Should apartments bear costs for freehold houses in mixed estate?

Discussion in 'Management companies, apartments, etc.' started by MTNester, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. MTNester

    MTNester New Member

    Posts:
    4
    We are downsizing to a duplex apartment which is one of 42 units built on the site of a now demolished large house. 17 of the units are apartments; an Owners Management Company has been set up for these. The remaining 25 units are freehold houses with their own gardens. The apartments are constructed in one section of the grounds and have an area for designated car parking, which they overlook. The freehold houses and some of the apartments overlook an area that is to be grassed and where a play lot will be situated. Being in the grounds of a stately home, there are many large and well-established parkland trees and a pathway has been laid alongside these, with grass sown on each side of it; this pathway is used by all residents irrespective of ownership format. On each side of the entrance to the small estate there are shrubberies – also enjoyed by all. My query is: Can we prevent the developer passing on to the Owners Management Company responsibility to fund the maintainance of the pathways and shrubberies as well as to keep the grass mown – even though these amenities are to the benefit of all residents in the estate. No residents association has been mooted or formed.
     
  2. Gordon Gekko

    Gordon Gekko Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    2,867
    Why would you want to do that?

    Developers have to transfer control to OMCs within a certain time frame under the MUD Act.

    It sounds like a nice development.
     
  3. Palerider

    Palerider Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,008
    The apartments are transferred to an OMC who will then manage the common areas for the benefit of all.

    There may be benefits to the freehold properties alright but these seem modest, it might be worth asking how come they are excluded when grass needs cutting that benefits the development as a whole and not only the apartment owners who are footing the costs.
     
  4. cremeegg

    cremeegg Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    2,318
    Some purchasers bought a freehold, others did not. I cannot see how a freeholder could be obliged to contribute to his neighbours maintenance costs. You might have a better legal basis to stop them walking on the paths, though why you would want to do that is a question.
     
  5. lantus

    lantus Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    287
    The lease structure and designated lands are set up and established before construction commences. So if the houses are not in the omc they cannot be retrospectively added.

    In relation to the land the omc is responsible so contact the omc or developer whoever is responsible. With apartments its generally very little.

    Freehold owners can still be bound into omc structures.
    Local coco's can take over paths and drains but not green areas.

    You need more info.
     
  6. Tintagel

    Tintagel Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    300
    Do you pay for your window cleaning, lift maintenance etc on top of your management fees?
     
  7. MTNester

    MTNester New Member

    Posts:
    4
    Thanks Gordon - 'tis indeed nice. I should have mentioned that, of course, there is no quibble about meeting the costs relating to what are distinctly our areas - carparking with associated planting, shared stairwells, window cleaning and the planted or grassed areas outside the individual units. However, it seems somewhat inequitable that 17 households have to bear the costs of upkeep for external areas that are for the enjoyment of all, i.e. entrance areas and a largish grassed area with a pathway through it. The upkeep costs of these latter areas are estimated at over EUR 3000 p.a. (about EUR 200 per household).
     
  8. MTNester

    MTNester New Member

    Posts:
    4
    Much appreciated Palerider. I see just one more reply needed to achieve your Millennium! Basically, if we do not maintain the entrance areas they will quickly deteriorate into a weed infested, scruffy shrubbery. It may sound very simple, but of whom should we ask that question to get an indpendent answer? The developer has presented a map that seems to indicate that the areas that concern us should be maintained by the OMC and clearly he has a vested interest in passing as much work as possible on to the OMC, the only functioning mouthpiece for any of the residents.
     
  9. MTNester

    MTNester New Member

    Posts:
    4
    Thank you Tintagel: Window cleaning is included in the management charge as is cleaning of stairwells.
     
  10. lantus

    lantus Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    287
    Can you clarify. Are these apartments all unoccupied (new) or are their existing?

    Have you seen a budget? The duties and responsibilities of an omc remain the same generally before and after the transfer of common areas.

    So you won't be paying for some bits of a development and not others. Legally no different to the apartment building itself.
     
  11. Setanta12

    Setanta12 Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,007
    I lived in a mixed estate and served on the OMC. It was surprising the costs attributable to the houses, but they were insignificant compared to the apartments. We had both apartment owners and house-owners on the OMC. The OMC had an agent who used a formula derived from other estates he managed - I examined it in great detail. You can always fault apportionment, but at some stage you have to suck-it-up or get appointed a Director to influence the calculation yourself !
     
    odyssey06 likes this.
  12. jdwex

    jdwex Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    374
    I'm surprised the apportionment wasn't detailed in the lease documents - ours certainly are!