Leaking roof damaging 1st floor flat

Hi everyone,
I am the leaseholder of the 1st floor flat in a converted two storey house. The roof is badly leaking damaging the ceiling and flooring in bath/bed/living rooms.
I pay building insurance and ground rent to the freeholder management company.
Am I right to think the roof, being part of the structure is the responsibility of the freeholder?

you are correct .The structure is repaired by freeholder

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It depends on the lease. If there is no service agreement then you would be responsible for it. Building insurance and ground rent are different and wouldn’t cover roof repairs.

Blocks of flats will always have a service agreement where freeholder takes responsibility for structure but if it is just a couple of properties it is normally down to leaseholder to organise repairs but see what lease says.

Thanks Richard, I think it is a sensible approach.
I just worry 'cause I cant get in touch with the other leaseholder to share responsibility. I would find impossible to bare the roof repair cost estimated around £11000.

all leaseholders share the cost. Just because aroof is over one flat does not mean that that person pays for it.

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This is correct to my knowledge too. The roof leaked over a different block that was part of my building and we all had to pay! Not ideal at all but I guess if it was over my flat then everyone else would also have to pay! Just how it goes , hard though as it is so expensive and I didn’t really have the extra cash either!

Some management copanies build up a "sinking fund"to cover large projects

True, in theory. In practice I have to pay otherwise my tenant moves out and i have to pay for re-plastering/re-decorating. Then I have to find the down stair leaseholder who has no intention to fork out any money and take him to court.

is it just 2 flats.? the freehlder/manageing company should sort this to get the money from the downstairs guy

this is what i am trying to do but even the freeholder management are dragging their feet. I sent two extended emails, called three times. All i got was an email promising to send me a copy of the insurance policy.
I will call again in the morning.

i bought a flat in a block of four. The owner owed a lot of service charge. The managing agent had put a lean on the place , so when I paid for the flat the money owed was taken out first and he received the balance… Where there is a will… keep on at them you are not responsible for all of this repair

Thank you bro,
I am quite low about it but you give me strength

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Tenants can complain to Council so in a way leasehold is a different form of tenancy! And freeholder is your LL. I also try Council if freehold management company is sitting on their hands! Council can issue notice and expect results in certain timeframe.

Brilliant, that’s a good tip.
I did not know that
Thank you so much

Freeholders aren’t responsible for paying for maintenance. They charge leaseholders a service fee for the costs incurred which usually includes a sinking fund to cover unforeseen or large items such as your roof repair. As you dont pay a service charge they have no money for the repairs. If you convince them to do it all they will do is send you a request for payment before any work is done and that will also include a large bill for their time. For blocks of 2 with no communal areas it is uneconomic to pay a service charge to a managing agent. It would be cheaper to you and quicker to do it yourself.

do you pay a service charge. or have management annual service accounts?

I do pay ground rent and building insurance.
However, got an email today by the managing freeholder with the insurance policy.
They say It is likely I am covered by the insurance.
I am yet to read the policy.
If it is, it would certainly take a huge load off my shoulder

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So you do not pay any service charge for cleaning common areas , gardening repairs etc ?

Hi, just an update on this issue. The frreholder instructed a surveyor. It turns out is not the roof but the blocked gutters/downpipes which in turns caused the render to come off and water coming in via a hole in the brickwork. The issue has been reported in Nov 2022, the survey in April 2023, the report in July 2023. At present the surveyor is still to appoint a firm for the repairs. Meanwhile the tenant left in January 2023. The property is uninhabitable and have not had any rent since losing 1000 every month though i am insured for loss of rental income. I am seeing another lawyer from the local CAB for more advice. Cant wait to get over this then will sell. I am done with properties.

i’m in a similar situation the leaseholder of a first floor maisonette, above a ground floor flat (Council owned and rented )
I pay ground rent and buildings insurance but no maintenance charges or sinking fund, any repair costs are divided between the two properties 50/50.

I do pay for landscaping every quarter even though they do a crap job :woman_shrugging: