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BG0612

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  1. It's the two hat role thats creating the problem. As a leaseholder he can decide for himself to pay for works to the internal parts of my flat he is responsible for. But for the communal parts, his decision making powers are not his to make alone or to filter through to one freeholder who has an interest in the entire property and everyone in it collectively. The problem is that other owner occupiers he votes with on freeholder matters, via this shared freeholder company, can now technically hold him to ransom to refuse to vote with him on works he wants to do that don't affect them but they must share payment for, or dilute his obligations to me to carry out other 'freeholder' responsibility essential maintenance tasks to my flat that, if not done properly, could impinge on his legal obligation to uphold the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of my flat. There is a direct conflict of interest. He may actually want to carry out works to my flat but now he must put it to a vote and others must agree to share in the cost. That is the issue.
  2. Thanks for your response. I think you are missing my point here. The landlord bought a sitting tenanted flat to ensure ongoing rent, albeit it as a reduced Rent Controlled rate. He has shown very little interest in the property and as I have no plans to move he has little incentive to vote in my interests, as opposed to the interests of other residential occupier owners. That is the problem. So why would he be concerned about attracting other tenants. He has me.
  3. Thanks for your response. Moving is not an option. As a 1977 Rent Act sitting tenant, living in London, I would not be able to rent another property with the same tenancy and my rent would quadruple overnight. That is definitely not going to happen.
  4. I am a 1977 Rent Act tenant living in a flat that forms part of a large six flat property. (My tenancy is not in dispute, so I don't need answers from you that query that status and interrupt the nub of this thread topic. All are leasehold owned (two tenanted, the others owner occupied residents) all with shared Freehold. Collectively the owners run a shared freehold management company - to tend to the common parts and pay for building insurances etc. The owners each hold a single share. This is not illegal, apparently. It often works well - to share the freehold. This arrangement worked ok for the most part, until lately. Based on two recent decisions, it has become apparent to me that decisions to manage the common parts of the land the house sits on are being collectively decided upon to directly benefit the residential owners, but at the expense of myself - a tenant. They have decided to put wheelie bins in direct view of my window; they are now planning to cut away a tree that I benefit from aesthetically and stops heat coming through my window during the summer. This has caused enormous conflict between myself and the other residents and conflict between myself and my landlord who is a shareholder in this freeholder management company. I have now read through this Freehold Management Company Articles of Association and read the Terms of Engagement and Decision making. Decisions are made by majority decision. There is no mention in the clauses that freeholder members who rent their property out having a first duty of care to their own tenants, according to law, to ensure that they abide by their landlord obligations to repair and maintain the property they directly own and, in this case, the the external parts of the dwelling and to ensure they don't interfere with the tenant's right to Quiet and Peaceful Enjoyment of their Property. Or, more simply, where a conflict of interest arises or may arise, they must put the interests of their tenant before the interests of the management committee members for which the tenant plays no decision making role. The landlord, for the sake of voting must not forfeit their tenants rights or reduce them. The silence on this stipulation is causing huge problems. My own landlord has been asked to vote on matters lately that he has agreed to (to ensure majority vote to push through a decision) which work directly against my interests in favour of other residential owners. He is acting in their best interests, not mine. The ramifications of his membership of this freeholder body is obvious. That means, in practice, that if my flat needs some exterior work done (a new window or something else is bothering me that infringes upon my tenant rights) then the rest of the management committee has to agree to the work to pay for it. Given that the other residents are unlikely to agree let alone pay for anything that is unlikely to benefit them directly and only vote and agree a majority for work and alterations likely to benefit them directly, even if it is at my expense in terms of enjoyment or comfort, that puts me at a distinct disadvantage not to mention signalling that my landlord - as a shareholder - has a direct conflict of interest when his first duty is to his fellow shareholders and, as absentee landlords are likely to agree on matters put before them that might directly impinge on the peace and quiet enjoyment of my property or at least cause me some distress or annoyance. If my landlord was directly impacted by these decisions he might not have agreed but because they don't even live here they rubber stamp all decisions put before them without giving a thought to how this impacts me. To put it most succinctly, it seems that I have six landlords not one, each one a freeholder of the flats that form part of the large house containing individual flats. Isn't this harassment by default - for my landlord to become a shareholder of a freeholder shared management company whose member residential occupants needs' are being prioritised before their own tenants rights and needs to ensure a majority vote to push through work done to the house or other changes? A conflict of interest is bound to occur. Here are two examples of how they could. They are just examples, not real problems I am facing: Scenario 1: My exterior paintwork or windows need replacing which is the landlord's responsibility. I tell my landlord so he can carry out the work. My landlord doesn't just get on with it and pay for it himself, he must take the matter to the Freeholder Management Company and puts it to the vote. Most refuse - it's not their problem, so my landlord is then not able to carry out the work even though he would otherwise would if he were not part of this