I am a leaseholder in a block of 16 flats, 11 council and 5 leaseholders. About a year and a half previous L&Q carried out Cyclical decorations after recently taking over from Lewisham council. I had reported anti social behaviour congregating in communual stairwell, Vandalising entrance and exit doors, Breaking into loft areas and removing lead flashings and seals from where ever possible. Two of the problem families have since been moved on, So conditions in area are a lot better. To my amazement I received my bill on the 28-6-2012 for the sum of £2699.69? My property is ground floor with no access to stairwell or entrance doors, I had 7 window ledges painted my front door and sections of my wooden perimeter fence. I am aware that I am probably accountable for any external decorations, I have no need to access stairwell and have no way to access it even if I wanted to. The scaffold to carry out this work was in situ for around about 6 weeks and at the time of these "Cyclical repairs" L&Q were also fitting kitchens and bathrooms on the decent homes program and the cost for this £14515.08. I would like to know if I am accountable for communual internal decorations?
Province/Country relating to question : London (Lewisham)
I have asked L&Q for a full breakdown, Telephoned the number for problems paying to try to get the amount reduced over a longer period only to be told I have to pay £112.49 for 2 years
Your starting point has to be your Lease.
A standard Lease will stipulate that you will pay a due proportion of the costs of maintenance to any communal areas of the building (ie 1/16th share).
You do therefore need to read the terms of your Lease- if you have a copy to hand, there should be a definition of "the Building" and if the Building is defined as including the stairwell, the I'm afraid, legally, that you will be responsible even if you don't use the stairwell.
Alternatively, your Lease may stipulate that you are responsible for all internal parts of the Building without any specific reference to the stairwell. Again, you would be responsible if this is the case.
If you have a copy of the Lease, please feel free to let me know what it says so I can guide you further.
LLB(HONS) 15 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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