Information for owners

The lease provides that the flat may not be underlet without the previous consent in writing of the Lessor. However, the Company’s policy is not to enforce issue of written consent, provided the Lessee maintains with the Company a UK address for delivery of Service Charge demands and other correspondence.
Gables estate looking south-east into the central courtyard

This page contains information of special interest to owners, whether resident or in the role of Landlords with tenants resident at the Gables.

 Company managementLessee Responsibilities
 DisclaimerProblems
 Energy performance certsService charge
 Ground rentSelling & buying a flat
 InsuranceSub-letting
 Landlord & TenantTerm of Lease
 Lease 
The Lease

The respective responsibities of the management company (Gables Management Company (Grayshott) Ltd - GMC(G)) and owners of individual flats are set out in a legal document applying to the flat and known as the Lease.  The flat owner's copy of the lease often forms part of the so-called "deeds" of the property and may be held by the owner's solicitor or mortgage loan provider (if any).

In layman's terms, the lease requires the property owner to pay an annual service charge, plus ground rent, to the management company in return for which GMC(G) maintains and insures the building and grounds of the estate.  The property owner is responsible for maintaining and insuring his/her own flat.

The lease also sets out, amongst many other things, what the property owner must (or may), or may not (or must not) do.  Many of these rules, which apply equally to all owners of all flats on the estate, are in the interest of maintaining a harmonious community between people living above, below or alongside each other.  Similarly, there are rules which the management company must observe and many of these are to ensure that the estate will be properly maintained.

 

Term of Lease
 
Ground Rent

The property was built in 1991.  The original leases therefore came into effect on 1st October 1991 and each lasts for a term of 99 years.  At the end of the term, ownership of the flat reverts to the owner of the estate.  Amongst other things, the 99-year lease requires the lessee (flat owner) to pay each year to the lessor (estate owner) a Ground Rent.  This was set initially at £75.00 per annum.  As provided in the lease, the ground rent rose with effect from 1st October 2013 by a percentage equal to the rise, since 1991, in the government's published Index of Retail Prices.  The current ground rent payable is £139.13 per annum.

In 2006, GMC(G) decided to offer lessees an alternative 999-year lease with a peppercorn (that is effectively zero) Ground Rent.  As well as eliminating the cost to the owner of paying ground rent, the 999-year lease postpones for a very long time indeed the potential reduction in property value as the flat approaches the end of its lease term.  Lessees (ie. flat owners) considering changing their lease should first consult their solicitors, who will then get in touch with GMC(G)'s solicitors.  The Lessee (flat owner) must pay the Company Solicitors’ charges as well as those of their own solicitor plus applicable legal fees but the Company does not charge a premium for the change.  Whether a change in term will be advantageous is a decision for each flat owner and GMC(G) is unable to offer advice.

 

Service Charge

The lease provides that the management company is responsible for management of the estate.  This includes maintenance of the structural fabric of the buildings, the common staircases and lobbies and the grounds including the visitors car-parking spaces, the circulating areas and the garden landscaping.  In addition, the management company is responsible for arranging buildings insurance covering the building structure and its common areas.

The lease requires the management company to set, each September, a Service Charge to cover the cost of estate management and insurance for the coming year.  The service charge is divided equally between the 15 flats and, currently, is demanded in two equal installments, due respectively on the following 1st October and 1st April.  Payment is required within 21 days.  In event of late payment, GMC(G) is entitled to recover from the lessee the consequential financial and administrative costs.

Items covered within the service charge include:

  • Annual building insurance.
  • Provision for decorating the common areas (stairways and lobbies) at appropriate intervals.
  • Provision for maintaining the fabric of the building, including external window frames (but not glazing, which is the responsibility of the lessee), fire doors in common areas and external doors.
  • Cleaning the common areas.
  • Gardening and maintenance of the grounds.
  • Electricity for the common areas.
  • Maintenance of the TV aerial and central distribution system.
  • Legal costs.
  • Provision for miscellaneous repairs and replacements.

The levels of Service Charge for the current and recent years are shown on the Conveyancing Information page.

 

Lessee Responsibilities

The Lease contains a large number of clauses setting out the rights and obligations of both the Lessees (flat owners) and the Lessor (the management company - GMC(G)).  Lessees are recommended to ensure they are aware of their obligations and - if they sub-let to tenants - that appropriate obligations are included in the Shorthold Lease or other terms of agreement between landlord and tenant.  Lessees are referred to their legal advisor and/or their tenancy agent for further advice.

Many of the provisions of the lease are designed to minimise the impact of one flat upon other, neighbouring, flats.  Amongst other things, the Lease:

  • Restricts unreasonable noise - due to entertainment systems or work within a flat, particularly during hours of darkness.
  • Prohibits use of common areas for storage of personal effects.
  • Requires proper use of refuse disposal containers and prohibits storage of rubbish in common areas.
  • Requires close carpeting of lounge, bedroom and hallways so as to prevent excessive noise transmission from an upper to a lower flat.
  • Prohibits erection of aerials and other structures on the outside of the building without prior consent of the management company.  Conditions will be set which avoid danger to personnel and adverse effects on building stability and appearance.
  • Prohibits car parking other than in the desinated spaces.

