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  1. I've been living in a block of four flats with a social housing provider. flat for was "privately owned". unfortunately she died and the property was "sold on". the new "owner" has made my life, and the two other tenants life a complete misery for 11 months with no end in site. Front door left wide open by builders resulting in missing post and parcels communual areas are a disgrace and are getting damaged-were paying a service charge for nowt they can start work at 6am working right through until 2am building materials dumped in basement,which I went flying on they climb on my roof and throw paint and plaster all over treess in a conservation area etc etc etc our social landlords has insisted for months "we are not the freeholder, we cant do anything" and that's that. so ive done some digging and as it transpires they ARE the freeholder, the new "owner" is a leaseholder. That means the social landlord has consistently lied to all of us on multiple occasions both verbally and in writing. the leasholder has also stated to me in writing and verbally to a neighbour "I'm the freeholder" but they are not!!! Its gotten to the point were I snapped .... the police were called and my doors smashe din to gain entry. Whos responsible here? my landlord does nothing and washes their hands of it. My neighbour has had her celing cave in twice owing to the works. She had to stay ina hotel for two weeks and was not reimbursed. the list of whats been going on goes on and on and on.
  2. Hello, please can someone help me. The freeholder of my flat pursued me for unpaid service charges through small claims at the county court. I settled the first charge with at the court as a gesture to try and get things sorted. I was also under a lot of pressure has a family member had just passed away. The second charge was more substantial and included major works. This was transferred to the LVT. The LVT ruled that the service charges were not currently payable because the freeholder hadn't fully complied with Section 47 of the LTA 1987. However, they also said that i would have to pay once he issued the service charge form correctly. I have paid the outstanding service charges, though he still hasn't done any work to the property and in fact he never has. The LVT did not rule on the legal costs and transferred the case back to County court to make the determination. These legal charges are for over £6k, more than the service charge demands. His solicitor is relying upon the following clause, to recover the legal costs, in my lease which states: 'To pay all costs charges and expenses including Solicitors Costs and Surveyors’ fees incurred by the Lessor for the purpose of or incidental to the preparation and service of a Notice under Section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925 requiring the Lessee to remedy the breach of any of the covenants herein contained notwithstanding forfeiture for such breach may be avoided otherwise than by relief granted by the Court' Please can someone help. I saw that under CPR 27 legal costs in Small Claims are limited to £260 but there has recently been a case where legal costs were awarded because the lease took precedence (Chaplair v Kumari, 2015). In addition, i have just sold the property and it completes tomorrow. This is before the hearing is set to take place. I have also just asked for the claim to be struck out as the Claimant has not filed the statement of costs which were ordered to be served over 3 weeks ago. Please can someone help me. Many thanks in advance
  3. I sold my house because I was made redundant in my mid-50's and was stuggling to get another job. I did eventually get another job and after three months I contacted my mortgage lender, First Direct, and asked them if in principle they would give me another mortgage if I downsized, with the idea being I would reduce my mortgage from £140k to around £80k. They said they would, so I went ahead with the sale. When I contacted FD again they said they would not lend as I hadn't been employed for at least six months in my new job. So I ended up renting. But was laid off again after another few months. So, I bought a flat - this was almost three years ago now. I did it up but couldn't live there as it turned out to be one bed and not two as i thought and freeholder insisted it was reinstated as one bed. I bought the flat at auction as I was unemployed and using the house capital to pay the rent which wasn't a good idea. So anyway, I have tried to sell it. There is a damp problem in the roof above my flat which is causing problems and ultimately I have lost three sales right at the last minute with the first loss due to no maintenance and the second two because of the damp. I have suffered periods of redundancy etc and so I had to have a bridging loan on the flat for trying to fix the damp and also to help with my living costs. The landlord keeps messing around and promises to fix the roof but never gets anything done. Now the loan has expired and the flat has been repossessed. This flat represents everything I have worked for in 40 years, but redundancy has caused me so many problems. When I bought the flat the landlord stated in writing (in the auction pack) that £11k had been spent on the roof but can only produce an invoice for £3k and the roofing