management company. Scenario 2: My exterior paintwork or windows need replacing which is the landlord's responsibility. I tell my landlord so he can carry out the work. My landlord takes the matter to the Freeholder Management Company and votes No to the work due to the expense, even if it is shared expense rather than solely theirs. The rest also vote No too, or most do and my landlord then doesn't carry out work because the majority disagreed that it should be carried out. This is in keeping with the Articles of Association rules but negates their landlord obligations to me to repair the flat exterior (or other freeholder tasks). I am thinking of taking legal advice to see what my options are. I think I have a clear case of harassment by default of my landlord being a shareholder of a shared freeholder management company comprising other resident occupants at the house we all live in, when they are clearly abdicating responsibility to me, as their tenant, in favour of majority decisions being made by other Directors. Can i insist that they dissolve this set up or start a management cooperative instead which includes all residents at the house, including myself who pays rent to contribute toward the house upkeep? Or, if not, get the Director's to change the provisions to include me as a sitting tenant who is resident at the house impacted by these decisions and whose flat is legally every bit as much their home as their own properties are? It;s also worth noting that the Articles contain a provision that states very clearly what the purpose of the Company is. It doesn't say anything about making changes based on preference or priority, only that it is about improving, maintaining and fixing etc. it seems that the resident owner occupiers are using this company as a stick to beat me with to get changes made that go against my interest even when it has nothing to do with the Company's stated aims. Putting wheelie bins in direct view of my window is not fixing, improving or maintaining. It is just bullying. Doesn't my landlord have a lawful duty to ensure that any vote he makes does not override his obligations to me, just as they would if he was not a shareholder of this freeholder shared management company or the house was managed by one separate freeholder? What are your thoughts. Has anyone got a view on this? Thanks.
  5. I wonder if anyone qualified in 1977 Rent Act law could help. I have rented my studio flat since 1983 (part of a large victorian property owned by one landlord who held the freehold) and i have a secure tenancy. That is not in dispute. The landlord from 1983-2000 (same family, succession situation in 1997) then tried to evict me using unlawful means when I refused to accept some restructuring plans he had for my flat which I refused, as part of a five self contained unit plan he had in mind, which he could then sell on as separate self contained flats (three as part of a main house, plus two annex flat with a slightly different door number and own wheelie bins - significant later). I put up a fight on the plans he had for my flat and he lost his civil dispute costing him around £12000 in costs and damages to me. I also kept my flat on, as it was too, and was granted a consent order provisions that set out the landlord to tenant communication protocols and it held a provision that allowed me to do up my flat with decorations as I chose. Basically, everything in my flat now was bought and paid for by me - and owned by me from 2000 onwards. That includes the flooring and the fitted kitchen, not just removable items of furniture. I realise that if I leave I will have to leave behind the permanent fixtures and fittings. I don't intend to leave. The landlord did sell the entire house to separate owners, and that included my flat too to a property investment company. They were fine at first but when I started to press them for essential repairs they were legally responsible for doing, their attitude toward me changed from pleasant to plain unpleasant after about three years. They did the works (new boiler etc.) but it was hard to get a civil word out of them. My landlord also became uncontactable by mobile phone or was rude and strange on the phone. I now only deal with the office he uses to manage his and other properties they jointly own. The office staff are not much better, but I can talk to them. They do repairs but very begrudgingly and usually after some 'arm twisting.' But over time, some repairs that the old landlord used to do they are passing over to me to pay for. It is a job for them to pay for anything now except something really basic, like plumbing, security to the flat. They do carry out the health and safety checks. That's about it. But over time, I am paying for more and more stuff that the old landlord was willing to pay for (except the decorations, as per consent order). The landlord, when he first took over, ruined my worktop I paid for and had to replace it. He then claimed it was his. I told him it was not. He was compensating me for ruining my property. Not merely replacing a landlord owned worktop he'd ruined. Whether he paid for the new one or not, it was mine still. The daughter of the first landlord has always hated me (inherited by her father who did as well owing to the above eviction attempt) and still lives in the neighbouring flat (an annex with a lettered door-number). She and some other new single flat owners in the house (five flats altogether, only two tenanted - one by me) started a 'so called' joint freeholder management company. At first the whole idea seemed benign and harmless but now I am not so sure. They seem to be enlisting my landlord (by passing me in the process) to agree to changes in the house and garden area which impact on me directly without even consulting with me first. I feel as though I am being dumped on. My flat landlord is an absent landlord and has no vested interest in doing anything other than agree with the plans made behind my back by the resident landlords of the other four flats. For example, the Council decided that we could no longer keep the wheelie bins on the roadside as we had for years. Now they are on the forecourt of the house. The other freeholder owners decided amongst themselves that they should be placed under a beautiful sycamore tree that is in direct view of my window. The bins look hideous there and are held in place (from strong winds) by an ugly white chain wrapped around the trunk. It is clear that the intention is to make the eyesore my problem and not there's, even though I had no say in the decision. What angers me more is that the bins belonging to the daughter