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iwbsheff

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  1. " He told me their procedure was to continue billing for the insurance charge despite receiving the notice, and when they property comes up for sale they look to check the validity of the notices" and then try to convince your buyer that there's some kind of outstanding charge to pay and generally hold up the sale to the aggravation of all involved?
  2. That's a shame, I sorry that it's not very helpful just to hear "just buy it" if you can't afford it right now. I did manage to get Coppen to take the insurance charge off my invoice in the end with a few well worded letters. Happy to share the details by PM if it's helpful. Don't give in to them!
  3. As I understand it (admittedly it's not that easy to read). the notice of cover (under section 164) which releases you of any obligation to use the landlords insurer should be issued within 14 days of that cover being arranged or renewed (in May). https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/15/section/164 So remember to issue the notice of cover when your insurance is due to renew and tell Coppen no charge is due. Remind them you already provided notice (reading your previous posts) for last year. Then remind them again if any further invoices arrive threaten them with court action. Read your lease carefully too - if there's no covenant in there for the landlord to direct insurance, write to Coppen telling them so. They just assume the covenant is there. Tell them again if necessary - it only costs you a stamp after all - and threaten court action for their harassment . Remind them you have the right to quiet enjoyment of your home. But...I did buy my freehold in the end. We calculated that not having to deal with Coppen when/if we come to sell was worth the money.
  4. In one of my letters to Coppen I said I regarded their charges as fraudulent given the content of my lease but with admittedly no idea of the legal basis. Presumably you could pursue them legally but would you be awarded costs? I wrote to my MP about their antics but he didn't seem very interested in the general issue.
  5. Presumably that's also the period your ground rent covers? As I think Jeffrey will attest this is all part of Coppen's notices not complying with the letter of the law. I think (disclaimer: this is not legal advice but my remembering of discussions with Jeffrey et al) they're not actually allowed to ask for ground rent in advance, but they do to meet their schedules. We used to get billed for October in March (i.e. financial year end). You could write back and say, under s.166 of the Commonhold and Leasehold act, please bill me for ground rent correctly when that ground rent is due. "The date for payment of the ground rent given in the notice cannot be earlier than 30 days from the date notice is given, nor more than 60 days after that date. Overriding this is the provision that the date for payment cannot be earlier than the date set out in the lease itself." https://www.lease-advice.org/article/ground-rent-a-demanding-notice/
  6. I'd word the covering letter quite strongly. Make it clear that this is unacceptable behaviour and that you know your rights as the leaseholder. No fees for insurance due as long as 1) That there is no "freeholder can direct insurance" covenant in your lease (apologies if you mentioned this upthread) or 2) If there is you're absolutely sure you've complied with s.164 to the letter. If you want to be more mischievous, someone else said that they put a counter invoice, with a letter charge of £45 every time they wrote. This was on the same legal footing - i.e. none - as Coppen. Although, again, points above apply, you have to be quite sure of your position.
  7. I think I posted upthread, or on another Coppen thread - I sent them a strongly worded letter threatening court action if they continued to send erroneous invoices and I saw this as a breach of my right to quiet enjoyment of my home. This was harassment and I would seek damages due to the stress caused etc. It was something of an idle threat - I mean, it would cost vastly more to engage legally with them and there's always the chance the court won't award costs. But it did the trick. Perhaps because I sounded like I knew what I was talking about and had actually read my lease? But...I ended up buying the freehold reversion anyway. I didn't want potential buyers in the future getting spooked by their antics. As geared put it, sack them off if you can.
  8. iwbsheff

    Coppen Estates. . . .Sheffield

    Jeffrey (or your own solicitor) may be able to give the correct legal opinion but I think there's little you can do except threaten them with court. "If the landlord wishes to serve a “notice in reply”, he should do so within two months of the date of service of the notice of tenant’s claim. The surprising fact is that failure to serve a reply does not prevent the landlord from negotiating over valuation, nor challenging the validity of the tenant’s notice, although there could be costs consequences for non-service if the matter goes to court. Also, if he does not serve a notice he cannot later challenge the extent of the premises he wishes to be included, or excluded, from the claim." ... If the tenant’s claim is not admitted (either in the notice in reply or by non-service of a reply) he will have to apply to the County Court (and not the Appropriate Tribunal) to assert his right." https://www.lease-advice.org/article/buying-the-freehold-of-a-leasehold-house-the-procedure/ I think you can ask for free advice via lease-advice.org too.
  9. iwbsheff

    Noisy student neighbours

    People think the university will get involved because....they say they'll get involved...not nonsense. Your occupation analogy isn't perfect. "Anti-social behaviour is taken extremely seriously by the University of Sheffield. Our 24-hour security service will respond to resident calls about noise or anti-social behaviour relating to our students living in the community. Repeat or serious complaints could lead to disciplinary proceedings being taken by the University." https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/communityrelations
  10. iwbsheff

