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Category: UK Property Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons) Pgdl Pgdlp (LPC)
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Liability for loss of rental income, consequent on the freeholder

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Liability for loss of rental income, consequent on the freeholder failing to maintain. A friend purchased a first floor flat at auction, intending to let out it. Despite my friend's 4 letters, (the last two marked "without prejudice"), the freeholder, who lives above my friend's property, refuses to honour her maintenance obligations under lease, including repair of a leaky roof. My friend's latest letter threatens the freeholder that, unless she repairs immediately, she will create a liability to my friend for loss of rental income at market rates. My friend contends that such liability will commence from 6 weeks after the freeholder herself viewed the water ingress. Question: Is my friend's claim justified, and enforceable? Alban Thurston, SW London

Good evening,

You have been waiting a very long time for an answer. I am sorry about that - I personally have just come online.


I am assuming that your friend's lease is fairly standard with a usual type of repairing covenant obligations clause on the part of the freeholder. If this is the case and the freeholder is in breach of these repairing obligations then your friend should be entitled to claim damages including loss of rent as well as an injunction order requiring the freeholder to carry out the works.

I would suggest that your friend instructs a solicitor to write a letter of claim to the freeholder. The solicitor may need a surveyors report on the leaking roof. If no satisfactory result is achieve the solicitor should issue proceedings. Your friend may have before the event legal expenses insurance on his or her household policy that may pay for a solicitor.


DR Lawyer

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for this explanation, especially the tip on possible coverage in my friend's household insurance for legal expenses. Yes, having read the lease, it seems pretty standard, clearly setting out the freeholder's maintenance obligations. Thanks for the tip on how to issue an injunction.


What is the explanation for my 2.5-day wait, please? When I posted this question on Friday, the system announced that 4 experts in UK Property Law were on line. Slightly disconcerting, as Google reveals some US blogging sites, blogging against JustAnswer. (Appreciate this may be a question for a JA supervisor. But I still need it answered, so RSVP).


Alban Thurston e: [email protected]

The way Just Answer works an indeed the only sustainable model for a website such as Just Answer is it uses freelance experts such as myself to answer questions. We get paid a percentage of the fee that you pay ONLY IF you accept the answers. Law is a wide field and I expect that there were not any property law experts online at the time that you posted the question. I saw your question had been unanswered for more than 24 days and had been flagged as read so answered it immediately I came online. It was not reserved for me but I picked it from the unanswered list.


If Just Answer were to have a host of lawyers always online and on the payroll then it would be no different from a law firm and the cost would be similar to what you would pay to a lawyer.


I sometimes answer newly posted questions within 5 minutes of them being posted so customer experience does vary but they are just asking the right question at the right time.


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