This feels like it should be criminal?

This feels like it should be criminal?

11:17 AM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago 16

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For the last month, the freeholder of my property has blatantly refused to supply my conveyancing solicitor (and I) with a copy of the Building Insurance Certificate & Policy to which I am legally entitled ‘free of charge’.

Despite daily requests since the beginning of June from solicitors, brokers, lenders, myself, he is still refusing to comply with his legal responsibilities and obligations set out in the lease, despite having done the following…

Sent individual ‘Formal Requests / Notices’; mentioned the ‘Freedom of Information Act’; made him aware that he is in breach of several clauses in the Lease; reported him to the Tenancy Relations Officer at Lambeth Council; sent an Application for an Order under section 20C of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (and a copy to the First-Tier Tribunal); served him with a Preliminary Notice to Appoint a Manager under Section 22 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 (copy sent to FTT); and very soon will send an Application to Appoint a Manager / Management Co. under Section 24 of the L&T Act 1987 to the FTT.

My property is currently on the market. The Freeholder is deliberately OBSTRUCTING the completion of my re-mortgaging which the new Lender’s solicitor requires a copy of the Building Ins. Cert., without which the loan cannot complete!

Due to his lack of compliance and unwillingness to assist with my solicitors’ requests, he was made aware that the loan needed to complete by 29th June (last Wed.) otherwise I would be attending a court hearing for repossession – yet still, this did not provoke a response, so I ended up in court because of him!

Thankfully, my property was not been repossessed, but the hearing has been adjourned so I’m not entirely out of the woods yet!

As a direct result of his deliberate, spiteful & vindictive actions, retaining this ‘much needed’ documentation cost me just under £8000 in legal & court costs, which has been added to my ‘expired’ loan. If he had just emailed my solicitor the 2 documents she’s been requesting for 4 weeks, the new loan would have completed, the expired loan paid off in full and the court hearing would have been cancelled!

Instead, by deliberately obstructing the completion of my loan, he lost me £8000 and almost my property!

Having exhausted almost every route there is in an attempt to be supplied with documents to which I am legally entitled, I am feeling extremely irritated, annoyed and frustrated.

Does anybody know if he could be arrested for a criminal offence?

Deliberately obstructing my loan completion has made me lose £8000!

Surely this is criminal!? It ******** feels like it!!



Darren Peters

11:48 AM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago

Am I correct in thinking you are selling and remortgaging? This seems unusual.

First thought, remortgage suggests there is a mortgage in place. Ask the existing mortgage provider who was the insurer when they provided the original mortgage. Or ask solicitor involved in the original mortgage. Or check your old paperwork. If you find an old policy, ask that insurer if they still insure your property and if you can have a copy of the policy.

Plan B

I'm not a lawyer, this is not legal advice. Cleverer minds will probably pull this apart shortly. Assuming time is of the essence, if the building isn't massive, get quotes for buildings insurance and see if you can afford to insure the building yourself. Pay by installments and pay just the 1 month necessary.

Obviously ask your solicitor about the viability of this as you mustn't mislead the buyer.

DGM View Profile

11:51 AM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago

I had (and still do) have a similar issue.
How big is the block?
I bought the insurance myself when I remortgaged and only cost a few hundred pounds as he ignored all requests which to me shows he hasn't bothered to buy any insurance although his legal obligation.
Speak to an insurance company and explain, that is what I did and was insured and mortgage went through and didn't cost £1000's

David Smith

12:30 PM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago

Perhaps the building is not insured?

I was under the impression that you could take out an insurance policy to indemnify yourself and the lender against this situation.

Debs Forbes

13:34 PM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago

I have the same problems as you. Also a leak that has been for over three years now. I have been waiting for a court case to be heard for 1 year. The Solicitor tells me the delay is due to COVID. I have just paid for roof survey etc. and paid for the fixing of the leak in the roof. I have sympathy for you. I don't understand why the law doesn't support us and allows Freeholders to behave so badly.

David Smith

13:46 PM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago

Can’t you go down the Collective enfranchisement or RTM route?

Judith Wordsworth

14:05 PM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago

When you purchased your solicitor would have received/obtained a copy of the buildings insurance. You would likely have been given a copy of the policy. Your and your mortgage lender will have your and their interest noted on the policy so contact the Insurance Company and get them to send you a copy and to confirm that the Policy is in force.

Is the Freeholder and individual or a company?

You should ask every year for a copy of the up to date Insurance Policy.

Also a bit odd that you are re-mortgaging and also selling. Why?

Chris H View Profile

14:13 PM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago

Having had a mortgage on two seperate flats in a block, I can state that I have never been asked for the Building Insurance Certificate & Policy.

I would follow others advice and simply insure the block or take out an indemnity policy.
That is how to resolve the mortgage issues, the fact he has cost you muxh time and stress, I would consider:

For the cost of a small court fee,I would be temped to go small claims Court, I am aware you can only claim 5k but you sat in a room with a Judge and if he even turns up.... might be a quick ish way to reclaim some funds and watch hi squirm a bit, most Judges in small claims are very reasonable and from your description his actions are not

Good luck!

David Smith

14:26 PM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago

Small claims is now a maximum of £10,000

Mike in Worthing

14:36 PM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago

Small Claims court is the way forward. You have sustained losses, freeholder hasn't fulfilled his/its obligations. You can add an injunction to the claim for only £308 (if DIY). If you obtain judgement in your favour and the debt is not paid, you can apply for a charge on the freehold title. The latter ultimately gives you a power of sale. A few caveats:
1. Must keep your mortgagee happy while the above is going on.
2. Only worth doing if you are able to sue in person. Lawyers fees are too high
3. If there already is a chargee on the freehold (mortgage/loan) you will only get second dibs.
An online Land Registry search (cost £3) will reveal whether or not there is an existing charge on the freehold.
I hope this helps and good luck.

Freda Blogs

15:13 PM, 8th July 2022, About a month ago

Like others, I have had similar issues with a freeholder from hell.

I agree - take out your own insurance. Ask your solicitor specially about 'contingency insurance' which is what I was advised to take out, and in fact my solicitor organised it.

I am not a lawyer, but I think it covers the position where there is no overarching insurance policy in place for the whole development including common parts, so it protects in the event of a ‘contingency’. It was adequate for me when I was selling. In fact, if you can’t get a certificate from your freeholder, you may be well advised to take it out anyway as it seems at present you have no way of knowing whether or not your flat is insured?

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