The umbrella over everything a managing agent does for the client is dictated to a large extent by the terms of the leases. From the frequency of service charge demands and cyclical major works, through to restrictions regarding wooden flooring or subletting, the lease contains the answers.

On your behalf, as your managing agents we would be responsible for ensuring that the leaseholders abide by the covenants contained in their leases. The most common (serious) breaches that we encounter are non-payment of service charge; unauthorised alterations (e.g. penetration of the exterior fabric of the building or installation of hard flooring); persistent leaks of water; unauthorised sub-letting; excessive noise; breach of H&S regulations; unauthorised keeping of pets. The property manager will engage in correspondence with the leaseholder in breach to remedy the matter, in consultation with the client. If this is unsuccessful – i.e. the property manager is unable to persuade the leaseholder to remedy the breach – we would recommend to the client that solicitors issue proceedings against the leaseholder. Technically, this could result in forfeiture of their lease, although in practice this happens very rarely – the threat of forfeiture and rising legal charges is usually sufficient. In the vast majority of cases, the breach is remedied before forfeiture proceedings become necessary.

Clients have covenants that they are required to comply with too. We are well placed to advise you regarding all lessor covenants. Where there is any ambiguity, legal advice should be sought which we can arrange.

When beginning to manage a block of flats for a client, we strongly recommend a lease review is carried out by a solicitor who is an expert in leasehold matters. For an example lease review and an indication of cost for this service, please contact us for more details.

Our network of leasehold experts is unrivalled and that very much extends to the solicitors that we work with on a daily basis regarding lease advice and reviews, licences to sublet and assignment, licences to alter, service charge disputes, service charge arrears, forfeiture proceedings, complex ‘section 20’ consultation, First Tier Tribunal assistance, and company advice (for RMCs). High volume given to select solicitors who are blocks of flats specialists ensures a speedy, efficient and above all, highly knowledgeable and practical service. Please do contact us for more details of the key solicitors in our network and how from time to time, they will be able to help you.

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