LEASE – the government’s Leaseholder Advisory Service
LEASE is a service provided by the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
LEASE provides free advice on residential leasehold and park homes law. It is an independent body, and only advises leaseholders and park home owners.
To find out more about LEASE, visit their website.
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On 7 December 2017 our Landlord, Waterfront Wakefield (Hebble Wharf) Ltd., lodged an Notice under Section 20A of the Landlord and Tenant Act for dispensation to proceed with emergency repair works to address water ingress through the southern elevation of Hebble Wharf without the requirement to first consult with leaseholders, on whom the cost will ultimately fall. The requirement to consult normally applies to any works that cost more than £250 per apartment and in order to proceed without consultation, the landlord must seek approval from the First-Tier Tribunal Property Chamber. Copies of the Notice were sent to all leaseholders on 11 December.
The committee of Hebble Wharf Residents and Owners Association met on 20 December to consider the implications of the Notice and to draft a response to the Tribunal. Representations received from individual leaseholders were considered and the committee agreed to submit a formal response, outlining the Association’s concerns, supported by at least 22 leaseholders. The Association’s response does not preclude individual leaseholders from also responding, but has the endorsement of a majority of the voting members of the Association.
On 20 December, the Tribunal directed the Landlord to provide further information to each leaseholder before the application could be considered. That information was due to be provided within 21 days (by 10 January) but on 8 January, the Landlord asked for a one-week extension of this deadline as there had been delays on obtaining some of the information over the Christmas/New Year period. We expect the information to be supplied in the coming week, after which leaseholders will have 7 days to respond with any concerns to the Tribunal.
The Association’s submission has been made ahead of the further information being supplied and may be modified should new information come to light. Copies of each of the relevant documents can be downloaded using the following links:
This week, Managing Agents LIV Group provided updates on the issues that residents reported were their greatest concerns – parking and security.
There remains a long-term plan to create car parking for commercial tenants on the waste ground on the opposite side of the canal basin. LIV Group have no indication yet when this is likely to be constructed, or whether spaces will be made available for residents of Hebble Wharf
The Association has asked LIV Group to clarify the status of the area outside the front door of Hebble Wharf, which is not allocated to any of the commercial users. This area is not designated as a car parking area, but as an area for emergency vehicle access and for deliveries. The area has not been constructed to the same standard as the remaining car park spaces and there has been damage to the block paving suggesting it is unsuited to continual use by vehicles. LIV have cautioned that any request for designation of parking spaces there could result in the existing “unofficial” spaces being lost and “No Parking” signs being erected.
Once the Residents & Owners Association is formally recognised, we will work with LIV Group to develop a proposal to the commercial landlords in adjacent buildings to seek designation of certain bays for residents use out of office hours (ie 6pm to 8am). The Association’s primary focus is to provide for visitor parking, especially overnight and at weekends.
Building Security and CCTV
Existing CCTV coverage of the Waterfront development is now operational and cameras pan across all parts of the estate, including external areas around Hebble Wharf. Data is recorded and held for 28 days. The Association has asked that CCTV coverage be extended to include, as a minimum, the vehicle entrance, fire door and the main entrance lobby on the ground floor.
Leaseholders at Hebble Wharf have withdrawn their acceptance of the offer to purchase the headlease on Hebble Wharf, following news that the income from ground rents would be substantially less than anticipated.
According to information supplied by the vendor’s solicitors, it transpired that there would be no ground rent income from about 25% of apartments which were sold last year ‘en bloc’ with 998 year leases (instead of the usual 250 year lease) but with only a peppercorn ground rent payable.
A majority of the leaseholders decided that the investment required was no longer viable.