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Property Management Services in Bournemouth, Poole and across Dorset & Hampshire

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Annual Accounts

Our accounts department deal with the day-to-day collection of service charges and administration of contractors' invoices. We also have an independent accountant who visits our offices several times a week. She reviews the preparation, completion and presentation of all financial matters relating to the properties and uses a specialist accounting package to provide the detailed information required by leaseholders to ensure that they are fully informed on how their service charges are administered. She also prepares Annual Accounts and Corporation Tax and Trust Tax Returns for submission to Companies House.

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Block Insurance Policies

Minster Property Management Limited holds an RICS Designated Professional Body (DPB) Licence (Licence No 116699).  The firm is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.  However, we are included on the Register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry out insurance mediation activity which is broadly advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts.  This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  The Register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website www.fca.org.uk/register.  

Minster Property Management will arrange buildings, engineering and Directors & Officers insurance where instructed by the client to do so.  There are instances where Landlord’s arrange the buildings insurance direct and we have no involvement save for being required to collect premiums on their behalf.  Where Minster are required to arrange insurance the client’s requirements are sent to local insurance brokers, Wimborne Insurance Brokers or Fowler Penfold Insurance/A-One Insurance of Ferndown.

The brokers are required to obtain competitive quotes to ensure a fair analysis of the market and/or best value.  Fowler Penfold have an arrangement with three particular insurers whilst Wimborne Insurance Brokers search the market generally.  We normally would expect to recommend acceptance to our Landlord/Directors of the lowest quote but this is not always the case where there is a claims history at a property, where there is an on-going claim or where the insurance cover may not be as comprehensive as offered by another insurer.  Our Property Manager, Matthew May, deals with the instructions for renewing policies and handling claims.  Owners are strongly advised to have their own contents insurance policy, as their contents will not be covered under the buildings insurance.

Once we are notified of a potential claim it is our normal practice to advise the insurers.  We will arrange for a claim form to be sent to owners to allow a claim to be made.  The insurers will usually require at least two comparable quotations are submitted in a timely fashion, along with photographs of the damage.  It is the individual owner’s responsibility to obtain the information required by the insurers.  We are happy to pass these on to the insurers once the claimant has completed a claim form and obtained the required information.  If the claimant is unable to make the claim then Minster may be able to undertake this work on their behalf but the company would need to raise an administration charge to cover the time costs.  If a claim involves two or more flats we may become involved in tracing the fault, contacting owners and conducting negotiations between parties.  In this instance we may seek to charge for our time.  If the insurers are appointed directly by the freeholder and not through our broker, we may also make an additional charge due to the greater administration time involved when dealing with a claim.

We are aware of negative publicity in the media regarding excessive insurance commissions received by managing agents. We are happy to advise that the commission we receive is now defined in the Management Contract and has been set at no greater than 10% of the insurance premium and in many instances will be less. In order to ensure complete transparency and to comply with the terms of the RICS Designated Professional Body License rules all earned commission will be declared in the Service Charge Accounts as income received with a matching deduction showing the commission paid to Minster.  The insurance commission is used to help defer management time spent on instructing, monitoring and recording insurance and dealing with claims, although we also reserve the right to make a direct charge for dealing with complex or protracted claims. 

It is essential that we are notified immediately whenever a property becomes empty and owners should be aware that most insurers will not pay for any claim arising under Malicious Damage, Escape of Water, Damage to Water Installations, Theft, of the Perils Insured and Glass of the Extensions to the Policy if any property is left without an occupant for more than 30 consecutive days unless:

1
Either (a) the gas electricity oil and water supplies are turned off and during the months of October to March (inclusive) the water system (including the central heating system) is drained or (b) during the months of April to September (inclusive) the gas electricity oil and water supplies are turned off and during the months of October to March (inclusive) the central heating system is put into effective operation for at least a minimum of 4 hours in every 24 hours with those services not necessary for its operation turned off/drained.
2
The property is visited and inspected internally and externally at least once during each week by you or on your behalf.
3
The premises are cleared of any combustible materials or rubbish.
4
All doors and windows are secured.  It is also essential that we are notified as soon as possible when a property is let. Non-disclosure of this information may invalidate the insurance.

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Budget Preparation

We prepare a detailed estimated service charge budget for each individual property. If it is a new property, the estimate will be based on our experience of managing similar properties. After the first year of management, when actual costs of running the property are available, the budget will be revised in consultation with owners. It should be remembered that some services (for example a lift or entry system – if appropriate) will be covered under warranty for the first year and that charges for these items will commence when the warranty expires.

Towards the end of the first year, the annual budget based on historic costs incurred during the year will be prepared about a month before the property's financial year end (the year end date will be specified in your Lease). The budget will be circulated to property owners inviting constructive comments within 21 days and may then be adjusted prior to invoicing. It should be remembered that this remains an estimate and any unforeseen deficits may necessitate an excess levy. Owners will be advised of any deficit as soon as it is known. Funds not spent in any category will remain in the bank account for the property and will either be set off against future charges or be placed in reserves.

