Under a Lease there are several obligations set out that both the leaseholders and freeholder must follow. If these are not adhered to then either party could be in breach of the Lease and severe consequences may subsequently follow.
The types of breaches that a freeholder can be liable for are:
- Not maintaining the building properly including the roof and foundations
- Not keeping the building properly insured from loss or damage by fire
- Not painting or redecorating the building when needed
- Not keeping passageways and stairwells well lit
- Failing to keep a record of annual certificates, accounts and audits
- Failing to fix or repair any television or radio aerials
If you believe your freeholder may be in breach of their Lease agreements an option for you could be to set up your own management company with other leaseholders within your block and maintain the building yourselves. This would mean taking over conduct of all management functions that your freeholder would usually deal with such as those listed above. The only rights that do not pass to the RTM company and remain with the freeholder are collection of ground rent and the right of forfeiture and possession of a Lease.
RTM is a good way of leaseholders being able to take control of the management of the building and make sure it is properly maintained and repaired to your own standards, especially if you cannot afford to buy the freehold altogether. You are able to collect the service charges yourselves and spend them on the work you feel is necessary as well as insuring the building proper
If you feel your freeholder is not doing a good job of maintaining the building to a satisfactory standard or not fulfilling their obligations under your Lease you may wish to consider taking on the management functions yourself.