Tag Archives: management company

My garage roof has collapsed onto my tenants car Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I had a call on Saturday from my tenant to say the garage roof had fell in and covered his car in rubble.

I don’t know how this has happened and have never been advised by the tenant that there was any problems with the roof prior to this.

It appears that a couple of the other garages in the block have had similar issues.My garage roof has collapsed onto my tenants car

Ive spoken to the management company who have said that the garages aren’t part of their block insurance, so I’ll have to get the roof fixed myself.

This seems fair … however the tenant has asked who foots the bill for his car which has been damaged???

I’ve never had this issue before and wondered if any readers could help?

Many thanks

Julie


Rip Off service charges on leasehold flats Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I own 2 leasehold flats in a block of 9, there is also a separate block of 9 housing association flats, and 11 houses (houses only contribute a small figure to the service charge)

My problem is that the yearly service charge is now just under £2,000 pa not including ground rent. I have flats else where and I’m paying approx £1,000 pa service charge on average so I’m getting increasingly frustrated by this £2,000 service charge. When I question the management company they just fob me off with excuses like oh the landscaping budget has gone up or the insurance has gone up blah blah blah!!!! I have had several rows with the management company about the quality of there works so the fact that I also think I’m being ripped off is very frustrating. Getting rid of them would be ideal but I do not have the knowledge, time or patience to contact and then get together with the other residents and form a RTM etc… Is there something a bit easier and quicker I can do to get this management company in check, I’ve heard about Leasehold valuation tribunals but is that the correct route for this problem and can anyone tell me how it works? Rip Off service charges on leasehold flats

Or is there a quick way of just just simply sacking them and getting another management company in, I always thought the management company was employed by the freeholder so would that be a job of the freeholder?

Thanks in advance

Rob.


Leaseholder or Freeholder who is responsible? Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

We purchased an off-plan flat in London from a well known developer about 6-7 years ago. A couple of months ago we received notice from the managing agent that the roof had been leaking badly and has caused substantial damage to some of the flats and needs replacing, thereby giving us notice of intention to carry out major work. They said they are trying to recover the costs from NHBC as the building is under 10 years old. Now we have received a demand for £2,200 to be paid by October. The total cost is nearly £152,000 divided between 74 flats. Leaseholder or Freeholder who is responsible?

We called the managing agent to get more details. Apparently, NHBC doesn’t cover the roof and the insurance doesn’t cover the roof either. It covers the damage caused to the flat but not the cost of replacing the roof.

The freeholders have approached the “First-Tier Tribunal Property Chamber”. They have, in view of the urgency, dispensed with the consultation period. The work is starting and we are expected to pay.

I would like to know if it is possible for both, NHBC and the insurers to deny liability and avoid paying?

Is it normal for an insurance cover on a big block not to cover the roof?

What good is the insurance policy that doesn’t cover the roof?

A hefty proportion of the service charge is for building insurance cover, taken out by the freeholder.

In cases like this when the policy doesn’t cover the roof replacement, is it the freeholder’s problem or the leaseholders?

Do the leaseholders have a legal remedy?

I asked the managing agent for contact details of other leaseholders to form a consultation forum. As expected, they hide behind Data Protection Act.

What is the best way of forming a Residents Action Group (or Leaseholders’ Action Group, since most flats are let and residents are tenants)?

More generally, can the residents choose the management company and the insurance cover or they have to accept what the freeholder chooses?

What do leaseholders need to do to get collectively the freehold of the block they live in.

I and no doubt many other readers would be grateful for any insights, suggestions or answers to any of these questions.

Many thanks

Sina


Overhanging Tree Problem Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I have recently taken over management of the freehold and common areas and structure of a development of six flats. I am the sole director of the management company.Overhanging Tree Problem

Overhanging the land there are very substantial branches. If one broke, then it could seriously damage one of the flats. I am aware of the right to cut off branches and then the obligation to put them on the other owners side of the fence.

However, these are so large they will need employment of a specialist tree pruner, at substantial expense. I have given the adjoining owner the chance to cut the trees back. If he doesn’t what does anybody think I can do to make him liable for doing the work or paying for it?

A retaining wall is starting to crack near an encroaching tree. As I understand it, if damage is caused by his tree roots he will be liable. How has anyone else dealt with such a problem?

