Below are some of the most common questions raised, however, if you can’t find your answer, click on this link, which provides you with some of the best sources of information available:
What is a lease?
Your lease is the contract that you signed when you purchased your flat. This will list your rights, as well as what you can and cannot do. Here, you will find all of the details about your block/estate management company, and any formalities or agreements that you need to be aware of.
How do I go about extending my lease?
Under the terms of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, you have a statutory right to extend your lease for an additional 90 years (existing term remaining 89 + 90 = a lease term of 179 years). Also, under the Act, the ground rent is reduced to a peppercorn.
You might think that a remaining term of 89 years is more than sufficient, but please be advised that as the term diminishes the value of a lease extension increases dramatically. In fact, at 80 years an additional calculation in the valuation process is applicable, the “marriage value”, a calculation that takes into account the value of the land if it was to revert back to the freeholder and was redeveloped.
What is the difference between ground-rent and service charge?
Your ground-rent is payable to your landlord as agreed in your lease, and will vary with different contracts. The service charge are the payments which all leaseholders pay in order to maintain the upkeep of the building. This includes general maintenance, services and repairs, for example, gardening of communal areas, provision of central heating and lift maintenance. The service charge is what allows us to keep your block of flats in impeccable condition, whilst keeping problems to a minimum.
Do I need to have buildings insurance?
No, your management company will take care of the buildings insurance in accordance with the terms of the lease, but you should have your own contents insurance. If you are letting your flat to others, then having Landlords insurance is highly advised.
I’d like to become a director of my management company, how do I go about this?
Being a director of your management company will allow you to oversee the running of the company and be able to communicate with the homeowners in the buildings and liaise/instruct Leasehold Management Services. To become a director, you should attend the Annual General Meeting and volunteer. Alternatively, speak to us and we can point you in the right direction.
Noisy Neighbours !!
Trying to resolve the issue by talking to your neighbour might be appropriate, they might not be aware that their actions are causing you concern. If this doesn’t help the situation, then speaking to your management company to raise awareness of the issue might help.
In order for a management company to take action against a noisy neighbour you will need to contact the local Environmental Health Officer in order to obtain an Enforcement Order, without this there is little your management company can do to enforce the terms of the lease.
How much can I change in my flat?
Your lease will clarify what you can change and amend in your flat, and will also list out any regulations and policies regarding pets, sub-letting and contact details. If you need more guidance on any queries, then just get in touch.
Can I lease my property to someone else?
Yes, you are able to do this, just check through your lease for any regulations or restrictions that might be in place. Your management company will always have the best interests of the other tenants at heart, so any sub-letting will need to follow this protocol.
Are pets allowed to be kept in my flat?
The majority of the time, pets are forbidden in housing developments, but there may be some leeway within your lease. Check with your landlord, or if you are enquiring about keeping a pet in unique circumstances, come to LMS for some advice. If you’re wanting to have a few fish, then you’re probably safe.
Can I get in contact with the Director of the Management Company?
Since this is a voluntary role, LMS are prohibited from passing on any contact details without seeking permission. But, that is what LMS are here for, to manage the majority of the work of running a block. Therefore, we would advise you to get in contact with us, and we’ll be able to help accordingly. We can always contact and speak to the Management Company directors on your behalf if needs be.
What is the best way to deal with Anti-Social behaviour?
Having anti-social behaviour on your door step is never a nice situation to deal with. If you can, approach the person or group and try to resolve the situation without involving legalities. It might be that they do not realise that their behaviour is causing problems. However, LMS understand that this can be a hard step to take, so we can help and provide advice for you in order to get help to resolve the situation. We deal with all cases confidentially and with care.
Who is my managing company?
LMS are the managing agent, and we work on behalf of the managing company of your block. You will be part of the managing company if you have purchased a property. Being part of this management company will mean that you will have to comply with legislations, but as your block management agent, LMS will help you to do this in order to ensure smooth running of your estate.
I think my property has damp, what can I do?
It is a common misconception that a flat is damp when in fact the problem is most likely condensation – a life style issue.
Condensation and damp can cause a multitude of problems, and it is important to recognise the signs and take any action that is required. Basic advice would be to increase ventilation and insulation, and maintain a consistent temperature. If the problem still persists, get in touch with us.
Can you explain the Section 20 Consultation?
The Section 20 consultation provides protection and security for the leaseholders. It prevents landlords from requesting more money for the service charge than originally agreed. If this needs to be done, then your landlord must follow certain procedures in order to progress with the extra charges.