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Leasehold block of flats needs new roof - Cost in £30K per flat

(24 Posts)
lalamumto3 Fri 12-Feb-16 09:24:52

Hi our block of flats needs a new roof, approx cost will be £350K divided between the 15 flats in the block, some are 1 and others 2 bed and I presume the 2 beds (which we have) will pay more. There is no sinking fund and so this will be an extra item to the service charge. We have been notified of the management company's intention to get estimates for the work, but have not heard anything else formally yet. I had a brief telephone conversation with someone in the management company's office. Are there any rules for how much notice the freeholder is required to give? We will have to add it to the mortgage.

wowfudge Fri 12-Feb-16 09:41:45

£350k? Really? How many storeys high is the block and are there any access issues? What kind of roof is it? That sounds incredibly expensive and I would want to see evidence that several quotes were obtained and the detail of the quote. I'd also be checking for links between the roofing company and the management company/freeholder.

MajesticSeaFlapFlap Fri 12-Feb-16 09:44:11

How much?!

I too would want all the info and many quotes.

PipnPosy Fri 12-Feb-16 09:48:20

Yikes, that sounds like a LOT! Is it a solid gold roof?! Definitely get a number of quotes.

lalamumto3 Fri 12-Feb-16 10:15:40

It is a 3 storey block and a flat roof. Don't worry I will be asking for lots of evidence, quotes etc. I am actually thinking of asking a local company to provide an independent quote. It will need scafolding etc, but still seems on the high side to me. I would imagine that the other lease holders will not be at all happy.

Aussiemum78 Fri 12-Feb-16 10:17:40

Why is there no sinking fund? Is it not regulated in the uk?

Alwayscheerful Fri 12-Feb-16 10:21:42

I think the freeholders are required to give 6 months notice. The notice is only applicable when there are a (specified) minimum number of flats, I am pretty sure the minimum is applicable to blocks of 15.

I saved an article somewhere I will try and find it.

We need a mumsnetter married to a flat roofing contractor!

namechangedtoday15 Fri 12-Feb-16 10:21:59

You normally have 30 days from the notice to provide a written response. If you google "Section 20 Consultation procedure" or something similar, you'll find lots of guidance / advice.

lalamumto3 Fri 12-Feb-16 10:24:52

Hi there has never been a sinking fund, as stated in the lease, we were aware of that when we bought the flat. It is in the Uk, in SW London.

We would like there to be one and maybe for the costs to be financed by the management company and spread forward of the next 10 to 20 years, not sure if that is possible though.

It would seem fairer on all of the owners for it to happen in that way.

Akire Fri 12-Feb-16 10:25:42

Sounds hell of a lot ask to see quotes get some of your own. If it's 3 storey high it's not much taller than a lot of houses hardly like hiring special machinery.

So roof for approx 5 houses if 3 storey high. That's 70k per house sized space that's huge.

Akire Fri 12-Feb-16 10:27:33

And a flat roof is general much easier to maintain and faster would have though as no tiling each tile by hand it be concert or felting

penelopewellingdon Fri 12-Feb-16 10:28:55

There is a proper procedure for this kind of thing. And you can challenge the quotes in a tribunal if they are unacceptable.

have a look at Lease-advice particularly the parts on Section 20 Consultation

thecapitalsunited Fri 12-Feb-16 10:33:39

How the costs are split will be as per your lease. I have a 2 bed flat in a development where most are 1 beds or studios. Any maintenance costs etc are split on a per flat basis with no regards to how many bedrooms or how big the flat is. Your lease might be different but it is worth checking.

lalamumto3 Fri 12-Feb-16 11:17:32

Hi thanks have checked lease and we are responsible for 7%.

lalalonglegs Fri 12-Feb-16 16:02:43

You are allowed to ask for details of the work and then get quotes yourself. I too live in SW London and, even taking into account scaffolding costs, insurances etc, £350k sounds enormous. Is it being done in a special material? Is the block listed? Has there been extensive damage due to lack of repair? If the flat isn't in a conservationa era, perhaps you and fellow leasehders would be better off buying the freehold and building a "penthouse" floor on top to fund the purchase and any future repairs.

wowfudge Fri 12-Feb-16 16:15:56

I'm wondering if the quote is for fibre glass or some sort of membrane suitable for a rooftop terrace? It is still extremely expensive.

