redecoration of common parts and service charge arrears
REFURBISHMENT OF PRESTIGIOUS RESIDENTIAL BUILDING IN CHELSEA
Fry & Co was invited to manage a prestigious residential building in Chelsea, where the common parts were in dire need of redecoration. However, funding was an issue, not least as there was a large service charge debt of more than £25,000 – owed by one single leaseholder, who was in dispute with the outgoing managing agent. This defaulting leaseholder owned a building company and as part of a ‘section 20’ major works process for the interior common parts, he asked that his company was invited to tender.
Fry & Co duly took on the management of the building despite its problems, determined to overcome them. Having checked that there were no legal impediments, we entered into a dialogue with the leaseholder which included a face-to-face meeting. We ascertained the service charge element that was not disputed which was the vast majority. Rather than engaging in a lengthy legal battle, the directors of the building agreed with our pragmatic approach and they wrote off the small disputed balance in return for an agreement that the leaseholder would pay the remainder. This resolved one of the issues.
When the tender prices were received for the redecoration of the common parts, the leaseholder’s company was the second lowest tenderer. It was agreed that he would reduce his price below that of the lowest tender and he agreed that the service charge sum due could be deducted from the value of the contract. The project costing nearly £100,000 was finally completed and the service charge arrears deducted from the contract price. All the residents could now enjoy beautifully refurbished and safe common parts to be proud of, and which also had the effect of enhancing the value of all the flats in the building.