agent's receptionist said there is no evidence of £11k being spent, but the roofer now refuses to discuss it. It sounds like accounting fraud etc to me but not sure how I can prove this. I didn't get a survey done as the auction pack came with a surveyor's report. (hindsight is a bummer!) What I need to know is: a) can I sue the landlord for the losses I will suffer when the flat is sold? It is worth around £110k on the open market but not with the damp, and I reckon the lenders will sell for a lot less. b) if I am able to prove fraud or some type of fraudulent/incorrect invoicing activity or false claims by the landlord, what am I able to do to gain compensation. This landlord has basically destroyed me - he knows his stuff whereas I don't really have a clue. He hates women and talks to me and my daughter as silly women - his words. I am losing the will to live, because not only do I have to pay an estate agent and exorbitant interest on the loan, I also have to pay maintenance charges and ground rent. He has not maintained the building and uses it to line his pockets. But I also have a £2.5k council tax bill because the council are now charging me 150% because the flat is empty. I have been well and truly stuffed by this landlord, the council, the lender, the agents, and basically the government for messing with my job in the first place. I now owe the lenders about £50k or just under and the other costs, we are looking at around £55k so I could be left owing money on the flat or getting next to nothing from the sale. I spoke to the lender, Petersbrook Securities, and they said they are obliged to sell with my interests in mind - I'm sure that's cobblers? Is anyone able to offer any advice, including the costs associated with taking any action? I am desperate. I haven't done anything about this since September when it was repossessed as I've been so depressed about it all, and couldn't deal with it, but I'm having an 'up' day and don't want this freeholder to get away with this. thank you
  4. I'd really love to know if anyone has knowedge of building rules with regard to blocking a front door within a block of flats. My local authority freeholder is electrical rising works on me and I have walked out of my front door onto the common hallway this morning to discover chalk marks on the lino of where they intend to install - 13 inches in front of my front door. So basically they intend to put a box with electrical cables about 13 inches away from my front door on the LHS ( side with hinge) as you exit. The markings suggest a box 18 inches by 8 inches protrusion from the wall which is at right angles to the door( if that makes sense). Are there any building regs etc that could possibly stop them placing this there. At the moment I can't telll for sure but it looks likely it will make it more difficult to get my buggy etc in and out of the door (not impossible but certainly much less easy) I am pretty much in anguish over this project and this is the final straw - if it looks bad right outside the front door it might make it harder to sell the property and I have no choice to sell because I cant afford the works forced on me. This was their solution as to how I pay the bill, even though I'm on my own with a one year old! Bill is £10k of of works on me alone this financial year, with an additional £3k to go outside contractors ( who I must pay contract and pay seperately, although Freeholder's electricians will cut off my electricity if I don't do it, because it wont math their upgraded electrics.) I am also being forced to pay for further works next financial year of £3-5k ( they've refused to give proper notice of the next bill to come). Anyway. the workmen are here with their drills today ( only got notice at 5pm last night drilling today) so if anyone knows of any urgent way to stop them blocking the door thats most urgent and I'd really appreciate it.
  5. We bought a flat(to rent out) in 2012 and for 6 months our solicitors could not get hold of the freeholder, so finally gave up and declared them uncontactable. Early in 2013 the freeholder resurfaced claiming ground rent, building insurance and money for emergency works 6 back to 2007 just by sending a letter giving a summary of all alleged costs, no proper demand. We requested to see invoices, proof that relevant notices have been sent to the previous leaseholder, the freeholder's company accounts for the relevant periods, etc., but not any of those have been provided. Then early this year they have taken us to small court, but have provided the court with the property address, and not our actual address where we reside. So following the delay in communication a CCJ was issued as we simply could not communicate with the court in time. We have had a hearing and the judgement has been set aside. So we are facing a hearing and we are unsure of how we should proceed. In the meanwhile, just very recently, the freeholder sold the freehold at auction, and there were special clauses in the auction stating that whoever buys the freehold must cover for the claimed arrears as well. Although the case with the old freehold is still on, would the new freeholder have any rights as to claim from us again? We have seen no documental proof of expenses made, the previous leaseholder claims nothing was owed at the time of sale. Not sure where to start!
