UK Property Law
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The roof is the responsibility of the freeholder.
All three leases say service charges will be collected by the freeholder. For the past three decades the old lady that lived in this flat collected around £50 a year from the other two flats in service charge, in cash, which she then just kept and there has been no maintenance work at all in that time.
Our ground rent is £250 per annum, the other two flats pay £50 a year each.
Currently I don't know who really officially owns the freehold, only that a firm of solicitors were looking after a trust/the old lady's estate and that they offered us the freehold earlier this year, as mentioned above. One of my neighbours is questioning whether the solicitors has the right to sell the freehold at all. I'm a little in the dark.
You can find out who owns the freehold by gettingthe Official Copies of Title here, they cost just 3 pounds. https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/
pleasebear in mind that if the freehold has been sold relatively recently, the landregistry may not yet have been updated.
This isobviously the landlord's responsibility although it is highly likely that ifthere are three leaseholders, then there is a provision in the lease for thecost to be recovered from the leaseholders. You need to check the lease.
If thework is over £250 per leaseholder, the freeholder must serve a section 20 noticeadvising the cost of the repairs.
Thefreeholder is responsible for any damage caused by the leaks caused by the lackof repair.
When thefreehold is being sold, the freeholder has to offer it to the leaseholdersunder the Right of First Refusal and if that did not happen, then the sale ofthe freehold can be set aside. At least 50% of the owners must want toparticipate in the purchase.
There is plenty of reading on the right of first refusal here http://www.lease-advice.org/publications/documents/document.asp?item=16
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This information is useful thank you, XXXXX XXXXX still need to get to the nub of how I can get my exterior roof fixed as soon as possible and get my neighbours to contribute their share! Is there a section something-or-other I can quote to the freeholder? In any case, the freeholder will not bear the cost as it says in my lease that all costs will be passed down to the leaseholders. In which case will I get into trouble if I organise the work myself given that I cannot elicit a reply from the freeholder? Can I submit a bill for the damage to our interior to the freeholder?
I checked as advised with land registry and the freehold is owned by the firm of solicitors, (possibly in a trust - I'm not sure I understand the language). Does this mean we were denied first refusal when the old lady who previously owned it died?
If this is a flat conversion, and not purpose-built, and thelandlord lived on the premises, there is no right of first refusal to buy thefreehold.
This link explains http://www.lease-advice.org/publications/documents/document.asp?item=11
if it is the responsibility of the freeholder to repair the roof,it is just that.
It is for the freeholder to recover the costs from theleaseholders.
You are entitled to sue the freeholder for damage to the flatwhich has been caused by want of repair.
You can get an injunction against the freeholder to compel themto carry out the repairs. They are solicitors so they should know what thescore is and I suggest a letter from a solicitor threatening a courtapplication and costs might focus their mind. They cannot shirk theresponsibility for repairing the roof.
Would be worthwhile checking your house insurance to see if youhave legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal costs of this.
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