I am new to the forum so hello!
My partner purchased a leasehold flat 8 years ago. He owns the ground floor flat and there are two flats on the first floor, both tenanted. He purchased the freehold to the whole building about 4 or 5 years ago but at the time was fairly new to it all and also had zero cash to do any works to the property.
The previous freeholder had done nothing with the building and now there are problems racking up. My partner foolishly did quite a few jobs himself and never requested payment from the other leaseholders, and as they do not live in the building they show no interest. Even getting ground rent and insurance out of them is a wait of several weeks.
My partner has been writing and emailing the owners of the upstairs flats since around Christmas time re works to be done, politely asking for their comments / thoughts but gets no real response. We paid for an independent damp survey which uncovered a leak under the floor in the communal hall, and have had a damp course done plus the plumbers fee to sort out the leaking pipe. We have also had to call out drains people twice this year and are now having to go through the buildings insurance as there is a cracked sewer pipe. I anticipate there being problems with us getting the money back for these jobs.
My main question is this... there is a communal drying area which is a total mess. We have asked for the other owners to come up with ideas but as usual, nothing. We informed them a week ago that to save money we would hire a skip and do the work ourselves, and that they were more than welcome to come and help. Today, one of the owners has emailed us and told us that she will not pay as it is our "choice" to tidy the garden. Never mind the fact that her tenant has complained to her about the state of the drying area!
She tells us this AFTER we have hired and paid for the skip. I sent her a long email, very polite, explaining that it was not a reasonable state to leave the area in. I also copied her the relevant pages of her lease explaining that she is liable for 1/3 share of the costs. She rang this evening and has volunteered to come down with her husband today (Friday).
In her email reply she has said can we not undertake any works without consulting her first. I understand that people are not made of money, but really apart from the damp and drains issue, the costs recently have been for things like carpet cleaning the communal area... which I personally did and hired the equipment to save costs. She is mainly just peeved because up until this point they have dodged having to pay anything. The fact that she doesnt reply (neither does the other owner) means every little job is painful.
I'd like to hear other people's comments on this. I also happen to know that she received 12 months rent in advance in December from her new tenant, so she does have the money. Sadly we had to pay for my partner's mother's funeral in January and so have little in our bank account.
Your thoughts and advice are much appreciated x