We always endeavour as good management practice to maintain reserve funds for the development to ensure that finance is available for long term maintenance and major items of expenditure. We believe this is preferable to making periodic one off levies. In our budgets, we show a "Reserve Section" separate from the Service Charge to enable owners to differentiate between the day-to-day running costs and the reserve funds. After the first financial year, we also prepare a five year budget forecast for properties where there are a number of cyclical and long term maintenance programmes, which is normally presented at the Annual General Meeting. This forecastincludes both regular services and long term planned maintenance. It enables owners to plan ahead for future expenditure. The forecast is reviewed each year and forms the basis of the annual budget.

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GDPR

On appointment all lessees will be required to complete a Contacts Details Form, and a Registration of Letting where appropriate.  These details are held hard copy and on the central computer system for the purpose of administering the terms of the lease only – they are never sold on to a third party. Minster Property Management Limited is registered under the Data Protection Act and under the terms of that registration, personal data obtained from clients may be used for the following purposes – accounts
and records, property management and crime prevention and detection and the apprehension and prosecution of offenders.  We will provide contact details of one house or flat owner to another in certain circumstances, such as when communication is required between houses or flats concerning water ingress.  Both parties will be advised before this is carried out.  Details of arrears of service charge on individual houses or flats are provided to directors of management companies.  A copy of our GDPR Procedure is available on request.


Complaints Procedure

The practice seeks to provide an efficient personal service to our clients.  We try to respond promptly to any requests that might be made.  If you are in any way dissatisfied with the service that has been provided, we have a specific complaints’ procedure.  Set out below is our procedure for dealing with that complaint.

  1. All complaints must be addressed in the first instance in writing summarising your complaint to Mr Peter May BSc., FRICS, MIRPM, Minster Property Management Ltd, 7 The Square, Wimborne, Dorset. BH21 1JA.  Tel:  01202 880036.

  2. Once we have received your written summary of the complaint, we will contact you in writing within seven days to inform you of our understanding of the circumstances leading to your complaint.  You will be invited to make any comments that you may have in relation to this.

  3. Within twenty one days of receipt of your written summary, the person dealing with your complaint will write to you, in order to inform you of the outcome of the investigation into your complaint and to let you know what actions have been or will be taken.

  4. If you remain dissatisfied with any aspect of our handling of your complaint, we will refer you to the Ombudsman Service: Property (OS:P) for private individuals or to the RICS Dispute Resolution Service for businesses, dependent upon the nature of your dispute.

  5. It is a condition of ARMA membership that we offer access to an Ombudsman     scheme if a dispute is not resolved within eight weeks from your activation of our complaints’ procedure.  Minster Property Management Limited is a member of the Ombudsman Service: Property and contact details are as follows:

Ombudsman Service: Property
PO Box 1021
Warrington
WA4 9FE

RICS Dispute Resolution Service
Parliament Square
London
SW1P 3AD

Tel:   0330 440 1634 or 01925 530270      
Fax: 0330 440 1635 or 01925 530271

Tel:  0870 33 1600

Textphone:  0330 440 1600 or 01925 430886

Email:  enquiries@surveyors-ombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.surveyors-ombudsman.org.uk

 

Contractor Instructions

Minster Property Management have a policy of appointing contractors for cleaning of the common areas, window cleaning, gardening, maintenance, etc who are known to us as being reliable, reasonably priced and who provide work to a satisfactory standard. If leaseholders have contractors known to them who they would like to use, we are always prepared to appoint such a contractor after obtaining references and evidence of their public liability insurance.

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Data Protection

Minster Property Management Limited are registered under the Data Protection Act and under the terms of that registration, personal data obtained from clients may be used for the following purposes - accounts and records, property management and crime prevention and detection and the apprehension and prosecution of offenders. We will provide contact details of one flat owner to another in certain circumstances, such as when communication is required between flats or houses concerning water ingress. Both parties will be advised before this is carried out. Details of occupancy of flats or houses are provided to insurers. Details of arrears of service charge or ground rent on individual flats or houses are provided to directors of management companies.

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Emergency Contact Numbers

Fire Fire Brigade 999
Gas escape National Gas Emergency Service 0800 111 999
Flooding and sewage Independent Drainage


Canford Drains
01258 858999 or
07917 130706

01202 880202 or
07860 669963 or
07974 418422
Anti-social disturbance Police 999
Noise disturbance Council Environmental Health Dept  
Plumbing Ace Plumbing Limited 01202 398665
Electrical PMD Electrics Limited


CSG Fire & Security Limited
01202 620776 or
07966 450189

01202 594167 or
07745 678999
Locks Bob Baker Locksmith 07704 655027 or
07904 247999
Water pumps Aish Services 01202 677100
Lifts Meridian Lifts 01202 773332

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Ground Rent collection

Where appropriate, we collect Ground Rent on behalf of the Landlord. Ground Rent Demand Notices are issued to comply with the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, Section 166.

