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Management and Maintenance for Flats

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I have three flats that are rented out. I have no issues with two of the management companies in terms of maintenance as they act promptly and inspect the properties frequently enough to address exterior and internal works as they arise. The third flat's maintenance company is a different matter. Despite my prompt twice-yearly service charges, nothing has been done on this property externally or internally for several years. Maybe a bit of gutter clearance but that's it. Recently, the management company has also lost the front door security key and has asked my letting agents for a copy. The loss of a key is serious enough as it affects another flat in the building as well as mine.

But the issue of exterior works not being carried out over years has become crucial. The company's surveyor and operations manager have finally inspected externally and internally, with the outcome that around £70,000 to £80,000 work will need to be done. The company is arranging to write to all parties (three leaseholders and presumably, the freeholder as well), with a schedule of costs.

After meeting with the operations manager myself and recording the conversation, he stated that none of the annual £1000 + service charge that I have paid over a period of ten years has anything to do with these forthcoming costs for major works. I appreciate that major works often lie outside the service charge but there are internal and external inspections that should be part of the ongoing servicing and these have not been done. The result is an accumulation of major works such as replacing a fire escape, renewing all gutterings, rendering of brickwork and external painting and brickwork. Not least is the much-needed replacement of interior stair carpet that is now threadbare. The operations manager referred to something like £270 that is in the reserve fund.

No doubt I need to take a closer look at my service charge contract to clarify whatever legal rights I may have in this matter. I understand that something like an unsafe fire escape is legally crucial as it relates to tenants living in the building.

Any advice on this would be most welcome.

16/09/2017 11:57

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