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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19816
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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When I originally moved into my flat I paid a small ground

Resolved Question:

When I originally moved into my flat I paid a small ground rent to the freeholder. Over the last few years I have not received any request for payment so I have not paid ground rent for about 3 years. I am now having damp problems in my flat as the roof and guttering need to be repaired and we need to have dead ivy taken off the walls. At the moment the agent looking after the property is ignoring my requests for contact. Can you please tell me my rights and if they need the roof etc repaired can I expect a bill for 1/4 (there are 4 flats)? Thanks
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to help you with this today. Please bear with me if I ask for more information.

 

Do you have the ground rent to pay over now if asked?

 

How much is the GR?

 

In the lease, whose responsibility is repairs of the various areas?

 

Thanks

Customer: replied 9 months ago.


I would be able to pay the ground rent if requested. It's 225 per year.


 


If I read the lease correctly it's my responsibility to repair the 'whole of the demised premises outside and inside'. However, earlier in the document it says the demised premises is everything up to the level of the lower edge of the joists which support the first floor.


 


The ivy and of course the roof are part of the upper area of the building. Therefore I'm assuming they aren't included as part of my ground floor flat responsibility.


 


Thanks

Expert:  Stuart J replied 9 months ago.






Thank
you.



Responsibility
to put repair the roof may not be yours. It may be covered in any service
charge, but it is more likely, because of the wording of your lease, to be the
responsibility of the top floor flat.



You
need to get hold of the lease of the top floor flat, which you can get from HM
land registry for about £20.



Once
you have that, you will know who is responsible for repairing the roof because if
the roof is not included in the top floor flat, it is by default the responsibility
of the freeholder.



It may
be that it is mentioned specifically in the lease and it also may be
specifically mentioned in yours.



However,
the default situation is that if no one in the building owns it under a lease,
and it remains the property of the freeholder and the freeholder is liable to
maintain it.



I
appreciate that there may be an agent appointed by the freeholder. You need to
get the name of the freeholder on the freehold title deeds which are also
available from the land Registry at a cost of just 3 pounds.



You
can buy the deeds here online https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/



you
may be able to buy the lease but not all leases are available online, in which
case you may have to contact the local land registry by telephone



Based
upon the above, it is unlikely that you will be responsible for the cost of
repairing the roof. You are however responsible for all the ground rent that
you should have paid regardless of the repair to the roof being required.



If ever
you come to the flat the landlord will not give consent to the sale unless the
ground rent is paid up to date and the buyer will want proof of that. The
landlord does not have to send demands for ground rent, you are liable to pay
it to voluntarily under the terms of the lease.



Does
that answer the question?



Can I
help further?

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19816
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Stuart J and 3 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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