of my old landlord won't keep her bins on her side of the annex. Collectively, with the other freeholders they decided that all of them should be on my side instead - separated by a walkway path to our front door (the main part of the house - not the annex with its own front door). I took it upon myself to treat these 'next door' bins as though they are generic (everyone can use them) bins - now they are on our side of the house. The other day the daughter decided to confront me for dumping my waste in what she still describes as 'her bins' bearing the same number as that stamped on the front of the bin. I got in my car and she angrily came across and banged on the window and tried to force the car door handle. It was locked but I am sure she was about to assault me. I reported the matter to the police. It is not the first time she has tried to force her way into my property (she did this to my flat when her father was landlord a few years ago and she really did assault me then). A few weeks ago, when I was talking to her partner about where the bin should go, she openly accused me of being racist (against her partner). The same partner then rebuked her openly and denied I was being racist. I had not said or implied anything remotely racist. Yet one of the other freeholders agreed that I was racist too (just because I did not know the exact country the old landlord's daughter's partner came from (Mongolia instead of Japan). This is a very sinister turn of events. The daughter has a history of abusing me in various ways: 1. ignoring me and slamming the front door in my face (she used to live in the main house where I live now) 2. Getting her partner to ignore me too (no wonder I didn't know where he was from, exactly). The first conversation we'd had in 20 years was the night his partner accused me of racism and he disagreed. 3. Forcing entry into my flat and assaulting me. 4. My landlord has told me that 'other tenants' have complained about me too. Yet I have done nothing at all to anyone who could find fault with my behaviour. I sent the landlord a Subject Access Request under the DPA to send me all the complaints they claimed they'd received from other owners in the house and they ignored it. I am convinced that this management company is not so much about preserving the property but more about it being a convenient ruse to collectively harrass and dump on me, as a tenant. The landlord won't help and is actively involved in their decisions which work against my interests. They don’t live here so they don't care what is decided. Ever since taking over, they've repeatedly ignored the consent order provisions my previous landlord had to abide by. Now the same management company are trying to ruin the view from my window by chopping down trees, bushes and just making the whole view from my window a massive ugly eye sore with ugly bins (including those from the annex) in full view of my window. I know this isn't the worst thing that can happen when other tenants have mould, rot, no electricity etc, but I wonder if this is harassment by the management company for which my landlord is part of. I am now thinking of ways to get some redress. Moving out is not an option due to being a 1977 Rent Act tenant. But what I do wonder is this: since I paid £10,000 for the kitchen to be fitted and flooring to be put down 20 years ago and the landlord seems to believe that all fixtures and fittings I spent that sum on belong to them, can I sue for the cost of them back or withhold the rent until they are paid off? I fail to see why I should pay for anything that they believe they own when they are ignoring the terms of the consent order too. Plus they show me no respect (as a very longstanding home dweller) either and when I confront them about why decisions are made without any consultation with me - when I am affected and my rent pays for some of these changes to the property. They always say they have when all they do is go ahead without even telling me at all (claiming they did) and if they do tell me they are merely informing me of decisions they have made without any input from me at all, even though I am bearing the main brunt of these decisions to my detriment. I have a feeling that things are going to get worse before they get better. The other freeholders in the house, who I thought were OK up until recently, have pretty much turned on me too (long before I realised it too if the complaints are real). I helped one of them out during the huge storm a while back when a neighbours tent flew over the property and hit his BMW smashing the windscreen. I lent him my car cover and helped him put it on in the rain and wind. We'd got on fine before that time, which is why I wanted to help. Not long after he was playing music loud upstairs and has never returned the cover either. Now he doesn't even speak to me. The owner downstairs thinks I am racist - just like the daughter of my old landlord (even though the person this racism was aimed at didn't agree). Yet, it was only a while ago that I thanked him for painting the hallway and even suggested paying for the communal carpet to be cleaned even though that is not my responsibility at all. At the time I offered, I had no idea they were all treating me with such contempt behind my back (complaining about me, making decisions to actively exclude me from decisions that affect me which never really came to light until the wheelie war broke out. Again, he agrees that the annex bins should be placed on our side of the house. Yet this makes no sense when there is plenty of room the annex side and the annex door number is stamped on the bins. All the time they are our side - stuck in full view of my window - I will continue to dump my rubbish in them. If they want exclusive rights to them they can jolly well move them to the annex side. At the very least, I feel I am being abused, if these behaviours don't fall under the harassment banner. My landlord is facilitating this abuse and now I have an attempted assault from my old landlord's daughter to contend with from last week. Any ideas of what is going on and what I can do about this? I don't want to stoke any fires of antagonism by resorting to crime or anti-social retaliation, but whenever something does go wrong, you can bet your life that my old landlord's daughter is at the heart of it. She seems to be running the management company show and is using the other freeholders as flying monkeys to abuse me as well. Now I don't have a good relationship with anyone whereas before I thought I did. I feel very alone here at the house now.
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