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Any flat owners (leasehold) have any experience of this?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by jo_south_yorks, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. My parents bought me a flat in April 2010. It is in a complex of about 280 flats, some of which are 'affordable housing' but mostly privately owned and some rented out privately.
    The flats were built by Barrats but are now managed by a management company who deal with the communal areas and the garage etc.
    I received a document on Friday (no cover letter just the document) which was under the heading of Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 section 5a. Basically, Barrats want to 'dispose' of the property (the property being the large building housing my flat and another 110 flats).
    I was just wondering if any body else had been in this situation where the freeholder was selling the freehold to another party? Apparently it has to be offered to the leaseholders first (which my parents are one of obviously), but if the leaseholders dont sign a collective contract with the freeholder to take over, does anyone know what will happen?
    Bit of a long shot but worth a try! (My mum is a solicitor so has taken the form into work today to get it looked at by one of the Conveyancing team.)
    JSY x
  2. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    No idea but...

    If you are leasehold do you pay ground rent to barratts? Like a small amount every year/ 6 months?
    If so, then the new freeholder may be able to increase this to a much larger amount perhaps?
    Is Barratts (as the freeholder) required to do certain types of maintenance on the building? If so then this requirement will pass on too.
    Sorry if a bit scrambled just my thoughts.
  3. Nothing directly to Barratts, but we pay service charge to the management company every 6 months, though it can be paid monthly. That takes care of the outside communal areas, the garage, security, intercoms, corridor lighting and the lifts.
    I think that Barratts have contracted the management company to take care of all the day to day stuff, and so I suppose now that all the flats have been completed and bought they are wanting to get rid of the ownership and get some return on the freehold so that they can move onto another development. The last flat was sold about 4 months ago.
    But yes having a new freeholder and them being able to increase the service charge does worry me slightly. It is already a daft amount considering the number of properties and the lack of work they seem to do (took over 3 months for them to fix the lift and the lights on my corridor were off for 2 days straight at one point because of a 'faulty switch'...).
    We shall see what will happen anyway. My mum's colleague has taken on the case on behalf of my mum and dad so that we have some kind of legal representation should anything happen.
    JSY x
  4. It's normal for Barratts to offload the building freehold once they have cleared the last sales. They don't want anything to do with running the flats/houses and if the last flat sold 4 months ago then they will have now closed the book on the development and will be moving on their last financial link - the freehold!
    As leaseholders you could set up your own management company - the law changed about 10 years ago to allow commonholding - something I couldn't get when I was the secretary of our block of flats, having wrestled the freehold off the developer. It isn't hard to do. You get set up and then hand it all over to a management company who works for you....
    But with that many flats it will need someone to step up and be the busy body neighbour who sorts everyone out!

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