Leaseholders - private housing
Your freeholder must consult you before carrying out any major works to your property.
Under the Landlord and Tenant 1987 Act, if you belong to a recognised tenants' association, the secretary of that association must be allowed to provide names of individuals or companies who can give estimates for major works. Every leaseholder should be given a summary of the final estimate and have the right to inspect the specifications of the proposed works.
If you do not belong to a tenants association, the freeholder must give you two estimates for the proposed major works, which should be displayed where it is likely to be seen by all leaseholders. This information should also include an address in the United Kingdom where you can send your comments.
Your freeholder can only charge you for works carried out within the last 18 months, unless you have been previously told that you will be charged later.
If your freeholder, or an agent acting on his/her behalf, collects service charges from you to cover repairs, those charges will be held in trust for you and other leaseholders. This means that your money will be protected if your freeholder becomes bankrupt and it will be easier to trace any missing money.*
lf your service charges include an element for insurance, you have the right to know the amount insured, names of the insured and the risks covered by the insurance. You can also ask for proof that the premiums have been paid, notify the insurer of any potential claim and apply to court to change the insurer if you feel that the policy is not satisfactory.
If you are part of a recognised tenants association, that association can ask to be consulted over the appointment of a new managing agent.
The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 strengthens your right to be consulted over major works.
*The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 contains a requirement that money collected as service charges should be held in a separate trust account designated for that building. This gives leaseholders a right to inspect bank statements etc to check where their money is held.