Reader’s inquiry about leasehold snagging issues
I recently purchased a Lease hold flat (Sep 14) in a purpose built property, the freeholder of the building is a private individual but the management is done by a Crown management company. The building is a new build having been built in 2007, my understanding is that new builds are covered by a 10 year warranty/guarantee.
I have been in contact with the management company regarding a number of outstanding issues with the freehold property. Such as..
– Leaking Garage
– Electrical issues with lights in garage
– Noises coming from roof
– Number of other more minor issues/general lack of maintenance.
Initially they were receptive to my emails, however I have had no contact from them since the 26th of March, despite repeatedly emailing them for an update on the issues. I believe I am now simply being ignored, none of the work they say would be carried out has been done. I am unsure of how to proceed in ensuring that the above issues are resolved. I believe they may be hesitant to answer my questions given the owner is still within the 10 year warranty/guarntee new build period, and therefore would be liable for the major works (leaking garage/lights in the garage).
In addition speaking to a neighbor he believes they may be in the process of doubling the service charge.This seems unbelievable given the lack of maintenance atm, I do not see how they could justify this. Could you suggest any particular evidence I should be collecting? General maintenance levels? In case they were to increase the service charge.
Thank you any thoughts appreciated
Your surveyor hopefully reported on the state of the building before you purchased and should have spotted these defects. They should also have noted who provides any warranty on the building and the period that it runs (e.g NHBC)
The warranty that comes with a new property is unfortunately not that robust. Depending on who provided the warranty you will need to check with them if the defects you have are covered. If the defect is not part of the warranty it may still sit as a liability for the developer.
If the current owner is not the original developer that makes things more complicated. It the current owner was the developer it means the agent inevitably has a conflict of interest in asking the person who gives them their job to pay for works.
What the managing agent should have told you is that for a number of warranty schemes the agreement is with the flat not the managing agent. That means you rather than the agent would need to initiate any claim.
It terms of keeping records any proof of poor maintenance would be relevant with times and dates and a record of when the agent was told about the problem.
It is also common in the early stage of a flats life for the agent not to be collecting enough to maintain the fabric of the building. If the sinking/reserve funds are lower than 20-25% of your total bill they may well to be too l