    Noisy student neighbours

    There's quite a few unsympathetic replies here isn't there? "You moved to a student area so you should expect it" I think living in a 'student area' (hate that phrase as if students aren't 'real people') there's some expectation that during intro week, halloween, end of exams and end of term there might be a few parties but going till 6.30 is just plain unreasonable for anyone, student or not and on a week night it's plain bloody rude. Sadly the council's noise offer these days is pretty rubbish - you're asked to keep a diary but student parties are nearly always one offs and it has to be persistent and regular for a 'statutory nuisance' to be recorded and dealt with. By the time you get to the end of that process they'll have long moved out. For the students themselves I dare say it's a badge of honour to get a noise complaint, proving you had it large. It's a shame, council cuts have done for the night noise team who would turn up with a PCO in tow and a brush with officialdom was usually enough to embarrass students into cutting it out. Shef Uni (can't speak for Hallam, they may have an equivalent) have a number where their own security staff who can have a word but they don't have any power to actually do anything. The party often pipes down for half and hour or so then kicks off again. If things are really bad they also have a community liaison bod (again, can't speak for Hallam but I'd be surprised if they don't have the equivalent) who - contrary to what some people have said here - do seem to take complaints seriously and threaten students under the 'bringing the uni into disrepute' bit of their student charter. Some students will respond, water off a ducks back for others. Our immediate neighbours on one side are students - we had one noisy bunch once but on the first offence exchanged numbers and they at least gave us some warning when they were having an end of term party so we could make ourselves scarce. Funnily enough when they moved out their landlord was livid about the state they left the house in and when we chatted about it, he said we should have let him know that they were a pain . There will likely be a clause in their contract that says to not be anti-social. If you can get the landlord/property manager details (try searching Zoopla etc) you may get some traction. I mean, they're not going to get evicted (landlord won't volunteer to lose money) but again a brush with 'the man' may sort them out. For parties up the street that suddenly start up without warning the only option is earplugs (the soft foam ones are ok to sleep in) and the comfort that their fun is costing them £27,000 + interest for the rest of their working lives. For us the biggest aggravation of a student area is not the parties (which as above, you can plan for a bit) it's the drunk knobs on a Wednesday night who decide to march up the street chanting and kicking over bins. Nothing you can do but bawl at them out of the window to STFU, causing even more noise and opening yourself up to reprisals. We've looked into noise reducing double glazing but we have good years and bad.
  11. Wanted to put a recommend for Jeff the Joiner (jsmith2009) found via this forum, carried out an excellent refurb of our bay window, removing a built in storage box, replacing old skirtings with new and fitting a new sill. Turned up and time and did a great neat and tidy job. Thanks Jeff!
  12. Looking for some advice/recommendation on an indoor bay window job. At some point a previous owner built a storage area in the bay window with a hinged top and we'd like to reclaim the 2ft or so for a sofa so it sits in the bay (the first question might be to have a look and tell us whether it's even possible). It seems to cover a couple of jobs so not sure which trade is best to ask after - getting rid of the existing arrangement, putting in a new 'standard' sill, plastering/making good... And what we'd really like is the high skirting board (which we think is original) to be matched - can that be done? Presumably that's a joiner's job? and as always on this thread...any rough estimates of cost?
  13. iwbsheff

    Coppen Estates. . . .Sheffield

    I had this same problem - despite issuing the S164, registered post etc they obviously took no notice. I sent one polite letter "if this is an administrative error please update your records etc" Still got another bill the next year I sent a strongly worded letter, full details of the law I'd used, quoted the ambiguity of my lease, cited my right to peaceful enjoyment of my property and one more fraudulent invoice would result in legal action. Next year...no mention of insurance charges. The thing was, they have you over a barrel, I've said this before upthread, it's fine you knowing your position but they'll just try it on scaring a potential buyer (if/when you sell) that somehow you're in the wrong and if your buyer's solicitor isn't clued up.... This persuaded us that for the money involved we'd just buy the freehold up (we also had c. 800 years to go, £4 ground rent). Want to know how my story ended? Coppen didn't even own the bloody freehold reversion! I bought the freehold off the actual owners then got a refund from my original conveyancers for assuming Coppen were the leaseholders on the say so of the previous owners who'd been shipping them £35 a year for no legal reason. The cheeky beggars made up a story about it being a mistake because they were collecting ground rent on behalf of a neighbouring property (a fact disproved by my own solicitor). ---------- Post added 16-04-2018 at 15:47 ---------- It's tricky, our lease (admittedly older than yours c. 1870s) said that the property should be "... insure or cause to be insured the same in an amount equal to three forths of the value thereof in his or their name or names in some responsible insurance office..." I took this as not implying they couldn't direct my insurance (and I wonder what my mortgage provider would think of me insuring it to 3/4ths of its value...) and thought the burden of proof should be on them. But its ambiguous...so I sent a s164 anyway. If you're unsure, as Jeffrey says the only recourse it proper legal opinion. Although it's a bind, an hour of solicitors time is going to be several times their charges...so they know a lot of people will shrug and think it's cheaper to just settle up with them. It's obvious they don't read individual leases because their invoices to us also had a grave sounding note about charges for extensions, improvements etc. There was no mention of any such covenant in our lease. Well, apart from a restriction on installing windows in the east or west elevations, which, given we're a terrace might have been a problem with the neighbours.... Don't let them grind you down!
  14. iwbsheff

    Coppen Estates. . . .Sheffield

    "just give them a ring? they always speak to me and advise quite happily" Is that because you keep offering them free money? They probably dance a jig when your number comes up.
  15. iwbsheff

    Purchasing Freehold

    Sorry yes, in relation to geared's point: should have prefaced my story with "once we had lived in the property for 2 years" - you can't begin the notice of claim process until that time (unless your seller transferred it to you as a benefit of the sale, that horse had bolted for us and for you it sounds like) But as geared also points out, it's 2 years to save up. I don't want to throw figures about in public as all cases will be different, but if you PM me I can be more specific. What I can say is it's the legal fees that cost us the money, the actual freehold was pretty cheap - although worth its weight in gold to the people who held it as a means of gouging money out of people. Our freeholder reversions (or who we - and they - thought they were, long story) were a nightmare to deal with during our purchase so we decided it was worth the money to offer the house as freehold when/if we come to sell on.
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