Help needed for a reader
I would appreciate some views on the issue of s11 notices under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, please. I have looked through the LKP site and cannot find anything that covers these two issues and indeed cannot find anything elsewhere on the internet. I’m happy to have the questions and any views on the LKP site if you think that it would be helpful to others.
Enfranchisement –response of Freeholder to s11 notice
I live on a private leasehold estate where there are approx. 190 flats in five separate low rise blocks, many now owned by absent leaseholder landlords and occupied by shorthold tenants. The Freeholder and property managers fall into the category of – well, let’s be diplomatic and say unsatisfactory. For example they ridiculously threatened me with proceedings under the Protection from Harassment Act if I do not stop documenting problems at the Estate with them – the emails have always been polite and proportionate and needless to add when challenged they were unable to produce a single item that was abusive, threatening, or in any way “harassment”. They also threatened me with a defamation action but again, predictably, were unable to produce a single defamatory statement by me, especially as I had taken a lot of contemporaneous photographic evidence which supported my concerns.
There is no residents association and numerous past attempts by a small group of leaseholder occupiers to set one up have all failed. The freeholder and managing agents have never held a communal meeting and have always refused to give contact details for leaseholders when we have previously attempted to set up a means of communication amongst leaseholders, and refused to inform other leaseholders that they could contact me if they wished to be copied in to communal emails. Land Registry searches for ownership details for that amount of flats would have been financially prohibitive.
The lease and deeds give each leaseholder the right to use all of the grounds in the Estate.
I recently served a s11 notice on the Freeholder, who has responded insisting that I am entitled only to the names and addresses of the 39 leaseholders within my own block.
Am I wrongly interpreting the Act? (Quite possibly as the drafting is not easily understood)
s1’s wording that “any property not comprised in the relevant premises but to which this paragraph applies by virtue of subsection (3)…….
Subsection (2)(a) applies to any property if F1. . . at the relevant date either—
(a)it is appurtenant property which is demised by the lease held by a qualifying tenant of a flat contained in the relevant premises; or
(b)it is property which any such tenant is entitled under the terms of the lease of his flat to use in common with the occupiers of other premises (whether those premises are contained in the relevant premises or not)….
In this section—
“appurtenant property”, in relation to a flat, means any garage, outhouse, garden, yard or appurtenances belonging to, or usually enjoyed with, the flat; ”
And s2’s wording
(a)any common parts of the relevant premises, or
(b)any property falling within section 1(2)(a) which is to be acquired by virtue of that provision,
where the acquisition of that interest is reasonably necessary for the proper management or maintenance of those common parts, or (as the case may be) that property, on behalf of the tenants by whom the right to collective enfranchisement is exercised. “
suggest to me that collective enfranchisement of the entire Estate should be possible and not just of the block in which I live. Indeed I cannot follow how it would be possible to enfranchise just my block and yet acquire the common parts i.e. the grounds.
To attempt to enfranchise the entire Estate, I would of course require the names and addresses of all leaseholders.
Data Protection Act issues
The other issue I would appreciate a view on is the Data Protection Act issue. As a visually impaired person, I have requested as a reasonable disability adjustment that the information be sent to me by email. The Freeholder has refused this on the basis that it would breach the Data Protection Act and in order to send it by email he would have to first obtain the consent of every leaseholder (in the case of my block, 39 leaseholders) which would not be reasonable or proportionate. Given that the information requested is the same as that held in the public domain at the Land Registry which offers an online service, I cannot follow the Freeholder’s reasoning.
Any insights or views on either issue appreciated.