  6. We have issues with our Freeholder: Waterglen Ltd and Managing Agents: Pier Management for a number of years. They have refused to carry out repairs to the building for over three years now, fobbing us off with section 20 notices which they have not followed through. The property is almost at the point of being uninhabitable and we see the only way forward is to issue Court Proceedings and would very much appreciate some advice. No work what soever had been effected o the exterior of the property in the 13 years or so since they bought the Ground Rents. The Freeholder and Managing Agents had never visited the Property. The main issue is the damage caused to the interior of the property. The ground floor flat has had water ingress over a sustained period of time though the exterior walls from broken and blocked guttering and a down soil stack that sprouts grossly when the toilet is flushed or the bath emptied etc. The plaster is blow and covered in mould to the kitchen and bedroom backing onto the stack. We have a Surveyors report confirming the source of damage as well as the opinion of The Leasehold Tribunal Surveyor. Matters have come to standoff since the LVT and FTT ruled that the service charge percentage for each of the two flats is 1/5th. Meaning that the Freeholders can only reclaim 40%. Ironically this was only highlighted, considered and ruled upon during the first LVT action we took to consider the extortionate Buildings Insurance charges. Their application at both Trials to vary the lease was declined: Cases CHI/29UC/LIS/2012/0076 and CHI/29UC/LSC/2013/015. The Freeholders representative did approach us to negotiate terms to vary the lease but has since ignored our emails asking for their proposals. No doubt they will make a claim to vary the lease and we have confirmed that we will make a claim for compensation of increased service charges. In the meantime they refuse to carry out any repairs and the damage to the interior is worsening and causing health problem to one of the Leaseholders. Could we ask for some advice on: Issuing a Count Court claim for Breach of the covenant on the part of the Freeholder to keep the property in good order, the wording of a notice of intent letter and any other letter and procedures. A counterclaim for Compensation in the no doubt forthcoming Lease Variation application. Thank you
  7. Hi all, My freeholder is being an ass (to put it lightly) as I am pushing his hand to attend to urgent external repair works which have caused damp to come into my home for well over a year. He is trying to make my life difficult by enforcing random lease clauses he has never bothered with in 7 years. One is in relation to him being able to inspect my property and ask for repairs to take place. I live in England – so if any of you lovely people know the law and could help me out I would be ever so grateful. I have done some research online and found some answers. His demands and my notes below. 1. The windows do not have window restrictors fitted, therefore causing a serious safety risk. Window restrictors must be fitted to all windows. ------I believe current regs only apply to new builds – if you know otherwise, please do let me know? Windows are double glazed with a handle you turn – the bottom half of the window then tilts out to approx. 45 degrees max. (we are on the first & second floor above commercial premises) It is not stated as a requirement in the lease. 2. On the day of the inspection we were unable to see the spur switch to the oven. All appliances should meet the health and safety standards. We require the gas and electrical certificates. ------I need to try and find the spur over the weekend Am I obligated to provide him with gas & elec certificates? It is not stated as a requirement in the lease. 3. The electric meter and main fuse switch box are also not positioned as per the legal height requirements. They should not be higher than eye level and should be easily reachable without the aid of a ladder ------ I already know current rules and regulations are only applied to new builds as it would be impossible to retro-enforce the law Am I still required to alter though? 4. Remove the key operated door locks from the bedroom doors and replace locking mechanisms which do not require a key to open the door from the inside in order to aid escape in the event of an emergency. ------ Re: Internal flat locks - all rooms in the house have door handles with a key that turns a look (where the key can be removed from the lock). Aside from the WC & Shower Room we don’t actually use the locks, however is there any legal regulations on whether or not I can have these on internal doors (including the WC?) ------Re: the Lock on main door / communal entrance - Ironically this door to the building which is within the freeholder’s remit does not have a snib lock and requires a key to open. It’s the only escape route so if there was a fire and we couldn’t find the key we would be unable to leave the building. Are there any rules & regs regarding external / communal doors and the lock required? Thanks in advance, won’t let the bugger bring me down!