Thanks

Edwin Cowper


Are tenants entitled to attend Management Company meetings? Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I am a Director of the management company of a development of fourteen flats. There are three other directors who are owner occupiers, I own a buy to let flat. Are tenants entitled to attend Management Company meetings?

There are only four flats on the development which are rented out. An investor has bought one of the rented flats and we have found out that on top of the rent he is charging the tenant the service charge.

Does this entitle the tenant to come to our management meetings which until now have only consisted of owners?

The feeling is that a tenant will not have an interest in the development as a whole or in establishing a sinking fund which is what we are trying to do at the moment.

Any thoughts people have would be helpful.

Many thanks

Sheila


Kicking the apartment management company into touch Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I own an apartment in Birmingham and for the last two years I have received a bill on top of the normal management fees. Kicking the apartment management company into touch

Each year the management company claims it has had unexpected costs which they have needed to meet and which they can charge the leaseholders for.

Is this right and what can be done?

I know if 50% of us freeholders agree we can kick them into touch and form our own management company but how do I start the process and how do I found out who the other freeholders are.

Please help

Sheila Ralph


Problem with freehold management company Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

We’ve got a problem with the Freeholder re Ground Rent and Service charge on a rental property we have in Docklands. Any advice much appreciated! Problem with freehold management company

They allegedly sent an invoice a few months ago. We didn’t receive this, but did receive a letter from a debt collection agency, together with Interest Charges and other fees. There was no Bank Account to pay the money to and no pick-up on the phone number provided, upon numerous attempts.

We then received a second letter from the debt collection agency advising of yet more fees and that they have advised our Mortgage Lender of non-payment of Ground Rent / Service charge.

We have now called the Freeholder who refuses to speak with us or confirm any contact details.

We have an email address for a contact at the debt collection agency, but have had no response from that either.

I’m trying to work out whether any of the charges are reasonable and what recourse we might have. We think the original Invoice from the Freeholder must have been sent to the Rental Property, but as the Debt Collection agency have our home address, they would surely have got this from the Freeholder?

It feels like the Freeholder and Debt Collection agency are working quite closely to ensure as many fees are racked up as possible.

All advice much appreciated.

I have also posted this on Facebook.

Many thanks

James Chapman


Deposit query, delay with obtaining quotes for repair Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I have 3 tenants who recently vacated a property. During their rental I only dealt with one of the tenants and we went through the check out procedure thoroughly so that he understood what was expected. On the day of the checkout the property was very unclean and the inventory clerk explained to the tenant that cleaning would have to be done. The clerk was also concerned to note that handles had been broken off the windows. The tenant explained they had not been able to open them, yet had never mentioned this to us. We have since had a repair man in who has told us that the windows have ceased up inside completely and he will have to drill through each window in order to release it, patch it up etc. It will be quite a big job. They have ceased up due to rust. We noticed when they were checked out that the boiler was off, that they used cold water only and we suspect that they did not use the heating (fans were all turned off too). Presumably the resulting condensation (no ventilation as windows were closed!) has rusted the mechanics of the windows. Once the tenants vacated and we were able to pull furniture away from walls, we can see black mould developing there, evidence of lack of ventilation and condensation. Deposit query, delay with obtaining quotes for repair

They vacated early July but the first appointment we could get for the window repair man was 26th July. Now that he has seen the extent of the problem, it may take some time before we know on costs, particularly as windows are included in our service charges, therefore the costs of these may be applied to the service charge and we would then only need to pass on to the tenant the cost of our portion of this charge. That cost though would not be known for over a year, though with a bit of digging around we might be able to know what the charge is in 3 months or so.

We have written to the lead tenant letting him know that we are doing all we can to find out costs for the windows, but meanwhile we await his final bills. We still await those final bills from him, 3 weeks after he has moved out. He also lives just around the corner from the flat and knows my husband is there presently doing some internal work, so could pop round at any time.

My question is- what do I do regarding his deposit. There are other deductions which we will have to make, but they are more straightforward. I would like to return as much of his deposit as possible, but the windows may only cost £100 or it may be £1000 – it really depends on how the management company deal with it. We want to be fair, but on the other hand don’t want to leave ourselves with a bill. At the very minimum all broken handles will need to be fixed. These are clearly shown on the inventory as being OK at the beginning of the tenancy.