MrsBertMacklin Sat 13-Feb-16 18:36:13

There's some incorrect advice on this thread: the freeholder isn't obliged to give 6 months notice, nor are they obliged to consider quotes that you've obtained yourself.

They are obliged to enter into consultation with leaseholders for major works, where any one leaseholder's contribution is more than £250. The first notice you've received is the 'Notice of Intention to Carry Out Works', there is a second notice to be served where they set out the estimates that they've received and possibly a third, which has to be served if they select a contractor who didn't provide the lowest estimate, explaining why there are awarding contract elsewhere.

Your main rights under this consultation are:
- you can nominate a contractor that the freeholder or their agent has to approach for a quote. They are not obliged to use the contractor. For example, if the firm can't satisfy non-cost requirements for the contract, health and safety policies aren't up to scratch, they aren't offering good warranty terms.
- You can make observations about the proposed scope of works. The cost of this appears high: you should ask to see the specification of works to find out why and if you think the scope of work is overblown, tell them why and ask if it can be reduced.
- the freeholder is obliged to consider and respond to any observations you make

There is a guide for leaseholders on S20 consultation here.

The cost seems high, so I would definitely ask to see the specification and ask questions such as if the replacement is like for like, or if they are taking the opportunity to upgrade anything?

Is your managing agent a local agent, or a larger one?

LBOCS2 Sat 13-Feb-16 21:43:36

Yep - seconding what Burt says (I believe we work in the same industry wink).

There is absolutely no way that the managing agents will finance this work, by the way. The only funds they hold will be those belonging to the block, as as per the LLTA they should be ring fenced for the use of the block themselves. Managing agents don't operate with that sort of profit; most services are charges on a unit rate of between £100-500 per unit, plus major works fees which are a percentage of the project involved. It's also unlikely that you'd be able to get a loan for the work en masse as you don't have any assets to use as collateral (or any credit history).

If there was significant difficulty raising the funds for the work and there was likely to be a breach of the lease due to it, your agents may be able to revert to the freeholder to pay for it, but they would still actively pursue leaseholders for their proportion of the funds as the leaseholders are obliged to pay for the works under the terms of their lease.

Having said all of that - without proper consultation, you're all only liable for the first£250 of the cost; check your agent is following S20 consultation properly (the leasehold advisory website has some good information sheets about it). And £350k sounds extremely, extremely heavy for a standard flat roof replacement, even with full scaffold for three storeys.

lalamumto3 Sat 13-Feb-16 23:04:33

Thanks so much for all the replies. I have now learnt that it is for decoration, communal areas, etc as well as the roof. However, they have only had one quote so far. I think it is going to be a long haul. I have checked with our mortgage company and they are saying they would be happy to advance the extra money which is a relief.

Will come back and update when I receive more info.

Ragusa Sun 14-Feb-16 16:03:10

Hmm, who is the management company?? If you think they may be taking you for a ride and it certainly sounds like they might be you have a right to chuck them out and manage the property yourselves as residents.

£350k for a flat roof?! They are really, really having a laugh unless the building is grade 1 listed, lined with highly friable asbestos, and due to be replaced with gold leaf.

Ragusa Sun 14-Feb-16 16:06:56

Right to Manage

LBOCS2 Sun 14-Feb-16 17:51:36

I've done this for a living for most of my career and I wouldn't self manage in a million years. It's too risky and there's a load of liability which frankly, most leaseholders have no idea about.

However if you've got no faith in the managing agents you could always either go RTM and bring in an alternative agent, issue a S22 notice to have a new agent appointed, or exercise your right to have a management company, if it's allowed for in the lease and become the instructing client for your current agents.

How involved is your freeholder, OP?

Ragusa Sun 14-Feb-16 19:47:56

Yes that is what I meant blush not necessarily manage the block yourselves but you can appoint a company of your choice to do it, and check out their reviews, do your due diligence, etc.

If you're just dealing with the incumbent, you can be less sure that any trades who quote are truly independent. They could just be mates of the current management co.

LBOCS2 Sun 14-Feb-16 21:06:01

True - although they do have an obligation to get quotes from any company which is suggested by the leaseholders during the consultation phase of the 1st S20 notice. So if you do know anyone, you can get them to quote too - the whole idea of the consultation is to make the process more transparent.

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