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Hi All

In September 2017, I purchased a leasehold tenanted flat above a commercial premises.

 

The entrance to my property is on the first floor and you have to climb some external stairs to reach the front door.

 

After purchase the landlord decided to convert two offices in the same building into flats.

 

The other two flats (which have just been converted from offices and are still owned by the freeholder, but are up for sale) have an entrance door on the ground floor and internal stairs to the individual flats.

 

In order to sell these flats some quite drastic improvements in the form of wooden cladding have been made to the ground floor area surrounding the ground level entrance door to the two aforementioned flats. ( I have to walk through this area for access to my own property)

However, the actual area leading to my own property, has been left in the same state as before and no cladding has been added here.

 

Additionally, there is a small flat roof to part of the ground floor commercial properties within the same area.

 

As there has been a several unsuccessful attempts to repair a leak on this roof which is affecting one of the commercial premises, they have decided to put some plastic corrugated sheets at first floor height, making a makeshift roof one floor higher, to prevent any water getting to the lower flat roof, therefore addressing the leak.

 

This is actually a repair to the commercial premises but has been addressed in the communal area, inappropriately in my opinion as they have attached a frame to my windows in order to attach the roof to. In expressing my concern about this they agreed to remove it. That was July, and it's still there.

 

An absolute eyesore (picture 1 )

Initially, I had received a bill for these works but upon meeting with the agent and expressing my concern he agreed no bill would be issued.

 

I have now received a bill for the service charge for the last 6 months.

 

This bill is 3x the amount suggested when I signed the lease.

 

It was approximated to be £35 per month,( draft agreement photo 2) but the bill I have received equates to around £90 per month.

 

They are obviously trying to get their money that way!

 

Upon first acquiring the property, I received and paid a service charge bill for around £40 per month, which I paid, but this was then returned to me by cheque as they were about to start work on the other 2 flats and said that they would waive the service charge until works were completed.

 

I have now received this further inflated service charge, which is obviously to pay for the improvements made outside of the 2 ground floor flats (an area that has to be passed through to access my own, but my own outside are has not been subject to similar renovations) they want to charge me separately (£997) for conducting similar renovations in my immediate external area. Actual service charge breakdown Photo 3

 

It is also to pay for the corrugated plastic roof shown in the picture 1

 

Picture 4 shows the monstrous view from immediately outside the front door.

 

I have objected strongly to this roof for the reasons outlined initially but it remains attached to my own properties windows and they now want me to pay for the privilige!

 

I'm going to admit to being baffled by the legal jargon and am currently simply refusing to pay.

 

Not sure what to do next caggers, but really feel this is very unjust.

 

 

photo1

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B8TsY4aaYjNP3VH_xH8GoJYlMca47_UY/view?usp=sharingphoto 2

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BpZNQu4TTu7iwKuN2CgSsFYpZ5hHR6Vt/view?usp=sharingPhoto 3

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11VmUF3Zc_GwCskHus3sPS_zwX5x_wwt0/view?usp=sharing photo 4

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Bodgers at their best!

Roof leaks, tell you what, let's put a canopy over that!

My advice:

1. Tell them you want that structure off your windows view in 30 days as it surely breaches the lease

2.ask all documents, receipts, invoices, etc. related to service charges. They must give them to you within a month under the landlord and tenants act.

3. When you get these documents, ask for a refund for anything that doesn't apply or is related to this bodged job.

4. Come back here for further advice

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Thanks King12345 - will do.

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Items 1 and 2 should be sent separately and you must state that the two matters are separate

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Hi, following the advice of King12345 I will address these issues seperately..

 

Item1:

I requested that the canopy construction be removed, and have now had a response from Mason Owen, the estate agents representing the leaseholder.

They say that they will remove the canopy. However I have concerns;

 

[1] They say they intend to rebuild the canopy at a higher level, above my windows, I do not want this as the view will again be seriosly affected, replacing my current view of the sky with a view of corrogated plastic, placing me inside some kind of corrogated greenhouse! Temperatures in summertime will be unbearable.

 

They also state clearly that I will be charged for this new construction.

"The canopy benefits the entire building, and as such will be charged as a service charge cost"

 

 

[2] There will be damage to my window frames when they remove the current construction, what can I do?

 

[3]I mentioned that I would be looking to replace the windows at some stage in the future, they said ... "It has been noted though that if you wish to install new windows it will be easier to do at the time of the canopy being replaced, I would therefore be grateful if you could confirm if you intend to replace your windows at the same time as the canopy removal"

 

I fear that after the new construction, if I cannot stop it, it will be difficult to replace my windows at a time when it is finacially best for me to do it, is there any way I can stop this construction happening?

 

To clarify, the windows in the photos are a small part of a set of windows which span 2 sides of my building, offering a view across the local town.

 

thanks you and any advice is greaty appreciated, these people have me worried.

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How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Windows can be replaced from inside your property, unless you call the cowboys who built that canopy...

So it's a completely different job and they must make good any damage left behind when the remove the canopy.

On second point, I would strongly argue that they need to fix the roof, not build another canopy, also because it surely doesn't comply with regulations (planning permission might be needed)

Fixing the roof is cheaper than bridging another canopy which would require constant maintenance.

Then, loss of air, view and thermal comfort all contribute to your points.

Did you try getting the council involved?

Ideally you need a name to refer to in all communication, otherwise you'd pass from post to post.

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Hi Caggers, after reading the info on the link provided by stu007, and taking on board the advice from king12345. I separated the problems,

Item 1: The Canopy. Item 2: The service charge.

 

[1] The Canopy:

I wrote to them on 23rd Nov, I have made it very clear that I strongly object to the construction of a new canopy, and a warning that any construction should not be attached or secured to my property.

This makes it impossible for them to hang it up there anyway (copy of letter attached)

 

They replied same day stating

" Thank you for your email, I will discuss this with xxx next week and revert in due course"

17/12/18 I am still waiting for a reply.

 

 

***********************************************************************

 

[2] The Service charge:

I have requested supporting documentation / receipts for the charges listed on my service charge invoice, all of their figures seem "very rounded",

They replied with

"In terms of documentation, this is the first year that a service charge has been run, as such the only documents that I currently have available is the SC budget that you are in receipt of. "

 

I have again requested copies of supporting receipts on 11th Dec as this is 30 days after the initial request and they have not replied.

copy mo letter cag.pdf

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Which financial year are we talking about?

If they started service charges after April 2018, you will need to wait until they close the accounts in April 2019 and send you the statutory summary.

Then, within six months from receiving the summary, you request documentation and they have a month to send it to you.

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