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Court appointment of a manager

Court appointment of a manager

Postby Flattie » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:16 am

House converted into 3 flats.
Leaseholders are also freeholders direct on title register.
Management has broken down.
Drainage in communal garden is subsided and requires expensive work.
The leases allows collection of service charges for such work.
However the freeholders obligations to repair do not cover the communal garden.

If I were to get FTT to appoint a manager would it be deemed reasonable to include drainage repair as part of the proposed managers workplan for the building?

I am thinking in terms of the other freeholders arguing it does not form part of the freeholders obligations.
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Re: Court appointment of a manager

Postby diy » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:27 am

Who is contractually responsible for the repair? Is it affecting the building, garden or neighboring land? does insurance not cover?

If you can find who has responsibility for it, then you can ask them to pay and if they wont you bring a claim. Its probably going to be cheaper
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Court appointment of a manager

Postby Flattie » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:53 am

The drainage pipe runs through the freeholder retained communal garden. The reason the drainage pipe is subsided is that the hardscaped garden has no drainage and water in the garden runs to an area approximately 2 meters from the building through which the drainage pipe runs. There is a possibility this may be affecting the building but is unlikely. The pipe is butt jointed clay, and is likely to be leaking sewerage into the soil.

2 freeholder commisioned surveys have recommended renewing the drainage. However 2 of 3 freeholders see this as unimportant.

The repairing covenants in the leases run to main walls, roof, foundations etc but no mention of drainage, communal garden, front forecourt etc.
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Re: Court appointment of a manager

Postby Millbrook2 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:23 am

From CAB;

'In some circumstances, your local authority environmental health department can order you to carry out improvement work or replace a private drain. They might do this if, for example, they think your drain is too small for your property or if it’s causing a blockage.

If necessary, a local authority can carry out the work themselves and then charge you for it.'


Those in favour of the repair could speak to the env. health dept.

You should also be aware of any potential health risk if raw sewage is seeping into the ground and the future potential liability.
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Re: Court appointment of a manager

Postby Flattie » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:29 am

Thanks for that. I came across the same passage in an internet search on drainage.

The drainage is working as in is not blocking up. However it will likely collapse at some point. I don't think it is bad enough that enviromental health would order it's replacement.

However, my question is would a court appointed manager be able to carry out the work required even though there is not a freeholder covenant in our leases to repair drain/garden.

I do have a slight extra interest compared to the other freeholders in this as fitting a yard gulley and resurfacing the hardscaping as part of the works would likely add value to my ground floor flat.
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Re: Court appointment of a manager

Postby atticus » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:49 am

Who is going to pay for this work? Not the manager.
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Re: Court appointment of a manager

Postby Flattie » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:53 am

The 3 leaseholders as part of service charges. Although the leases do not covenant the freeholder to repair drainage, the lease would allow service charges to be charged in advance to complete services to the building.
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Re: Court appointment of a manager

Postby Hairyloon » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:52 pm

If the Environmental Health department orders the work done, then would they order everyone in the block and would they be jointly liable?
Likewise, if the Environmental Health department did the work, would they bill everyone in the block and would they be jointly liable?
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Re: Court appointment of a manager

Postby dls » Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:25 am

Since the leaseholders appear to have no legal interest in the garden, it would seem to be unreasonable to oblige anyone to repair it.

However the tenants (presumably) have full control over the freeholder company.

Difficulties arise if you begin to accumulate funds within the freeholder company to anticipate such a repair, and one tenant sells up. Does he take back his share or lose it, or recover it from any incoming leaseholder.

I cannot see a court appointing a manager in this situation.

You might consider the amendment of the leases (after a very close examination of the existing ones)
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Re: Court appointment of a manager

Postby Flattie » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:04 am

Hi. Thanks for your responses so far.

Yes, the garden is not demised to any of the 3 tenants. However we have rights to use the garden. Also the 3 tenants combined drainage passes through the garden. This combined drainage is 'bellied' due to defective garden drainage causing subsidence. Surely the freeholder is obliged to act to prevent this subsidence, especially as the costs can be recovered via service charges. One of the flats even had a buyers homebuyer survey come back deeming it unmortgageable (due to possible subsidence of which the state of the garden was an important factor). Subsequent to this the freeholder commissioned a full building survey which deemed replacement of drainage as an important item. Yet the freeholder refuses to act(due to joint freeholders disagreeing).

If a court is unlikely to appoint a manager in such a case, what is the best way to proceed?
Would FTT perhaps forceably vary leases to covenant drainage repair?
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