Who is responsible for paying for roof works?

Who is responsible for paying for roof works?

11:28 AM, 7th October 2022, About 2 months ago 6

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Hello, Can anyone help?

We are leaseholders in a 1980s block of about 20 flats in Chiswick. About 10 years ago the roof was replaced.

Our current surveyor claims that the roof now needs replacing at great expense.

He claims the works were badly carried out by the roofing contractor and the then surveyor did not oversee works properly. The managing agents were appointed by the freeholder, and they in turn appointed surveyor and building contractors.

The leaseholders paid the bills.

Our current managing agents say they were never given the guarantee paperwork by the previous managing agents, and therefore there is now no record of the supposed 20-year guarantee on the works.

The then surveyor has disappeared. His company is no longer listed in Company House records.

The building firm responsible for the roof works cannot be found either. The current managing agents seem reluctant to approach the freeholders.

Are the freeholders not responsible? Why are the leaseholders, who have already paid for the roof 10 years ago, expected to pay for the roof replacement?

Can anyone advise what the position is in law?

Many thanks,
KP



Comments

Graham Bowcock

14:03 PM, 7th October 2022, About 2 months ago

In the first instance the issue lies with the freeholder. It seems odd that the managaing agent won't approach them - who is the agent working for?

However, the freeholder will no doubt be entitled to recover costs from the leaseholders, but subject to a s20 consultation procedure. This procedure should lay out all the facts as to what is required and why.

Sadly, if the roof needs mending it needs mending and has to be done. If all those involved previously are not able to be pursued then it will fall to the current leaseholders to fund the works. Without documentation you will have no idea as to the exetnt of any previous works or any guarantees that may have been given. Without knowing exactly what happened before you are in a difficult position.

Peter G

15:23 PM, 7th October 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Graham Bowcock at 07/10/2022 - 14:03Why did the Leaseholders not ask for a copy of the Guarantee for the work done 10 years ago, seeing as they paid the bill? Would this not be normal?

Blodwyn

15:43 PM, 7th October 2022, About 2 months ago

Some elementary detective work may need to be done here before consulting a competent solicitor.
What does the lease say?
Is the previous surveyor's identity known and his last address?
Any insurance issues?
Dates, (time bar issues etc)?
ANY paper records?
ANY verbal records or recollection?
This is in everyone's interest.
I am sure I have omitted something vital!

Judith Wordsworth

17:33 PM, 7th October 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Peter G at 07/10/2022 - 15:23
The Freeholder(s) would have paid the bill and ought to have it. Has anyone sold / bought in the last 10 years? If so their solicitors will have a copy

Wyn Burgess

10:51 AM, 10th October 2022, About 2 months ago

Most defective roof coverings can be repaired by improving the weakest details to extend the life for a further 10 - 20 years with routine mantenance. I'd be a bit sceptical about the reccomendation for renewal without evidence of widespread water penetration, condensation/decay to timbers etc. Don't worry about the missing guarantee, it will be worthless if the roofing company is not of good standing.

BernieW

13:49 PM, 10th October 2022, About 2 months ago

It seems to me that the question of "reasonableness" applies here. Either the survey now is correct - in which case the works 1o years ago were "unreasonable". OR the works back then were fine and the survey now is unreasonable ... as the intended works would be.

An application to the FTT using Form Leasehold 3 seems appropriate > https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-leasehold-3-application-for-a-determination-of-liability-to-pay-and-reasonableness-of-service-charges

The practical problem lies with the freeholder - who no doubt is obliged by the terms of the lease to "repair and maintain" the roof. Recovering the costs is not an automatic and therefore the freeholder may be left out of pocket.

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