are serious they usually comply with their contractual obligations. I've only had to do this once for non-payment of ground rent & they never defaulted again. But if they did I would claim again. Non-payment results in a CCJ which will make it difficult if not impossible for them to get a future mortgage.

Sue Wright

16:45 PM, 26th July 2016
About 4 years ago

so now the legal issue progresses and the chap refusing to pay has finally filled in the Directions Questionnaire N181 stating that he wants the case now referred to the Lease Valuation Tribunal

we are waiting to hear from our solicitor....but I would welcome any comments from any other members as to this eemingly time wasting tactic from the insistent non payer? or does he have a valid point?

Sue Wright

17:10 PM, 26th July 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Freer" at "15/07/2016 - 11:42":

It does sound like a very difficult position that you find yourself in. Be confident that you will find a solution, because there is one if you keep looking.

There are members here with much more knowledge and experience than me and so all I can give are thoughts on what I’d do in a similar position.

1) Is lawyer you’ve instructed a specialist in Leasehold property law? The average high street practice would not be suitable for such a case. YES WE HAVE A SOLICITOR WHO IS SPECIALIST IN LEASEHOLD PROPERTY LAW...
2) Have you spoken with the mortgage companies who have a charge on the flats not paying their due amounts? This may end up being corrected but I believe they would be interested as they expect the leaseholder to comply with the terms of the lease and where that isn’t the case, they will pay the amounts owing and add them to the mortgage. THERE IS NO MORTAGE ON THE PROPERTIES OF THE NON PAYERS...
3) Have you visited the site that has lots of advice in this area? http://www.lease-advice.org/ NOT YET BUT WILL DO... MANY THANKS

As above these are simply my thoughts and others will undoubtedly give more specific guidance.

Good luck with whatever direction you take and try to see this as a learning experience rather than a stressful one, as this way of thinking will allow you to think even more clearly. It may be one of your toughest lessons yet but you’ll have knowledge and experience at the end of it that will be of benefit to you and others around you and that will be a wonderful reward for your time, effort and patience.

David Price

18:11 PM, 26th July 2016
About 4 years ago

Sue
Having reread your original question I would point out that you are all leaseholders and still have to pay ground rent albeit to a company which five of you own. Responsibilities are as defined in your leases and it is vital that you (or your solicitor) understand the leases
I regret that both you and top floor tenant will have to face a large legal bill, probably far in excess of the sum under dispute, and the management company will have to devote a great deal of time to preparing the document bundles. You will have to prove your case, that is that the work concerned is needed, reasonable and within the terms of the lease. The leaseholder challenging the quality of the work will have to produce his own evidence, possibly in the form of a surveyors report as he is not qualified to make such allegations (unless he has appropriate formal qualifications).

Be prepared for a five figure bill and be pleasantly surprised if it is only four figures.

If you would like to chat with someone who has been through this many time then please contact me at the disposable address july042012-118@yahoo.co.uk

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