Another great mixed bag of cases in the past few months. Big thank you to our clients for making use of our broad range of services. A few worth a mention in this round up are;
• Rapid Service Charge Collection
We have recently taken on a large batch of service charge recovery cases from a well-known manging agent (who are actually super-efficient in collecting service charges themselves). The cases we have received are ones where leaseholders have been non communicative or just refuse to pay for various reasons. Nothing like a challenge to get our teeth into! So far we have settled over 80% of the cases in less than 1 month by focusing on communication and opening a dialogue. Negotiation and understanding have been key. We accept that some cases may require the court process in order to reach a conclusion, but it is certainly not our starting point.
• Accelerated Possession Proceedings
Sometimes court action is required. This month we have recently taken steps to obtain possession from a tenant under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy who has consistently failed to make payment of their rent.
After trying to reason and arrange payment with the tenant, it was accepted by all parties that this route was not going to bear fruit. Our client, who was losing a lot of money on unpaid rent, had no choice but to try and obtain possession.
We served a Section 21 notice, allowed the required time limit to pass and then we issued a claim for Accelerated Possession. This has now been accepted by the court and our client will shortly be able to rent out the property again.
Acting for the landlord we have just successfully negotiated a lease extension. The parties decided not to follow the statutory demand procedure and therefore we consented to the extension and a slight variation.
This allowed a leaseholder to sell their property to an incoming buyer who benefited from an extended lease, which of course means more security and value. Normally, under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 an incoming leaseholder would have to wait 2 years before they could extend the lease. All parties very happy.
• Management Companies, Lease Extensions and Variations
We have been kept very busy looking after our client’s interests (a management company) on 2 of their larger developments where there are numerous lease extensions being negotiated.
Sometimes management companies can be overlooked when people are considering a lease extension. However it is important to note that tripartite leases need all parties to sign the documents and this includes the management company – who should always take care to ensure that nothing in the extension or variation will prevent them from carrying out the management of the development.
This is also applicable to and is very important for a Licence to Alter situation as often a leaseholder will require the landlords consent but the management company will be the ones that are providing the services and any changes to square footage could change the service charge proportion payable.
If you have any cases that you need a hand on then we would love to hear from you.