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Surgery Guidance Directory


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Read thesmall print first

to apply for the appointment of amanager by Orderofthe Tribunal withaManagement Orderdirecting themanager to plan forthe renewalofthe system, raisethemoney to do so,and do it.However,suchanapplication has to be precededbyaformalNoticeunder S.22 of theLandlord andTenantAct 1987 effectively telling the landlordwhat the complaints are and giving a reasonable timeto remedy them. Youdonot have to waittwo to threeyears for afullreplacement.You canask foradetailed plan (tobeprovidedinthreemonths) to be prepared foragreeingtorenew thesystem, forcollectingthemoney to do so in thenext twoorthree years’ budgets, appointaheating consultant anddothe preliminary planning. Failuretodosobyathree-month deadline will trigger a Tribunal application. Anyone lessee canmakeanapplication but

it is best if adecentnumberofthosewhowant to seesomething done aboutitdoso. Tribunals areverycautious(rightfully so)ofone versus 99 others.Deliver acopyofyourNoticeto everyflat.The apatheticwilljustchuck it in the bin.Waverers will read it and will note that the “do something now” brigade has been mobilised, someone(you) is leadingit, and thereissomerealproposalwhichmust nowbe joined or opposed. Call for anEGMof theCompany, set out your

detailed arguments and evidence onwhich yourelyinareportand circulateitbeforea meeting(if thedirectors agreetoholdone). Askfor representationonthe Boardbyyou or someoneelsewho supports therenewal.Keep an accurate record (paper trail) ofwhat youask for andwhat response you get – or do not get. A refusaltoholdameeting,admit apro-renewal member to theBoard, etc. is good evidence to bring before a Tribunal. Do not be put off by disappointmentsorrebuffs, therewillbe many.Challenging theestablishment view is very difficult. Do notdig yourself into an entrenched

position.Bewilling to consider other solutions,encourage discussionsand keep gatheringevidence.What do thelocal estateagents/lettingagentssay about marketing aparticularflat?Whatdoesthe boilermaintenance company say? Have any prospective purchasers of a flat been putoffand canyou getacopyofany survey report/mortgagevaluation report/answersto solicitor’spre-contractenquiries?Are there anyhealthand safety issues? Digaround; you mightbesurprised atwhat turnsup. Above all, youare lookingfor acooperative solution so far as that is achievable: remember,when it’s all over, you still have to live with these guys.●

Flat Living Issue 16

QUESTIONWelive in a block of nineflatsand one of the lesseesorganised an enfranchisementto buyout the freehold. Unbeknowntothe rest of us, the organiser had servicecharge arrears of over £2,000whichwas added into the completion statement,which none of us sawuntil afterthe event, andweended up payingashareofher arrears. Wethen discoveredthat

the freehold companywas createdwith her having arightto10votes andwe only have one vote each. Shehas takencontrol of themanagement and feelingsare runningvery high.She lets out her flat andnowweonly have an email address forher.She only repliestouswhen it suits her.What canwedo?

ANSWERIalwaysremember tryingunsuccessfully toputsomenewgadget together, appealingfor help tomyfather,andhe askingmeifIhad read the instructions first!Myfirst pieceofpatronisingadvice is:donot ever do anything like this againwithout

Playing pass the parcel

QUESTIONOur block ismanaged by a Right ToManage Company.Werequested alicencetoalter our kitchen and bathroom.TheRTMCompanysaidthat is for the freeholder; the freeholder said it is fortheRTMCompanyand no-one will agreesothatwecanget on with the job.Wehaveababydue in threemonths andthisisaddingalot of unnecessary tensionatatimewereallydonot need it. What dowedo?

ANSWERThe functions of a RTMCompany can be found in theCommonhold and LeaseholdReformAct 2002 starting at S.95.The functionsrelatingtoapprovals areinS.98and S.99.The granting of an approval is a function of the RTM Company(S.98 (2)). TheRTMCompany must not grant an approval without giving 30 days notice to your landlord,

Don’t let an impasse give you the baby blues

thefreeholderinthiscase(S.98 (4)).S.98(7) defines alicence as an approval.S.99setsout what will happen if your landlord objects. However, as in your case, theRTMCo.and landlord have beentoldwhatyouwant to do and played a bit of ‘pass the parcel’ I assumethere will be no objection. If youcourteously pointthisout and still get nothing, then youmay decide to take the(small) risk of informingthemthattheycannot unreasonably withhold consent (eitherbecausethe leasesays so,orbecauseofthe Lawof Property Act1927, S.19)and if youdonot getananswer within 14 days youwillassume that they have unreasonably withheld consentand proceed.Thendoso. Best of wishes for the newbaby.●

35 Look carefullyat

the exactwording of your lease

readingall theimportant documents first.Amajority of you(five out of nine) can formanewcompanyand re-enfranchise the freehold, and, if youwish, youcan exclude her. If youdonot wanttore-enfranchise becauseofcostsandyou do notknowwhere the purchasemoneywill go, five of youcould forman RTMCompany andatleast take themanagement away fromhercontrol. Part of thecompletion moneywasservice charges forher flatwhich has been“apportioned” to allofyou.That does not stop thembeing service charges andyou can applytothe Tribunal fora determinationunder S.27A of the1985Act that they

arenot payable.Underthe newrules of theTribunal, youcan seek costsonthe groundsthather actions have beenunreasonable andpossibly vexatious(I do nothavethe fullfacts and, no disrespect, butI have only heardyourside of thestory).Thereisalsoa possibility that youcanset offwhat youhavepaidto thefreeholdcompany for herarrears againstfuture servicechargedemands that thecompanywill demandfromyou. Youneed to look carefully at theexact wording in your lease before youattempt aset-off. (As before: read the instruction manual first –ithas a tendency to save youlots of frustrationandmoneylater.) If shedoesnotwantyou to knowwhereshe lives, it is possible that otherpeople (creditors orwhatever) wouldalsoliketolocate her. Hertenantpaysthe rent to someone.Have youchecked at theLandRegistryifshe hasamortgage?Thesolicitor whoacted forthe company will have carried out a money launderingcheck. It is notthatdifficult to find anamateurduckeranddiver like this one●

Ifyouhaveaquery, email it to

Allnamesand addressesare withheld

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