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Housing association lost lease (Shared Ownership)


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Hi all,

Our house got flooded last week, and I read through our lease, which said payments might be suspended if the property becomes uninhabitable (which it is). I sent an email with this request today, and they have said they dont/can't find a copy of our lease.

 

Is there any benefit for me not to send it?

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Thank you, I have seen a few other posts and he appears to be quite the wizard. I need someone with his expertise to bounce my communication off...

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Hi

Welcome to CAG

If they don.t have a copy of your lease then Maladministration but also where has it gone as that is Data Under the Data Protection Act and if they have lost it tut tut tut so what I would do is write to them (ensuring to get free proof of posting from post office) asking them for clarification that they cannot find the Original Copy of your Lease as you require this in writing.

You then wait to see their response to that.

Can you clarify if this is a Housing Association Property? or Leasehold Property? or Private Renting? as thing differ between each.

Can you post up in writing exactly what the clause in full states?

Now when you say property flooded can you be more precise as to exactly what happened to cause the flooding?

Do you have Insurance Cover?

As for the clause without having it to read what you state in your post would really depend on the wording of that clause and whether the flooding was for example due to the recent weather that caused numerous properties to be flooded out.

Where it would change and that clause would come into affect is if the flooding for example was caused by say a pipe bursting in the property that your Landlord was responsible for maintaining and did not maintain it.

With any property whether it be Housing Association, Leasehold, Private Renting you should always have Insurance i.e. Contents Insurance or Building Insurance or both depends on the Property or if a Clause state you must have certain Insurance.

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Hi @stu007

Thank you for your help on this.

Currently my communication with them is via email, I am happy with this as any email which is sent I get a automated response to say they have received it and it will hopefully speed the process up.

So you have some context of the situation I will explain exactly what has happed to date and our current setup:

We currently hold 26% of the property, while the remaining portion is under the ownership of the Housing Association. We pay the Housing Association rent along with various service charges encompassing Day-to-Day Repairs, Drain Maintenance, Ground Maintenance, Water Pump Maintenance, fees for an External Management Company, and building insurance. The Housing Association currently own the road including the land. - This is my understanding of the existing setup.

On Thursday evening last week around 10:40 pm, a flood impacted our local community area and property. While the water level didn't reach a critical point to flood the house entirely (only some minor water which entered in the back doors which we contained), it did flow into our garage, eventually spilling onto the road due to non-operational drains. This backup caused the garage to flood. Despite attempting to contact Housing Association on their emergency line, we were unable to reach anyone. During the flooding a fire crew attended and said there was a pump in the corner of the estate which was supposed to pump the water away from the drains but it was switched off - I have a recording of the fireman saying this on my doorbell. Consequently, the water remained stagnant all night which would have damaged our property further as it surrounded our house until we successfully reached the Housing Association via telephone the following morning. They dispatched a drain contractor and a pump engineer to resolve the issue, ultimately clearing the water.
 
Subsequently, we engaged with the building insurance company who is provided by the Housing Association, who sent an assessor from a company called Belfor. Their assessment highlighted significant concerns regarding the property's foundation - verbally this was told to me as well.
 
During the flooding, a small amount of water infiltrated the house through a patch in the hallway, situated centrally. There was no water ingress through the doors or windows apart from the small amount which we managed to control by the back doors. The carpets remained dry throughout the ground floor. However, the concrete and underlay were thoroughly saturated, indicating a potential issue with the damp course installation or malfunction. - I am hoping the insurance company will investigate this but await confirmation they will.
 
Unfortunately we didn't have contents insurance but luckily we managed to pull a lot of the furniture up etc. Currently the building insurance have put us up in alternative accommodation as the house is a hazard and after only a few days our lungs where starting to be effected.

As the Housing Association is responsible for maintaining the water pump and the drains and there is doubt the water pump was working I believe this could be seen as negligence on their part along with potentially the foundations being installed incorrectly, however I believe we may need to get further proof - I sent off an email to the Housing Association requesting more information focusing on the water pump and drains - please see attached
 
In terms of rental payments I have also attached this communication for you to read, this is the clause in our lease:
 
"Suspension of rent in case of insured damage
If the whole or any part of the Premises are destroyed or damaged by fire or any other risks
covered by the Landlord's insurance so as to be rendered unfit for use then (unless the
insurance money is irrecoverable by reason of any act or default of the Leaseholder) the
Specified Rent or a fair proportion of it shall be suspended until the Premises are again fit
for use."


Ultimately our goal is to pursue the House Association for damages and compensation if they are negligent with the water pump, drains or the foundations and non rental payments during this time. I haven't put in a formal complaint yet until I have further proof about the pump, foundations etc..
 
I appreciate you looking over this and I will go ahead and reply regarding the rent once you have OK'd it incase you feel there is anything else we need to add.