  8. HI, I am selling a freehold flat within a block of 4,one flat was jointly owned by two woman,one woman bought the other womans share of the leasehold but unfortunately did not take her off the freehold, she is now refusing to sign the transfer forms unless we buy her share of the freehold.My question is can she legally do this,and what other options do I have.
  9. I am buying a leasehold first floor flat in a building consisting of a ground floor restaurant (leased from the freeholder) a first and second floor flat. In both the first and second floor flats title deeds there are internal communal areas defined such as the stairs to our personal front doors from the outside front door. One of these areas is defined as a shared bin storage area located in a small room at the bottom of the stairwell, enclosed by its own door from within the flats shared area. After buying the property I noticed that this door was nailed shut and after forcing open noticed a stud-work wall behind. I approached the lease holders of the restaurant and was informed the free holder of the building have given them permission to integrate this area into their restaurant. Was this legal, as this was clearly defined as a shared area for the two flats and has now left us, the flat owners, with no sealed storage for rubbish. This means either all rubbish has to stay within our own flats till collection day, or in the shared stairwell, which causes the whole of the shared stair area to smell especially during hotter months. Can we legally get the freeholder to reinstate this area as defined in the deeds to our flats?
  10. I hope somebody can help. BACKGROUND: I live in the top flat of a converted house. There are three flats in total. I own the freehold of the top flat and another person owns the bottom two flats plus the freehold of those two flats, which are rented out. We own the freehold as individuals and not as a company. The person who owns the bottom two flats has also appointed themselves as managing agent of the building in 2010. I moved into the property in February 2012. There were obvious roof works that needed to be carried out as there was a huge damp issue. Because of this our solicitor held back a sum of money from the sellers to help us with our share of the work to be carried out. There was also a contract in place which stated that if work was not carried out within 6 months of our move date the seller would claim back their retention. The managing agent/freeholder reluctantly went through a section 20 process on works. However, in doing so he did not declare his own interest in wanting to carry out the works himself in the quotes given. We only found out when we matched addresses to past correspondence. It is at this point that I should tell you the reasons why we had reservations with this person carrying out the work... 1) The year before we moved in (2011) the service charge account summery shows £12,000 for general maintenance (£4000 being billed to the previous owners parents as the owner had passed away) and £200 for testing fire alarms. When questioning him about this £12,000 and wanting a breakdown of what 'general maintenance' was carried out he can not/will not answer. He can't remember. During one phone call he said it was damp proofing the basement. We have since found out that no damp proofing has been done. When we moved in there was a hole in the floor boards in the communal area. If £12,000 was spent on the property it should have looked like new. There is no sign of any work being done to the property. Instead what we have is a property that needs a lot doing to it. 2) We have since discovered that all fire alarms in communal areas have been disconnected so how he spent £200 on testing them is a mystery. Back to the matter in hand... Upon finding out he had quoted his own company as the lowest quote, we were really frustrated. However, we said that we would go ahead with his company, but due to conflict of interest we would have to have references, insurance certificates, and require invoices and receipts as work was carried out. We would also instruct an independent surveyor too check the works as they were being carried out. We thought this was only right as he was demanding £13,000 from us and we wanted to know it was being used honestly. He refused to comply with this. Saying references would delay works, he has never had to work with people who want to see receipts and basically that we were being unreasonable. By this stage it had been 10 months. Water from the roof was coming through the electrics and our solicitor gave us a final notice to carry out work under the contract we had. She instructed us to keep the freeholder/managing agent informed at all times and give him enough notice (30 days) to respond. We have now, after a year completed the roof works. We kept the other freeholder informed at every step of the way. Giving him 30 days notice of works as well as all invoices, receipts, insurance, references from the builder we contracted. In three months of emailing he never answered a single email. According to the lease he is liable to pay for 2/3 of the cost towards the roof. It has been over a month and he has not paid. When I contacted him saying I would take matters further, he finally got in touch but only to say 'I should be very careful before going to court and basically I can not ask him for anything.' I have spoken to the leasehold advisory people and they seem to think I don't have a case as if I went to court I would basically be suing myself? I find this really strange. I feel helpless. Would anyone else trust this person? Am I in the wrong? I feel sick with worry. Please help.
