My freeholder has been driving me mad for ages – due to her complete inability to communicate about the work she was having done on one of the flats she owns and on my request to extend my lease. She finally wrote back to me yesterday (after me pointing out to her that I had been waiting four months for a reply, despite chasing letters!) and she suggested a price. The price is fine, but her reason for suggesting it is “to be friendly”. To be friendly?? Whilst I accept the sentiment (and I am getting a reasonably good deal), I think she sums up the problem with her understanding of her role as a freeholder. It’s a business relationship and therefore taking four months to deal with things is not acceptable. We’re not mates (and haven’t even been friendly with each other of late given her complete inability to deal with things or follow through on the things she has agreed).
Of course, there was a sting in tail because she also explained that she will be writing shortly to ask for the building insurance plus £7000 to carry out works. Fortunately, I will have to speak to a solicitor anyway about the lease extension so will seek advice on what I should be asking her for to substantiate a demand for that amount of money – and given that there is a huge deficit due to her failure to collect maintenance money for a number of years, I am wondering whether it should be for us to make up that loss. Very possibly yes, but a lawyer might have another view. I feel that I need to get the lease extended before I go into battle though.