Many thanks once again :)
 

Formal Request for Rent Suspension Due to Unfit Premises Following Flood Damage.pdf Formal Request for Comprehensive Maintenance History Water Pump and Drainage.pdf

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Hi

So it a Housing Association Property purchased under Shared Ownership.

Well after reading your two PDFs you are way ahead of what I would have suggested already to you in what you are requesting information wise from them and you are doing the correct thing in asking for that so wait and see what responses they come back with

DO NOT send them a copy of your Shared Ownership Lease as you have confirmation that they don't have a copy then what the hell have they done with that as it contains your personal data and if they have lost this Original Document that is a Data Breach under the DPA 2018.

You need to make a Formal Complaint to them and make sure and title it 'Formal Complaint' and refer to that email response where they state they do not have a copy of your lease and that you refuse to send a copy as the Housing Association should have the Original Lease Document and that response basically means the Housing Association has lost your Original Lease Document that contains Personal Data and is therefore a Data Protection Breach under the DPA 2018 and you require a response from the Housing Associations Data Protection Officer where this Document has went to and if unable to find this document them I will report this as a Data Protection Breach to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).

It is for them to find you Original Lease document not for your to provide them a copy that you hold in fact they have a dam nerve asking you for that

ICO.ORG.UK

Find out what to do next if you’ve had a problem accessing your personal information from an organisation, or if you’re unhappy about how an organisation has handled yours or other people's information. You should...

If you know other Shared Ownership people in your Estate I would advise getting together and discussing your issues as a Group but anything you hit the Housing Association with you all do individually in case this needs to go further if the Housing Association doesn't play ball i.e.

Due to the concrete damp/damp course issue you may need to get and independent surveyors report but doing this as a group may reduce costs to yourself.

You may need to get a Solicitor involved but doing this as a Group may reduce costs sharing it as a group.

the above is only if you may have to scenario but better to be prepared.

Also remember with the Housing Associations Insurance Company they are working in the interest of the Housing Association and not your interests.

Which Housing Association are we on about?

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  • stu007 changed the title to Housing association lost lease (Shared Ownership)

Thanks @stu007,

I have gone ahead and sent off an email to the housing association outlining what you said regarding data protection. In the meantime I want to get the rent payments stopped as soon as possible and I think by me putting the complaint in it will make it a longer process. I'm making the assumption they can back date any payments as I have raised the initial issue via email.

Do you think that clause will stick?

Currently there is a messaging group via whatsapp which has all the residents in but I don't feel it's being very productive, lots of people going round in circles and not taking the necessary steps to collect information in the correct manor such as getting everything in writing. Some residents weren't effected as much as others so the steam is starting to run out. Currently this feels like a battle I'm going to have to fight alone unfortunately.

In terms of the damp course, I am waiting for the building insurance surveyor to book me in for a visit, but will keep you posted of there findings.

Regarding a solicitor I have approached several firms but none of them seem to be at all interested, Possibly this time of year for them is extremely busy or they would just rather do simpler jobs - however if you are aware for someone who can help, please let me know. In the meantime I am documenting as much as possible in case it is needed in the future. That being said, I know the housing association do have a compensation process which I could apply for but again I would assume they are going to try and get away with paying next to nothing. 

In terms of which housing association it is I have tried to keep this under the radar as you can tell due to the possibility of them finding this post, happy to tell you who they are via private message.

I will keep you posted if they come back with anything.
 

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I note that you say that as part of your Service Charge there's a fee for a managing agent?

Do you pay the managing agent the Service Charge and Ground Rent fee or the freeholder (housing association) directly? It would be very unusual for a managing agent to be appointed to handle the day-to-day operation of the development while continuing to pay the freeholder the Service Charge.

Did your email go to said managing agent or to the freeholder directly?

It's quite normal for managing agents to not hold copies of individual leases (after all, should they actually need it for anything they can grab it off of Land Registry). Meanwhile your freeholder should hold a copy and what Stu is saying is correct.

We could do with some help from you.

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Hi @lolerz

The original email went directly to the housing association. We pay our housing association rent and service charges all in our monthly payment (one single payment). The housing association give us a breakdown of service charges at the end of the year and this is where it states external management company.

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Hi

Query with the Housing Association exactly who the Management Company is they are referring to in the breakdown of the Service Charges Invoice/Statement and that you require their Full Company Name, Address and Company Number and clarification if they are the Managing Agent for your Property.

It may be that the Housing Association has set this company up themselves as the Managing Agent.

My own Housing Association does Shared Ownership and does exactly that has setup a Managing Company which is the Factor/Management Company for Shared Ownership but in reality it is the Housing Association that runs it.

 

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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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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

Any update on this for us?

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

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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.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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