  11. Hello, I am hoping that someone will be able to offer some advice. The basic scenario is this: I own a two bedroom leasehold flat. In May I received a ‘Letter Before Action’ from the Freeholder. This document stated that the ground rent was in arrears, this was payable within 14 days and a ‘Letter before action’ fee of £120 was added to my account “as per the enclosed summary”. Now, prior to this letter, I had received no invoices for Ground Rent from this company that complies with legislation. I immediately contacted the Freeholder. The Freeholder in question had purchased the Freehold approximately 14 months previously. Prior to this, all Ground Rent was paid to the original builder of the new build property. I offered to pay the ground rent arrears immediately, however refused to pay a £120 Letter before action / admin fee as I deemed unreasonable. I explained that I had received no invoices and the only previous correspondence had been over a year previously when they introduced themselves as the new freeholder. I pointed out that the “enclosed summary” was incorrect, as one of two periods shown had been paid to the predecessor. The matter has been going back and forth for the past 6 weeks. In this time, I have established and pointed out the following facts: 1.) The correspondence address that the freeholder holds for me is inaccurate. It contains Flat Number, Block of Flats Name, Road Name, Postcode. However, it neglects to include the Number of the road if that makes sense. For example, correspondence has been addressed Mr Joe, Flat 1, ABC House, ABC Road, AB1 2CD, instead of Mr Joe, Flat 1, ABC House, 46 ABC Road, AB1 2CD. I attempted to explain that the address that they have allegedly sent post to was not exact as that on my lease and this could explain as to why invoices had not been received. There are also a number of other blocks on this road that also incorporate the name ‘house’ in their title. 2.) Other residents have failed to receive recent documentation allegedly sent by the freeholder. In communication with the freeholder, they have stated that they have sent ‘similarly addressed’ letters. I point out that I have no ‘similar’ address, only an actual address. I point out that I received their incorrectly addressed letter by chance, as I cannot rely on the postman to get it right as its not correctly addressed. I have raised numerous points with the freeholder yet they have failed to return emails. I have asked simple questions such as asking for the Freeholder to confirm the clause in the lease that allows them to charge admin fees yet having asked this question 6 times, I have received no answer. I have threatened with taking the matter to LVT to allow for determination as to reasonableness, however I get no response. £120 for a letter sent from an office with no Solicitor involvement is absurd. I have asked for details of the complaints dept, Director etc, but they have failed to provide these. The email chain has continued this week. At one point, the individual with who I have been dealing, accidently sent an email to myself that should have been sent to a colleague within their organisation, asking “Are you going to reply to Average Joe, or are you ignoring him?” I have repeatedly refused to pay the £120. This week they have offered to reduce the fee to £60 if I paid within 7 days. Again, I refused, then it was changed to £60 by Fri 28th. I am so frustrated, by the aggressive tactics that this freeholder is using. In your experience, where do I stand and what should I do? Thanks
  12. Apologies, as this will be a long post, but I'd appreciate any help or input anyone can give me! My brother bought a flat at the begining of February (think the sale went through 5th Feb 2013). It's an old house split into flats - commercial property on the main ground floor, a basement unused flat, 2 flats on 1st floor, 2 flats on 2nd floor, and is leasehold (900+ years on the lease). He pays just over £600 a year maintenance charge, which he has paid in full the year upfront. He enters the property via a back door which services all 4 upper floor flats, and is the commercial property's rear entrance, though they have said they never use it. He then has his own "front door" to his flat. I went with him on one viewing before he bought the flat and saw that the estate agent had to fiddle with the key in the lock for quite some time before the door