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Freehold disagreement

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  • Freehold disagreement

    Hello I live in a house with three flats. Mine is the smallest, I pay 1/5 of the building insurance premium.
    Over the last ten or fifteen years there have been three leaks from my bathroom into the downstairs flat. I know this is a lot but it is a Victorian house and only one was my own doing (I used the stop cock that actually had not been fitted very well and it caused a leak).
    Anyway recently there was one due to wear and tear, my pipes are thirty years old . The leak was behind a wall and the bath side panel had to be be broken to reach it so it could not have been inspected and so avoided.
    The occupiers of the flat where the leak was were away on holiday and so the leak was not immediately found so it did considerable damage.
    They want me to pay the excess on the insurance (£500) and any premium increase they or the other flat have on the building insurance as the result of making a claim.
    Well clearly their contributions to the building insurance is higher than mine. They want this to be agreed as a principle. But my increase in contribution would be less for them to pay than vice versa.
    They said that :
    " the freehold can charge each of us a service charge for insurance that relates to each of our flats; and for expenses that relate solely to each flat.
    So you should pay the excess for the building claim, and if there’s a significant rise in building insurance premiums resulting from the claim. "
    The service charge was something agreed at the start of the lease and paid to the freeholder, at that time the Council. But it does not seem right that one part of the freehold, ie one flat can levy a fee or a charge onto another without even any discussion about it. Please help. Please can you explain, firstly, whether they have the right to do this. Secondly, whether it is fair.
    Lastly, I have already agreed to outside repairs that I don't think my flat needs that will cost me £1200 later this year, because this flat owner wanted it. So I cannot afford so many extra costs.

  • #2
    Re: Freehold disagreement

    I'm almost certain they cannot legally do this. I would recommend going to the citizens advice bureau and explaining the situation, they should tell you where you stand from a legal standpoint.

    Good luck
    Secure Mortgages Residential - http://www.secure-mortages.co.uk
    0800 035 1977