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mitch

Management Co. Dispute

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Hello,

I am a leasehold owner of a flat. The management company sent out a notice of works to be done and a single quote for the cost. After making an objection I was told its not a legal reason so the works would go ahead.

I have got together with the other owners and none of us see these works as justified and do not wish for them to go ahead at this time. We have now received letters threatening legal action if we do not pay for these works immediately (The works have not been carried out yet).

We do not own the freehold, but do we just have to pay up? Surely as a group, the tenants can hold off these works until an agreement is reached, or until we can invoke the right to manage. The flats are new and the works are to repair something that has never worked from day 1! (Developer offers no warranty).

Any advice on this would be most welcome.

Cheers,

Mitch

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Hi Mitch,

I have just found your posting on the Residential Landlord web site. You may have heard of them already, but it may be worth checking them out, it is the Leasehold Advisory Service:

http://www.lease-advice.org/newintro.htm

You should as a total group write with your intentions immediately and say that you disagree with the works and will not be paying until this matter is settled. I understand that by not paying Insurance or Ground rent you are in breach of your lease, but maintenance charges do not constitute a breach so that must be dealt with as a claim in the County Courts.

Good Luck

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Hi Mitch,

Have you thought about the possibility of you / fellow owners taking over the management. We had similar experience with our management company, they forced us to use accountants that charged inflated fee's we had no infuence over the contractors used i.e cleaners, gardners etc, they allowed one of the owners to get £2200 in arrears because the did not take action to recover monies, the complex was in major debt.

What we did:-

We set up a meeting with all flat owners, we set up a limited company, we took control away from management company, they are still involved but now work under our instruction instead of for the freeholders, We instigated court proceedings against one owner to recover debt which took over twelve month, we got money back in end including costs. We use our own preffered contractors. Overall we have no regrets taking control of own destiny.

Regards

Reserve1960

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Under the Leasehold act, the management company cannot give you just one quote for major works. They WILL lose at LVT (Lease Valuation Tribunal) on this.

I help run two flat mgmt companies that are run by their owners. We always have to put out Section 20 notices for works over £1500 + send out photocopies of at least three quotes. This protects us from LVT + bad mgmt concerns.

If you threaten them with LVT due to the lack of other quotes (+ possible missing section 20 notice), then they should back off.

Also if you proceed with an Right to Manage (RTM) action, this will stop the works as well. The LEASE website mentioned earlier will help you here.

I hope this helps,

Simon.

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Thank you for the above advice.

I got everyone in building together and we all agreed that the RTM is the way forward. We also all refused to pay for the works and they have done and said nothing since.

Thanks for the Leashold Advice link. We''l have to get our act together and take control to avoid these silly claims in future.

Cheers,

Mitch

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