opened, but didn't really think any more about it. Since he's had the keys, the lock on the door 9 times out of 10 won't open. He's had to enter his flat by walking up the metal fire escape and going in through his bedroom (it's a raised small double-door window type). The couple upstairs have also said that they have trouble with it, and were stood outside for 20 minutes the other day trying to get it to open, and have told the freeholders, who ignored them. He called the freeholder of the building to let them know that the lock was broken. Lets call them Mr and Mrs C. Mrs C answered and told him it must be his key, and she will get a new key cut for him, and he would have to pay her for it, and Mr C would be round to his place of work to drop one round. 2 weeks went by and they hadn't turned up when promised on numerous occasions. When eventually he spoke to Mrs C on the phone again, he told Mrs C that he'd had a local locksmith round who had told him the barrel was broken and that it needed to be replaced. Mrs C said she would look into it (no excuse was made about not producing a new key). A couple of days later he got a call from Mrs C who said that she'd had someone look at the lock and it wasn't broken, and it was my brother's key. My brother, during this time, was still living at home with mum while he was sorting the flat out - had a new kitchen put in etc. Fast forward to the end of last week, and Mr & Mrs C hadn't given my brother a new key and wouldn't answer any phone calls. In the mean time, he has actually slipped on the fire escape and twisted his ankle and knee. He moved in "properly" last week. Rightly, or wrongly, my brother bought a new lock, fitted it, gave a new key to the people he could and left a message for Mr & Mrs C to say what he had done and asked them to pick up the key so they could arrange for the 2 empty flat's owners to get keys. He got a call from an irate Mr C who told him he'd be getting a solicitor's letter and my brother didn't have any right to change the lock. (Which probably is true, I imagine, he hadn't gone the right way about it!) Mr C told my brother he'd be at his work in the morning to pick up the lock he'd taken off. My brother went to the local locksmith (who incidentally is right next door to his work) and asked them to test the lock and write a letter confirming the barrel was broken. They did this. Mr C came in and was rude and "abrupt" (which is how my brother's colleagues described him), took the barrel, and the letter (!!!!!) and went next door to the locksmith. Mr C came back and handed my brother a new key he'd had cut, told my brother the lock wasn't broken and he was going to put it back on, and that he had misheard and misread what the locksmith said. My brother arrived home from work last night and the new key wouldn't open the lock. Mr and Mrs C haven't answered their phone. (As a btw, Mr C has also told my brother he had to remove his condenser dryer from the cupboard on the landing as it was a fire hazard (?) and, while he was changing the door lock, has taken off the lock on the cupboard and told my brother he can only keep a mop and bucket in there. This was sold to my brother by the estate agent as "his cupboard" (a very large cupboard) but I've asked my brother to bring all his documents with me to check if it is actually "his" cupboard. My brother has in the mean time taken the dryer out.) My brother called the solicitor who dealt with his sale this morning, and she said she doesn't deal with litigations and that he should write a letter asking them to sort this out and give them 14 days, and if they don't do it within 14 days to go to the citizens advice who would help him further. So, here I am, asking for some help! My brother has asked me to help him as he doesn't have a clue (and I must have a bit of a reputation in the family of being clued up......) and I want to do my very best to get a good outcome for him. All he wants is to be able to open the door with his key! Be this being supplied with a key that works (every time, not just after 20 minutes of nursing the lock), or by the lock being replaced. I will be writing a letter to Mr & Mrs C that my brother can sign, so wanted to ask for any help in constructing this letter. Is there anything I should definitely be saying? Definitely should NOT say? Any pointers will be greatly received, and thanks for reading this really long essay!!!
