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Nov, 2014

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  1. #1

    Default I am being harassed by the freeholder

    Hi All,

    I own a flat in a building and it feels as though I am being harassed by the freehold company.

    When I bought the flat 5 years ago they said the previous owner did some work to the flat that wasnt allowed under the lease. They said I needed to contact the managing agent to see what needed to be done. I did that and after quite a bit of time and money the issue was resolved to the agent's satisfaction.

    The freeholder was also trying to charge nearly £1000 administration fee for the breach. The agent told me not to worry about that because the freeholder had had legal advice to say it wasnt legal to charge the fee.

    Very soon after the agent was replaced by the freeholder and ever since they have been denying I ever recified the illegal works and demanding the £1000.

    They are using the illegal works / non payment of the fee as a reason not to give me my membership certificate for the freehold company (company limited by guarantee).

    Recently things have got worse and they emailed me to say I had illegally removed a wall from the bathroom. That was rubbish and a week later they withdrew the complaint. Immediately after they said the flat was a 1 bedroom and I was using it as a 2 bedroom and there might be a problem with that. I use what was once the dining room as a bedroom. I bought the flat as a 2 bed (with the dining room as a bedroom) so this was a huge issue regarding the value of the flat.

    2 months later they confirmed that they had no issue with me using the dining room as a bedroom but that I might need planning permission and I had to get written proof or a ruling from the council. I called the council and they said that was a nonesense and there was no problem with using the dining room as a bedroom.

    All these things have been really stressful because there is a lot of money involved. There have been lots of other things too, like the freeholder calling the company I work for and leaving messages saying I owe a large amount of money - the £1000.

    I also understand from other people in the building that the freeholder deliberately tries to disrupt the sale of flats. I tried to sell my flat in 2007 and the agent (the nice one that got fired) said that the freeholder had said they were going to make it as hard as possible for me.

    This has been going on for 5 years, how can I stop them doing it?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Marie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    5,273

    Default

    Apply to the LVT for a determination. Better still, get together with your neighbours and buy the freehold or get right to manage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Foundation trench for New Shed@ Ham on Rye
    Posts
    15,224

    Default

    If they are witholding the membership certificate ( which they can't) that suggests that the freeholder is a company which each flat owner is a member of.

    Does that not mean that the freeholder is in fact another flat owner or group of flat owners eg "the board" or "the committee"?

    Let us know so we can comment on what you can do and in the meantime the use of the bedroom or dining room issue is just b*ll*cks, it is just stupid.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers. More ramblings atleaseholdpropertymanager.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    161

    Default

    Just mulling over this topic and I am very unimpressed with the freeholder and clearly this need sorting.

    I am not proposing legal action but an Act called the malicious comunications act 2003 may be worth googling and I am sure quoting some parts of this Act in your response along with you considering your options may help as clearly for me leaving messages to your employer and having you go to the council and all else may be foul of this Act.

    Try and get a copy of your lease, I would expect a section stating you must be a member of this freehold company so quoting the lease and insist the company puts this breach right asap or again you will be considering your options.

    This £1,000 fee, Do you have proof they have withdrawn it by letter? If so send a copy and insist they act accordingly, Also you state this has been going on for 5 years and this fee was regarding the previous owners actions, I think after 6 years this fee would be out of statute if it hasnt been applied to the SC so if 6 years has passed will thats another point you could make its out of statute etc,
    What was the date this £1,000 fee originally requested?

    I would only do things in writing as proof is key, Just some ideas which may help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    4,307

    Default

    I know nothing about Leasehold but as it was the previous owner who did something wrong isn't he liable and not the new owner?
    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,237

    Default

    Interesting LVT Case here regards harrassment(again, my lovely Freeholder ) > http://www.lease-advice.org/decision...5894_page1.htm they point him towards the recent Ferguson v British Gas harrasment case > http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2009/46.html.

    I recently quoted this to a debt collectiopn agency harrasing my mum over her late husbands phone bill and soon got a grovelling apology.

    As for the previous owner being liable or you, this is a complex issue and I there is a link in another recent thread pointing to a good website which attempts to explain it all.

    Andy

  7. #7

    Default

    Very interesting case re: British Gas and so typical of them. I even read it all, its extraordinary.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,237

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wauden View Post
    Very interesting case re: British Gas and so typical of them. I even read it all, its extraordinary.
    Yes..but a pity the patronising Judge started with his 'glories of British justice' rant as it is very rare to find people willing to risk £40,000 to get the kind of result here, for Joe Public, justice like this is out of reach. Still its a good case to quote

    Andy

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