I have recently taken over as Secretary of our residence association. I have found inconsistent information on file and hope you may be able to provide some clarification on a number of issues.
The development was completed in 1986 and comprises of 13 freehold properties (terrace of houses), 3 leasehold flats beneath the flats are 12 garages, there are also 12 parking spaces. The freehold of the flats is clearly stated to be owned by the association.
I have requested the following information from Solicitors regarding the sale before issuing a new share certificate:
- Old share certificate (when this has been lost I have asked for a Notarial Certificate from the seller in respect of the loss)
- Notice of transfer/Mortgage does this document need to be provided even if there is no mortgage?
- A signed stock transfer formon some of the previous stock transfer form it states the own of the number of the property, if they have a parking space and garage. It is important that this detail is contained on this document.
- I have sent out a deed of covenant which I have asked to be signed and returned.
I note that on the lease hold properties the deed of covenant states has previously stated for the leasehold properties that the flat, garage and parking space are leasehold of 125 years.
I am feeling a little confused as I am an owner of a freehold terraced house and my land registry document states my house address and the garage number. It seems to imply that I own the freehold of the garage. Is this correct. I wonder if there is mistake here?
I have no land registry information on file regarding the parking spaces.
When I purchased my property I was provided with a map that shows some parking spaces were sold and others were open parking. Yet my neighbours have told me they bought parking spaces years before I moved in. This has caused confusion recently when one of my neighbours started parking in one of these spaces because he also was provided with this same map. We have taken neighbours at their word that they own these spaces.
How do I find out who owns them the spaces and if they are lease or freehold?
The association seems to only hold only some land registry documents on file. Should we require these copies of these documents from Solicitors?
I note from the Land Certificate that the flats have a ground rent to pay. There is no mention of this for the garages or the parking spaces? Should the garage owners be subject to a ground rent.
In the Land Certificate it states that the garage doors have to be painted every 3 years.
We currently charge the flats, ground rent plus insurance. We also charge all 16 properties a levy of £310 a year to manage the gardens and pay for the painting of the garage doors and weed the court yard and parking spaces. This levy is the same for all properties irrespective if they they have a parking space or garage. Is there a better or fairer way of charging this?
What are reasonable charges for me the Secretary to charge in respect to dealing with these affairs?
Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
The FPRA responds:
In respect of what has been demised to specific houses, you would need to check the title documents registered at the land registry. For houses, you would need to refer to the office copies of the title for the property together with the transfer document.
For leasehold properties, you would need to refer to the lease and also what has been registered at the land registry.
Does the freehold company have the original transfer documents and leases for the properties? It may be possible to check these.
Alternatively, each owner would need to refer back to what their solicitors advised them they were purchasing at the time of the conveyancing transaction.
With regards to the service and maintenance charges, you would have to refer to the transfer documents and the leases to ensure what is being charged is in line with the title documentation.