Replacement Double Glazing – who should pay and when?

by Readers Question

8:30 AM, 7th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Replacement Double Glazing – who should pay and when?

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Replacement Double Glazing – who should pay and when?

When I bought my leasehold flat the two wood-framed window & door were in very poor repair. So much so that the managing agent contacted me to say that the decorating contractor found that the sills are rotten and the bottom edge of the windows is beyond repair. According to the lease the landlord should be “renewing or replacing” what is not “in a good and tenantable state of repair”. The Directors of the Management Company have accepted responsibility for maintaining the windows and doors although many leaseholders have replaced their own windows and doors over the years.

There are insufficient funds in the Sinking Fund so I have offered an interest free loan to the Management Company for one year so that they have an opportunity to put replacement windows into the budget and collect the money for the necessary works.

I have been in correspondence with the Managing Agent for almost three years about this matter and things have come to a head because the present tenant is leaving at the end of December and I’d like to have the matter resolved by then.

Since the Directors accept responsibility for the costs of replacement windows it is now just a question of how long I have to wait for them to do the work.

What is other people’s experience and advice?

April



Comments

Gary Bray

9:24 AM, 7th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi April,

I've never heard of management companies replacing windows in people's flats. You first paragraph states 'the Management Company have accepted responsibility for maintaining the windows and doors' but later on you state 'the Directors accept responsibility for the costs of replacement windows'.

I suspect the former to be true and that you will probably end up doing what the many other leaseholders have done and getting them replaced yourself.

Regards,
Gary.

Paul W

9:46 AM, 7th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Whether or not you are responsible for your windows will depend on your lease. It can vary from one block to another. This is the determining factor regardless of what the man co say. I have seen leases where the leaseholder is responsible for the window frames but the landlord (man. co.) is responsible for decorating the outside surface. Also seen leases where the leaseholder is responsible for the glass only.
If the man. co. is responsible, you can report the matter to The First Tier Tribunal if all else fails.

Steven Way

9:54 AM, 7th December 2016
About 2 years ago

It will very much depend on what the lease says. Windows are often an area where things are not clear, sometimes the freeholder only has to repair the outside and decorate sometimes all of the windows, sometimes just the glass... A bigger concern is why there is no money in a sinking fund and why there may not have been any service charges for works collected for the FHs other probable obligations to repair maintain and decorate. You could force the issue through a tribunal but this will involve costs and, of course fit the windows are the FH responsibilty the cost will come back as a service charge anyway. Very often the most pragmatic way is to replace the windows yourself, BUT, if you are replacing timber with UPVC you should check with the FH whether you need to match a certain style or need FH consent to alter.

terry sullivan

11:04 AM, 7th December 2016
About 2 years ago

RTM?

when i approached agent/freeholder as i was suggesting they replace windows in whole development--grants may be available in some areas--it was peverel as was--they wanted a fee to let me do it! i declined and did it myself.

it is often the freeholder that is the controller--freeholder and agent may be the same, as in my case

ps---what are implied obligations of lessees? ie if lease does not specifically refer to obligations. is there an easy to read authoritative guide?--i am a freeholder of 12 flats--in one of these flats--the property is 60 years old--the wooden framed windows are in a terrible state but lessees do not communicate--they have not paid ground rent for years and now owe me 9 years--i purchased 2-3 years ago and previous freeholder had not collected for years prior. any advice appreciated--thanx

BP Surrey

12:38 PM, 7th December 2016
About 2 years ago

I am the secretary of two RTM companies and I own one or two freeholds myself. It is my experience that in most leases the freeholder is responsible for maintaining the windows and it is rare for the leaseholder to be responsible. You quoted what it states in the lease and it is clear the freeholder is responsible. You have made them a generous offer of a loan to dig them out of a hole when in reality you did not need to. It is their responsibility to do the work and to provide the funds to pay for it either by way of the sinking funds or their own resources. I suspect you have a good legal argument here and you could seek a County Court judgement against the freeholders instructing them to do the work and pay for it. However that would be your final option I guess and you should continue to try and convince them to do the work before you take that route.

Puzzler

18:16 PM, 7th December 2016
About 2 years ago

It really doesn't matter, you pay either through service charge or direct. I have a flat where exactly this happened and everyone just replaced their own. There was one who held out to have the wooden frames repainted for a while but in the end he did his as well. The lease will only be for repairing them as they are and it sounds like they're beyond repair and you may not be able to do so under modern building regs. If a precedent has been set, bite the bullet and do it yourself but make sure you do consult them as they may have to match the others.

BP Surrey

18:45 PM, 7th December 2016
About 2 years ago

My understanding is, should a leaseholder replace his own windows and at a later date the freeholder decides to replace all the windows in the block, then that leaseholder would still be responsible for paying his percentage contribution towards the cost as detailed in the lease. The only way you can amend the conditions of a lease and to ensure you are protected from paying twice is by way of a Deed of Variation to the existing lease which your solicitor should place on the register at the Land Registry.

Dolores Beck

11:52 AM, 7th November 2017
About 12 months ago

We replace our windows on our own. There are times where the lease will be given for repairing. With time we need to upgrade the windows to the new ones, like palm beach windows and doors, http://stormguardwindowanddoor.com/ they provide with professionals, who guide you with the window design and the financing related to it.

terry sullivan

12:52 PM, 7th November 2017
About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 07/12/2016 - 11:04
peverel are/ere terrible--get rid if you can

April

16:55 PM, 13th November 2017
About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by BP Surrey at 07/12/2016 - 12:38
Thank you. In the end I paid for this myself because I couldn't wait to get the window fixed before I let out the flat again. But I appreciate your time and confirmation that I was right in what I thought.


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