I have dug around trying to find out rough costs for these, but have drawn a blank.

Any thoughts?

My question mainly goes out to other hands on landlords who have to deal with this regularly and who have not been able to return the deposit as quickly as 10 days.

I would appreciate your responses, thanks very much.

Yvette


Rent to Rent Success Stories Advice, Landlord News, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property Market News, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

There have been some real horror stories of Rent to Rent hitting the press of late and that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it raises awareness of the strategy.

However, what I’m looking for now are some success stories from property owners, investors and tenants.

I know for sure that the “Guaranteed Rent” business model, badged “Rent to Rent”, “rent2rent” or “r2r” for short over recent years has been operated for decades by some major operators.

Some examples which immediately spring to mind are Northwoods Letting agents which operate a Guaranteed Rent model on an agency basis.

Housing Associations and councils also offer fully repairing leases to property owners and then sublet the properties and that also fits within the rent 2 rent business model. Generally these schemes are utilised to increase the availability of housing stock required to accommodate vulnerable tenants.

Group 4 security are another major player in the sector. They typically offer landlords 5 year FRI leases with permission to sublet too. G4 then utilise properties they are leasing for rehabilitation purposes.

For some property owners I can see the attraction, although it’s not a business model which appeals to me personally.

The allure of guaranteed rent, albeit below the market rental value, sometimes significantly, has to be one of the main features of attraction. For property owners who don’t see themselves as landlords, the ability to offload everything related to regulation must also be attractive.

My research has uncovered two business models to date. The first is the commercial lease model. This is where the investor leases a property from the owner and takes on the responsibility for all compliance as well as returning the property to the owner after an agreed period in the same state of repair. The contract terms for these arrangements tend to be for 5 years or less. This is so that notice can be served to enable the property owner to contract out of the provision of the Landlord and Tenant Act so that the owner does not become obliged to extend the lease. The responsibilities relating to being a landlord are transferred from the property owner (the lessor) to the investor (the lessee) in much the same way as when a leasehold flat is purchased. For example, if the property is sublet without a Gas Safety Certificate and subsequently explodes in the middle of the night killing all occupants, it would be the lessee who would be responsible, not the freeholder/owner/lessor of the property.

The second business model is a management contract which is the model used more traditionally by letting agents offering Guaranteed Rent. In this instance the landlord remains ultimately responsible for the laws governing landlords but could sue his agents for negligence if necessary. This arrangements, is therefore, inherently more risky for nproperty owners. They should do their due diligence such as checking contracts to be clear on who is responsible for what and to ensure that the investor/management company they are working with are adequately insured for professional negligence under their professional indemnity insurance policy.

Clearly there is huge demand for rent to rent, otherwise we would never have seen the likes of Northwoods having built such a successful business on the back of it, neither would we have councils, FTSE 250 companies and Housing associations offering varying for of rent to rent deals.

As for the privateers, well there will always be good and bad ones and without any form of regulation it really is a case of caveat emptor.

So, to end I have two requests:-

1) Please share any rent to rent success stories you are aware of

2) Please share the questions you would ask as part of your “due diligence” if you were considering rent 2 rent, either as a property owner, investor/manager or a tenant.

If you want to share cautionary tales regarding rent 2 rent please see THIS THREAD as any comments which are not relevant to this particular thread will be deleted. 

Details of how to get hold of professionally drafted Rent to Rent contacts can be found via THIS LINK.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Regards

Mark Rent to Rent Success Stories


Ground Rent – real or racket ? Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I bought 3 properties off-plan in 2008, and was assured that rental demand would be high. However in this particular area (Dudley, West Midlands) rents have declined, and now the Ground Rent is around 25% of the rentals income.

The freeholder’s nominated management company have increased their fees, so that takes another 25%, and provide a poor service. By the time the mortgage gets paid, well I’m sure you see where I’m heading.

I know, I know, I should have questioned my solicitor more closely at the time, but as a newbie landlord, physically remote from the property …. mea culpa, but I had no idea what the ground rent should be.
My question – is the NO prescribed method to set the value of Ground Rents ?

In every other field (consumer, contracts etc.) the concepts of “reasonable” and “fair” are upheld in law. Does nothing apply in this area?

Regards

Peter ClarkGround Rent - real or racket


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