 

Insurance

The terms of the Lease require the management company to arrange and maintain insurance covering the building structure and common areas of the estate.  A Property Owner’'s Insurance is currently (May 2018) in place with Ark Insurance Group, arranged through CCV Berkley Alexander as agent.

A copy of the current Policy Schedule and statement providing a Summary of Cover is available to all flat owners on request to confirm that the management company has complied with this aspect of the Lease.  A copy of the full Policy document (39 pages) is held at the Registered Office.  If an Owner requires a copy of the full Policy document (for example in the context of selling their flat), the Registered Office will provide a copy but will make a charge for the cost incurred.

The cost of Property Insurance is included within the Service Charge.  A copy of the current policy document can be downloaded here (PDF format - see below).

  

 
The management company's Commercial Property Owner’s Insurance does not provide cover in respect of individual flats.  It is for owners to arrange their own insurance to cover risks associated with the interior of their flat and its fittings, systems and contents.

 

Landlord and Tenant
    (sub-letting)

The lease provides that the flat may not be underlet without the previous consent in writing of the Lessor.  However, the Company’s policy is not to enforce issue of written consent, provided:

  • The Lessee always provides the management company with their postal address for communication.
  • The Lessee remains at all times directly responsible to the Lessor for compliance with all the terms of the lease.  Thus, if there is an alleged or potential breach of the lease due, for example, to tenant’s noise nuisance, the Lessee remains responsible to the Lessor as though the Lessee was living at the flat.  For this reason, Lessees are strongly advised to ensure that they as Landlord incorporate appropriate obligations in their Shorthold Lease or other terms of agreement.  Lessees intending to become Landlords are referred to their legal advisor and/or their tenancy agent for further advice.

 

Selling & Buying a Flat

Flat owners and prospective purchasers of flats normally instruct qualified solicitors to act for them in the sale and purchase.  The Company's solicitors (see “Contacts” page) act in the matters of re-assignment of the lease to the new owner and of transfer of management company membership.

Please see additional information which is offered to assist the conveyancing process.

 

Energy Performance Certificates

All Lessees who contemplate sub-letting their flats should note that UK legislation requires, with effect from 1st October 2008, that landlords of residential rented property must provide new tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).  The EPC gives tenants information on the energy efficiency of the property in terms of a standard energy and carbon emission efficiency grade. The EPC is accompanied by a recommendation report.

Each flat in the estate differs in terms of its design, location and interior fittings and it is the lessee's responsibility, in the role of landlord, to obtain the EPC.  Lessees letting their property through an agent may find that the agent will arrange the EPC for a fee.  Alternatively, they should approach a suitable compentent and qualified supplier.

Lessees living in their flats, as opposed to sub-letting them to tenants, will become liable to supply an EPC when they decide to sell their property.  At that time, their property sales agent will normally arrange provision of the EPC.

The Gables management company is not authorised to provide an EPC and cannot offer individual advice to Lessess.

 

Company Management

The Gables Management Company (Grayshott) Limited was set up in 2005 by a group of flat owners for the purpose of acquiring, on behalf of all flat owners, the freehold in the Gables estate.  The acquision was completed in May 2006.

GMC(G) is a Company Limited by Guarantee and is set up on the basis that all Lessees on the Gables estate are equal members of the management company, owning alongside their Lease, a one-fifteenth share of the freehold of the Gables estate.  When a flat is sold, the membership of the company automatically transfers from the selling to the buying owner.  There is no mechanism for a share in the estate freehold to be sold independently of the flat lease.  This ensures that the owners of the flats remain collectively responsible for maintenance of their estate.

Company Law requires that a minimum number of company members register as directors of the company.  In practice, to ensure effective management of the estate without placing undue burden on any individual, four or more members (owners) register as directors to collaborate as required to decide action.

Company Law requires the holding of an Annual General Meeting at which accounts are approved and directors elected.  All members have the right to be present and all are strongly encouraged to attend if they can.  There is no upper limit to the number of members who can register as directors and participation by any with strong interest or specific knowledge is welcomed.

The AGM normally takes place in February, when the accounts for the company financial year ending the previous 30th September will be ready for approval.  Directors normally meet additionally in August or early September, to decide on the following year's service charge.

 

Disclaimer

The information contained on this and related pages is provided in good faith to assist flat owners and residents of the Gables estate.  Accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.  You are advised to consult your own qualified legal, financial, property or other advisor before taking any action.

 

Problems
  • Tenants should contact their Landlord or Tenancy Agent in the first instance.
  • Owners should contact the Registered office using the e-mail address or telephone number shown on the Contacts page.
 
 
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