  13. In 2013 my mortgage lenders have been approached**by the freeholder informing them of a 2012 LVTribunal determination to pay for service charges arrears (which we still dispute) amounting to almost £12,000. The Tribunal determined we had to pay for £12k plus some of the freeholder legal costs. To that bill the freeholder added a bill of almost £100.000 to cover his costs awarded against the leaseholders increasing our service charge bill to almost 20k per flat. We presented two appeals in 2012 (to the LVT and to the Upper Tribunal) both rejected with great surprise given the evidence available. I must add that there is no County Court injunction to back up the tribunal determination and I have never received a section 146 Notice from the freeholder. I contested the services charges bill explaining to the lenders all the reasons why we dispute the service charge bill and I informed the lenders that they were refused the authorisation to pay the freeholder's bill explainin also stating that the case is still in dispute as a judicial review case was going to be filed (it is filed now). In the last two months I asked the lenders to provide the lawful evidence authorising them to pay on my behalf and against my will. So far, no replies from them after 2 months and 4 letters. I also added that I would sue the bank if they pay the sum.* In March 2013, surprisingly for us, the lenders decided to pay anyway adding the sum to my mortgage with interests**to protect 'its security' as they claimed that they were presented with a section 146 Notice by the freeholder. How is it possible that they took the responsibility to pay on my behalf without a successful County Court Injunction determination and without me receiving a section 146 Notice by the freeholder? I am aware that if the alleged breach relates to arrears, you cannot serve a valid section 146 notice where the amount of service charges, administration charges or ground rent owed (or a combination of all of these) total less than £350, or have been outstanding for less than three years.* In actual fact not only the £12k bill issued in summer 2012 is not more than 3 years old but also the legal costs (7k) were added by the freeholder only in late in 2012. Given the FSO bad reputation for handling cases against consumers I will have to start legal proceedings against the lenders because I do not believe that they could act in a such way without having and providing us with the lawful evidence necessary? Thanks in advance for any opinion if you have any, tired Gullyver
  14. Hello (and sorry for the long post) I am a leaseholder and I have had leaks in my roof for many years that have got steadily worse and worse - starting with damp patches and discolouration and ending with large dumps of dirty water at random places in the ceiling when it rains heavily. I have complained about this throughout but there has been no action from the various managing agents that have been in charge. About 18 months ago a large dump of water damaged some electronic equipment and a piece of furniture. This prompted the managing agent into action and some temporary repairs were done. The freeholder's insurer eventually paid out for the damage on the grounds that the freeholder was negligent (ie, was in breach of contract as they hadn't carried out their duties under the terms of the lease). The insurance claim process was excruciating, and I was only award a proportion of the value of the goods as they were some years old, so I an very reluctant to go down this route again. For some periods since then I have had to cover up our furniture and floors with plastic, and put buckets down at night or when we went away for weekend to avoid damage. I have been complaining to the freeholder and sending them pictures of the room in this state explaining how inconvenient this is! I have also told various people at the freeholder and managing agent and emailed numerous times to say that I'm very worried that any water would potentially damage our wooden floor and/or furniture. Works were started about 6 months ago to carry out a proper repair. However, for some periods the contractors left the site in a worse condition (ie, took away the temporary repairs and then abandoned the site). I complained about this when I found out what had happened and sent the freeholder photographs of the obviously not-water-tight roof. I was able to avert a potential incident when I came home, luckily, earlier than planned and found water coming through the ceiling. At this point I contacted the freeholder again saying that it was lucky that a lot of expensive damage was prevented and reiterating my concerns about the floors and furniture and pointing out the poor standard of the contractor. Before the works were completed (finally, about a month ago) there was another leak and our furniture was soaked with dirty water while we were out. To get new covers will cost many £000s as we have a two matching items and the material is no longer made, so I can't just buy individual covers but must buy 2 full sets of a similar material. Btw, the items are now ~4 years old. Given the long history of this issue and my many letters pointing out the danger of considerable damage, and the precedent of an earlier successful claim for damage where the freeholder has implicitly admitted negligence, I have no doubt that I would win a claim in court. However, my questions are: 1) does damage to one area of one item allow me to claim the full cost of a complete remedy? I would assume so but I would like to check whether you think a court would tend to award the full amount or whether there would be a compromise and I'd be awarded a proportion of the amount of a full repair/remedy due to either the severity/extent of the damage or the age of the items? 2) I have used the county court track in the past and successfully won a simple Sale of Good Act case, however, would you advise that for this case I should use a professional litigator? 3) if so, can anyone suggest who I could contact to discuss this further? Thanks -B
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