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Please help me with my Mental Freeholder who won't be reasonable

(1 Post)
mrswarbouys Tue 10-Sep-13 16:51:54

Long post this one, sorry but here goes - 10 years ago XDP and I came across a lovely first floor, 2 bedroom, leasehold flat in the area we loved and we wanted to buy. Solicitor told us that the leasehold contract looked a little bit funny. The Freeholder who owns the flat downstairs (the house has 2 floors and divided into two flats) could not be contacted and there was not much detail on the contract re: building insurance and maintenance. He said it was ultimately up to us whether we bought or not. We did buy, we moved in and noticed the flat downstairs was empty and after a few weeks we got a knock on the door by a somewhat curt and pompous woman who claimed to be the owner of the downstairs flat and the Freeholder. Or "Your Landlord" as she put it.

Anyway she told us we had to give her £600 cash asap for our half of the building insurance and maintenance (that would go into a sink fund). I said O.K, well, first off we need to see some I.D from her and the insurance doc' as well as evidence of this sink fund account. She refused, saying no, money first. So stalemate - and 7 years on and nothing has changed, the downstairs flat has been rented out on and off. We have carried out about £2000 on the roof and other bits that she is meant to share with us. We have not received a penny from her.

Thankfully the law on insurance has changed and now leaseholders can take out their own building insurance, so that's what we're been doing.
This Freeholder did finally identify herself, but she still asks for this money. And we still refuse to hand it over. We've spent a couple of grand on solicitors trying to get her to carry out what the law requires her to do and she simply refuses to answer our letters. Even our solicitors letters. Our lease is around 70 years and will very soon need renewing.

What I'd like to know is can she cause us problems RE: extending our lease. Also I've heard about collective enfranchisement. As we are the only leaseholder in this house could we force the her to sell us the Freehold?

thanks for reading

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