In recent years, there have been a number of important pieces of legislation, affecting the rights off leasehold tenants of blocks of flats. The landlord & Tenant Act ( 1985, revised 1987) contain a number of important sections, which leaseholders of blocks of flats may find interesting and useful. Under Section 30A, the leaseholder is entitled to request details relating to the insurance of the building and the landlord is required to furnish this information within 21 days. The information provided should include, at least the following: the name of the Insured, the sum insured ( the reinstatement value) and the risks insured under the policy wording. Under Section 21/22 of the 1985 Act, leaseholders are also entitled to make a written request, with regard to costs incurred for the last financial year. The landlord is allowed one month to supply this information or within 6 months of the end of the financial year applicable. The leaseholders will also be able to request reasonable facilities to view accounts, invoices, etc that support the charges made
Key Legislation Blocks of Flats
Blocks of Flats- Leaseholders rights
In 1987, leasehold tenants of blocks of flats, obtained for the first time, rights to acquire the building from the landlord Legislation, enacted under the landlord and tenant act 1987, made provision, giving qualifying leasehold tenants, the right to first refusal to acquire their freehold, where the landlord had indicated, they wished to sell. As well as this right, additional provisions were included under the act to allow leasehold tenants a wider say in the management of their building, where the landlord either failed to carry out his or hers obligations or did not carry them out in a a satisfactory fashion. In most cases, a landlord wishing to dispose of a freehold interest would approach the leaseholders as the natural group who would wish to purchase the freehold, however, this is was not always the case and the act made it an offence if the provisions of first refusal where not complied with.
One of the most important pieces of legislation relating to the rights of leaseholders was set out in the e Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, and amended by the Common hold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. This important piece of legislation gave a group of qualifying leaseholders the right apply to the freeholder of their building to purchase the freehold. There were of course consideration and these included the following
- The block must have a minimum of two flats and if the building was originally a single dwelling house (and since converted in to a block of flats) and there are less than five individual units, the freeholder, ( provided he carried out the original conversion) must not live in the building if the leaseholders wish to qualify.
- Leaseholders who wish to participate must qualify by holding leases that were originally granted for a term in excess of 21 years. There is now no minimum ownership period and no residency requirement. ( This was previous 2 years)
- The number of leaseholders who wish to participate in the purchase must represent at least 50% of the number of flats in the building.
- There must not be more than 25% of the internal floor area of the building in non-residential use, for instance some blocks are built above commercial premises or allow commerical activities to occur in part of the building.
- Resident’s parking spaces are not included in calculating the floor areas.
This piece of legislation set up a frame work for leaseholders to take charge of their own affairs.