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TitleHow to Buy a Flat: All You Need to Know About Apartment Living and Letting
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LanguageEnglish
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Page 2

HOW TO
BUY A FLAT

Page 112

M A N A G E M E N T /101

block of flats where there is an outside landlord. And such
Associations can have legal force, as they may seek statutory
recognition from the landlord. Again, the FPRA can help here

with its explanatory pack. Recognised Residents' Associations

have more power than informal ones and they are entitled to be

consulted about the appointment of managing agents; be notified

of works proposed by the landlord and receive a copy of
estimates; submit the names of alternative contractors; obtain
information about service charge accounts and appoint their own
surveyor.

Where it might be too difficult to enfranchise or go for Right to

Manage, a recognised Residents' Association may be the next best

thing. It is easier than the other options and, in many cases, can

work just as well.

Robert Levene, Chief Executive of the FPRA, explains further:

We advise our members on all issues relating to living in a flat
and also lobby governments and make representations on
legislation.

The biggest issue is always payment of service charges as many
flat owners believe these are optional. One reason for this is that
few solicitors or estate agents ever point out what the covenants
are and how they are enforced. Very many people buy flats
believing they don't have to pay Service Charges if they don't
want to. We are hopeful that the new Home Information Pack
will change this attitude.

Most managing agents, he adds, don't themselves live in flats -

because they know only too well what the problems are.

Page 113

1 0 2 / H O W T O B U Y A F L A T

WHERE YOU HAVE ENFRANCHISED
All residents in possession of a membership certificate - given to

you when you buy the property - are members of the Company
and as such will be invited to attend the AGM. Although
attendance at AGMs is not required, it is compulsory to hold
such a meeting, which will be chaired by the Chairman and the
Company Secretary will take the minutes.

The AGM will consist of approval of accounts, the Chairperson's
report, updates on debtors, reports on major and minor works
and any other changes since the last year and, finally, Any Other

Business - which is usually where the fun starts. It is the
Chairperson's job to keep order - and a firm hand will often be
required.

There may be matters on which members may vote, such as the
appointment of new managing agents, a new Chairperson or new
Directors and the usual thing is, one vote per flat. This means that
if one person owns three flats, they get three votes, but if four
people live in one flat, they only get one vote between them.

Debtors or those in arrears may attend the meeting but will not be
allowed to vote. Friends or relatives of members may be allowed
to attend the AGM (should they wish to) but must remain silent.
They are not allowed to offer opinions and comments, or to vote.

There may also be one or two Extraordinary General Meetings
(EGMs) throughout the year, such as when emergency major
works are indicated, and cannot proceed without a majority vote
from members.

Page 224

I N D E X / 213

best buy, 52-6, 143
council (local authority), 22-

4, 26, 33, 42-4, 66-7,
136-44

disadvantages of, 4-5
the first flats, 18-19
freehold, 29, 31
increasing value, 104-35
over shops, 34, 46
pets in, 78-9
pros and cons, 11-12
problems, 167-90

forfeiture of lease, 77, 148, 163,
180-1, 195, 206

freehold, concept of, 28
freehold, share of, 66, 83
freeholders 5, 57, 104 et seq

Gray, Stewart, 112
Greenslade, Alex, 134
ground rent, 77, 112, 126, 129,

151
Guinness Buildings, 21

Haler, Peter, 78, 123-4
Hammersmith and Fulham,

London Borough of, 136
holiday lets, 146, 147, 161-3,

164, 166
Home Information Pack (HIP),

78, 101
Home Ownership Unit, 67, 136
'hope' value, 128

inheritance, 200-1

Law of Property Act, 28

Land Registry, 61, 80
Landlord and Tenant Act, 89
Lands Tribunal, 115
lease, the, 5, 57-79

buy-to-let, 146 et seq
contravention, 172
extension, 29, 31, 105, 106-

17, 133, 204
forfeiture, 70, 77
questions to ask, 58-9
short, 112, 118-9, 137, 203

Leasehold Advisory Service
(Lease), 76, 123-4, 178, 190,
202

Lease Mediation Service, 184-6
leasehold law, understanding,

5-6, 12, 26, 28, 60, 87
Leasehold Solutions, 134
Leasehold Valuation Tribunal

(LVR), 69, 74-6, 81, 108-9,
111, 115, 116, 117, 121, 131,
132, 141, 142, 177, 178, 181,
190, 202, 205

leaseholder, obligations, 29
Levene, Robert, 78-9, 101, 135
levies, 11, 96, 177
listed buildings, 65-6, 154, 186-

7
live/work units, 34, 49-50

managing agents, 10, 31, 46,
57, 81-2, 97, 114, 134, 149,
150, 154, 168-9, 171, 175
appointing, 90-1

mansion block, 33, 36-7
'marriage value', 110, 127, 128-

9

Page 225

2 1 4 / H O W T O B U Y A F L A T

neighbours, disputes, 16
newbuild, 1, 33, 39-41, 80, 84,

145

Old Brewery, The, 2
Old Candle Factory, The, 2
Old Fire Station, The, 2
Old Vicarage, Grantchester, 8

Participation Agreement, 125-6
Payment Plans, 68, 141
Peabody Buildings, 21

cost, 21
Peabody Trust, 25
Perriam, Wendy, 14-15
pets, 147, 179-80, 194
Planning Permission, obtaining,

153, 155
Property Clubs, 40, 152, 195-6
purpose-built block, 33, 37-9

repossession, 69, 77
Residents' Associations, 31, 41,

45, 59, 86, 97, 98-9, 142,
149, 150, 153, 162, 163
Committee, 193, 195, 207

retirement apartments, 34, 51-2
Right to Manage (RTM), 29,

45, 82, 83, 85, 86, 98, 101,
119-24, 126, 135, 168, 189,
202, 204

Rosetta Consulting, 126, 129

Schrenauer, Norbert, 20
service charges, 10-11, 29-30,

36, 38, 43, 44, 52, 59, 62,

64, 70-1, 72-3, 89, 91, 101,
150, 151, 193, 197
on ex-local authority
blocks, 67-9, 139-41, 173
'reasonableness', 71-2
unpaid, 176-8

shared ownership, 34, 47-9
shell apartments, 34, 47
shareholders, 94, 126
SIPPS (Self-Invested Pension

Plans), 200
sinking fund, 31, 59
6000 Years of Housing, 20
short lets, 147, 160-1, 164
social (council) tenants, 136,

138, 139, 143, 163-4
subletting, 65, 146-50, 168
surveyor, 91, 113
Surveyors, Royal Institute of

Chartered, 92-3

tax, 165, 166, 195, 197
capital gains, 50, 166

Tenancy Deposit Scheme, 157
Timeshare, 199-200
Towes, Richard, 136, 138, 139,

140, 142

Upstairs, Downstairs, 17

Vesting order, 114

Warehouse conversions, 33, 34
William the Conqueror, 191
Wilson, Jacqueline, 23

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