Just before Christmas a High Court judge appears to have ruled that the £250 limit per flat for spending on repairs and maintenance without having to consult with leaseholders, applies to the collective year’s total. Until this ruling, it was understood that the £250 applied to a particular set of works. The impact of the judgement – PHILLIPS & GODDARD V FRANCIS is only now filtering through the leasehold community.
The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) has also produced briefing notes available here.
If the new ruling proves to be the case, then it means that once the spending threshold has been reached, all further repair expenditure during the year – however tiny – will require consultation. Clearly this would be a ridiculous situation. The smallest repair, like replacing a lock, would require would a full consultation, making blocks difficult to maintain and increasing the management cost.
FPRA Consultant Colin Cohen describes the judgement as “Absolutely this is the most far reaching decision in years and could affect everyone who deals with management of any type of residential property in the future”.
The FPRA, managing agents, freeholders and leasehold professionals are variously consulting lawyers to understand the validity and impact of the ruling, and exploring avenues for a rapid reversal of the decision by appeal.