Owning your own home

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  • Can we make an offer before we advertise our own or is that a black mark against us in the eyes of a vendor?

    It's definitely a black mark I'm afraid. We didn't get the place I was posting about upthread because we didn't have our place on the market, even though we put in the highest offer. The winning bid was chain free.

    It does depend on the specific market the place is in though. The one we were interested in had 12 offers effectively a day after the viewing (viewings Saturday, offers Monday).

    I'd still say get yours on the market ASAP.

  • The original figure will have been an estimate - unless the contractor was silly enough to offer fixed price?

    I suspect the MA figures that the new estimate won’t be significantly different or it expects to top up the figure somehow once the work is done.

  • That sounds logical enough. I just hate handing over 4k when I suspect they'll just sit on it for a year.

  • yea I wouldn’t be too happy about that either.

  • Do they have to have a reasonable estimate of when the work is going to happen, or can they issue the S20 and then sit on your money for years? I looked at the government legislation website but couldn't see anything covering this question.

  • I’m not sure the legislation is that specific - but my only experience is Local Authorities who behave in the opposite fashion - do the work then ask for the money twenty years later.

    I suspect if you really think it’s being done badly or in bad faith you’d need to get a solicitor involved and it could end up decided at a tribunal. @BleakRefs might know more.

  • Just seems frustrating that I have no ability to push back in this situation, all that does it would appear is to add legal costs to my S20 bill and I still have to pay it, and MH can then sit on the cash for the next 5 years if they want to.

  • What is in your lease covering paying in advance for major works?

  • I don't know. Will have a look- the lease was written in the 1930's so it's somewhat hard going.

  • Sort of echoing Howard here. Only experience is LA. When we bought flat, some of the money stayed with the solicitor to pay the major works. What was left over was given to the vendor. (I KNOW. But you know. Shrug)
    Major works in LAs are work is done, then you can apply for loan from LA to pay back. If tenant I think.

  • We're not LA, which I presume is why they're after the money (an undefined period before) the work starts.

  • Ok, lease says the company (managing agent, I presume) must do works in a timely fashion, that's it.

    Other than that, we're definitely in arrears, and they can take my flat because of this.

    I guess I just have to pay, under protest.

  • IANAL but I have a recollection that by paying these things you effectively give up your right to protest later? I remember when we had a Section 20 on our old place we were unhappy but decided to pay because the consequences of not doing so can be so bad. But you can’t have your cake and eat it.

  • Get on the board of directors for the freehold company, then you'll get a better view of what is going on and how the decisions are made.

    I think this stuff is an unfortunate consequence of Flatlyfe and you can't really win. See Spotter's saga in the bastard neighbours thread for how you can lose though.

    I want a house.

  • Paid it, they're total cunts.

  • Try this:

    Our block had a working intercom system. Just a metal panel on the ground floor with eight buttons, one for each flat. It was fine.

    Get an S20, they want to replace it as they can't get parts for it any more. Parts? Right. £900 please, so £7,200 per block. Sure.

    The new phone in the flat is smaller than the old one, so it means if the people who painted the wall recently didn't take the old one off to paint, the new phone reveals a strip of the old paint underneath, which inevitably will be some 70s shade of horrific.

    Don't worry, we'll supply a plastic plate to fit underneath that will look shit, says the freeholder. No, we won't re-paint your hallway, you should be happy we are providing you with a polycarbonate plate.

    New intercom system fitted, instead of one button per flat there's a keypad and you have to dial the fucking number then press a call button. The new phones are so loud I can hear phones going off three floors below.

    Because of the extra effort involved in dialling three numbers the visitors to at least three of the eight flats don't bother, they just force the mag locked door open, gradually destroying it in the process, surely to trigger another S20 to get the door replaced.

    Fucking cunts.

  • Any recommendations for heating engineers/boiler installers who'll work in SE14?

    (Searching wasn't helpful - either that or I can't drive a search engine!)

  • Do they have to have a reasonable estimate of when the work is going to happen, or can they issue the S20 and then sit on your money for years?

    Their right to demand money in advance and the section 20 consultation process are two separate things. The freeholder's right to extract service charges in advance depends on the terms of the lease. Usually this will allow the freeholder to estimate the next year's service charge expenditure, and invoices in advance (usually once or twice during the year) based on their estimate. At the end of the year they work out how much they've actually spent, and either you have to make up the difference or they roll over any credit to the next year. That's not set in stone, but it's a common way for leases to operate.

    If this is your case then you have to pay the service charges demanded in advance, provided the demand is valid and has been properly made.

    tl'dr - read your lease.

  • IANAL but I have a recollection that by paying these things you effectively give up your right to protest later?

    Used to be the case, isn't any more. Section 27A(5) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, as introduced in the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.

  • Try Which Trusted Traders - you can postcode search there and look at a lot of genuine comments - they followed up on an electrician I got from there quite quickly and thoroughly.

  • Ha! Shows how much I know.

  • If you look at the Google Reviews for MH Associates you can see what I'm dealing with.

  • Well, IAAL, so it's my job to know all this boring crap.

  • All the more reason to read your lease so you know what the rules of the game are. Some of them, anyway.

  • Now I remember that the reason I thought it worked the way it did was because that’s what some literature from our freeholder said. Threatening cunts.

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Owning your own home

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