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help needed re repair to leasehold property

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redcrx | 16:52 Mon 14th Jul 2008 | Law
6 Answers
i shall try and keep this short.

I own a leasehold flat. there are 5 flats in total and a restaurant (rented out by the landlord).

The restaurant pay nothing at all to the upkeep of building and car park. they use all of read of property apart from 5 parking spaces. The staff live in flat downstairs and have already damaged carpets and walls and doors which the management company (the flats) pay for.

No a wall outside needs replacing, As the restaurant dont pay towards any upkeep we asked the landlord to contribute to costs (as owner of restaurant). The only other thing the restaurant pays for is share of insurance. It pays nothing towards the building at all, neither does landlord, the flat owners pay for all repairs, even to walls of restaurant.

Anyway, we had got quotes to demolish and rebuild a wall, these quotes were �900 and �1200. The secretary wrote and asked for contribution from landlord.

Last week the wall was demolished, another flat owner couldnt get hold of secretary to confirm all was OK.

we got a call saturday from secretary saying the landlord had sent a letter. He has authorised the work to be carried out by a company (a friend by read of letter) and its going to cost us flats �4000!!!

weve stopped the builders working, as we dont want to pay that much, obviously. We already pay through the nose just to repair damage caused by the restaurant which he owns.

Are we able to refuse this work or make him pay? We didnt authorise it at all and the builder said he is only working for the landlord and would never have done job for us.

Personally i have a feeling the landlord is getting his own jobs done and using this invoice to cover it, but thats just my opinion.

Im just furious!!!!

can anyone help?


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What you can and cannot contribute to would go back to what is written in your flat lease.

There is normally a separate schedule near the back dealing with service and maintenance charges.

You should also get accounts for the charges, usually at year end when they would normally issue final accounts and invoice or credit over or under expenditure.

Were you ever given a service charge budget with them (outlines what is paid for eg cleaning, landscaping...) and, if so, is there a sinking fund which could be used to cover it or at least part of it.

If not then your may well have got one when the flat was bought (ie if any of you own your flat) as it's often supplied with the leasehold management information requested by the buyer's solicitors before buying.

Another consideration is how the service charge is charged in your lease. Is it done by percentage related to say square footage or is the whole lot just divided up between the flatowners?

I'd check as the lease may have been drawn up fairly (usually a standard lease is drawn up for all the apartments and taking the commercial unit into account) but the landlord may not necesarily be following what is meant to be done.

Another thing to check would be the provisions for what the Landlord can do and charges eg reasonableness which you may be able to rely on to prove that �x was a reasonable price so you will pay that between you but no more.

Do you know if the restaurant has been given a long leasehold interest by the Landlord or whether it has a business occupational lease or none at all as it is the Landlord's business? This may be findoutable from a copy of the Landlord's title which can be downloaded from the Land Registry as there should be a schedule of leases that the Landlord's titl eis subject to...

If the restaurant has a long leasehold interest then it may be you could get a copy of their lease (costs about �20) to see what is in it and potentially what may be enforceable.

It may be that a formal lease had to be granted, especially if the landlord has a mortgage. If it is just a business lease it will not be registered though.

Hope that helps, let me know if you want to clarify anything x
Question Author
Hi Jenna,

Just to briefly mention as i have to sign off in a min. the flats run their own management company as a limited comapny. We pay all repairs to communal areas with no help from the restaurant

The buildings insurance is the only thing they contribute to as they are the higest risk.

we all pay �50 a month at the moment and yet the kitty was e,pty when we first moved in 5 years ago. But, of course, we are always maintaining the property and thats why we had started getting quotes before the landlord was approached.

I have no idea about the restuarant lease but thanks for the tip.

All i can recall from my own lease is that the flats have to maintain all areas with their own management company and funds.

If the restaurant is causing damage can that be claimed in a civil way or threatened to be in order to put things into a fairer state of affairs?
You may be able to get some advice from the Leasehold Advisory Service:
Question Author
thanks both. Sorry I didnt reply Jenna, i had a mad day yesterday.

Things arent helped by the fact that the secretary is about to resign as the flat shes connected to is being sold this week. The flat owned by the restaurant staff and one other flat never pay their bills and are always being threatened with legal action too.

grrrrr, i just want to sell it and get out but need to sort this first now or i wont be able to sell the lease.

I shall get all info together asap from secretary and give that advice place a call too.

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