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A legal query Trespass or contract law?


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Dear all, East Dulwich Forum Legal Hive mind......

If a company is contracted out to do works, can a resident refuse to allow them to continue - where that resident has not made the contract?


A friend of mine is a leaseholder and has been presented with a charge for maintenance and renovation works.... The contract for the works is between a social housing management company and the contractor.

I am a builder and the charges he mentioned I know to be ?500% above competitive market rates on average. The charge Flat roof repair using a fibreglass system is 800% more than market rates...

So, Both the Leaseholders and the social housing company will have to pay massively over the odds if the works continue.

I have flagged this with officers in the department, flagged it with various councillors.

Question for the Hive mind:

Is there a legal way a tenant or leaseholder can refuse to let third party contractors onto their property?

Second. Where the faulty works have caused water damage, can this be grounds for tenants refusing to let contractors on their premises?

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Firstly.......I am not a qualified lawyer of any kind but have dealt with some similar situations personally.

1. Your friend should look at the Leasehold Advisory Service website - this body is government funded to give advice to leaseholders.

2. Before contacting LAS your friend should read and have to hand a copy of their lease and any correspondence they received from the social housing company you mention about the works.

3. Your friend should be clear about exactly who the freeholder and also exactly what the management situation is. Is the block managed by the social housing organisation itself, or do they employ a managing agent, or is there a residents' management company for example?

4. Whatever the situation, whoever is responsible for managing the building must by law carry out a consultation exercise - which has several stages. This should e.g have notified your friend of what works were intended, issued invitations to tender, invited leaseholders to suggest alterntive contractors, supplied details of the tenders and invited comments from leaseholders. Your friend should have received 2 - 3 letters about the works long before they started and if the managing agent did not carry out the consultation to the letter of the law it will not be valid.

5. I think you should perhaps ask your friend why they did not reply to any of the letters they ought to have received at each stage of the consultation prior to the works being awarded?

6. Your friend should also speak to other leaseholders to check what they received. Is anyone else saying they weren't aware of what was happening? Or has objections to the costs?

7. Your friend should check what their lease says about allowing entry for properly notified repairs. Your friend may be in breach of their lease if they refuse entry.

8. Your friend should ask LAS if they think s/he has any grounds for taking a case to the First Tier Property Tribunal (which is cheaper than the County Court to access and more informal - easier for lay people if they have a strong case). Good luck.

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