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Health and Safety

We monitor health and safety considerations at all our properties and ensure that they comply with current legislation. We commission appropriate reports and arrange for any necessary remedial action to be put in hand.

Control of Asbestos Regulations
asbestos reports

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
fire safety risk assessments, emergency lighting tests, fire alarm tests

HSC & HSE Codes and Guidelines for the control and prevention of Legionellosis
water tank assessments

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Inspection Visits

Our Estates Manager makes regular inspection visits, supervises large contracts and looks after the general maintenance of our properties. This enables us to respond quickly and effectively to requests from leaseholders. He has an extensive knowledge of all our managed developments and his involvement ensures that contractors are fully briefed with terms of reference. Jobs are inspected and monitored.

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Lease Covenant Enforcement

Our management services include enforcement of the covenants contained in the Lease. We endeavour to do this initially in a reasonable manner as many new owners are unaware of their obligations under the Lease. However, if necessary we will take more stringent measures to ensure that covenants are complied with, especially if illegal or dangerous acts are involved. Parking is normally the most divisive issue between property owners. It is essential that residents abide by the terms of the lease and park only in the authorised space. Where requested we will take action against persistent abusers. The correct disposal of refuse is also an important issue, especially with the need to undertake recycling in accordance with Government regulations. We regularly remind residents of the recommendations and if necessary take enforcement action.

Owners who let their properties on shorthold tenancies are responsible for the actions of their tenants. Any breaches by their tenants will result in enforcement action against the owner. To avoid conflict we advise owners to vet their tenants carefully and ensure that they are aware of the terms of the lease. Most leases and/or insurers require letting to be to a professional (working) family unit and not individual persons. We advise owners to check with us to ensure that their prospective tenant is acceptable under the terms of the insurance policy, which provides cover for the whole building, including their own property. We request that all lettings are registered with us for security, fire safety and insurance purposes, for which we charge a separate fee as this is not covered under the management charges. It is essential that we are able to advise the insurers as soon as possible when a property is let in order that insurance cover can be maintained.

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Lease Interpretation

The covenants, regulations and basis of service charges are set out in the Lease or Transfer. This is the contract between the owner and the ground landlord or management company. Not all leases are the same, but in general property owners are responsible for "the demise" which is the flat or house. This normally includes all internal walls, ceilings and floors, windows, glass and their frames plus all services that exclusively serve "the demise". The landlord or management company are responsible for repairs to the common areas and common services, the structural fabric of the building, including roofs, main walls, gutters, etc and problems emanating from the building. The cost of these repairs is financed by the service charges levied on property owners.

Before purchase of the property, their legal adviser will have advised the owner of their rights and obligations according to the Lease. Owners need to be aware of the terms of the Lease and we recommend they keep a copy for reference. We occasionally find property owners are in breach of their lease terms because they have not read or understood their obligations. For example, most leases prohibit the keeping of pets in an individual property, limit car parking, impose noise limits and prohibit items being left in the common areas due to health and safety regulations.

Service Charges are raised against property owners to pay for the cost of repair and maintenance of the fabric of the building and external common parts as outlined above. They do not cover matters arising from within an individual property. A purchaser should be informed by their legal adviser of the percentage of the overall charge that they will pay. Service charges are normally due twice a year. On new developments, the service charge for the first charge period will be paid on completion of the purchase.

By owning a property within the development and signing the Lease or Transfer, owners have agreed to pay the service charges. Non-payment puts an owner in breach of the lease covenants. This may result in suspension of some services for the development and enforcement action will be taken against non-payers.

When a development is new, the developer or ground landlord is generally a director of the Management Company and, depending on the terms of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company, individual property owners may also become directors. 

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Leaseholder Credit Control

Non-payers of service charges are pursued with consequent risk of monetary and legal penalties. Minster Property Management's policy is to issue a warning letter. If this is ignored, a second letter will be issued which includes an administration charge. A third letter will be issued with a further administration charge, (where appropriate) interest added to outstanding balances and a threat of recourse to legal action. If payment is not forthcoming and the property is mortgaged, we may advise the mortgage lender that their security is at risk. Any legal costs incurred will be charged against the owner. The owner is made aware that non-payment can also result in the landlord pursuing forfeiture of the Lease, which means that the owner could lose the property.

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Legal Enquiries relating to Purchase and Sale

When a flat or house is being sold, we are requested by solicitors to provide details on all matters relating to the property. We endeavour to deal with these requests as quickly as possible in order that a sale is not delayed. The majority of this information is submitted to them in the form of an extensive leasehold questionnaire, formulated locally by the Bournemouth & District Law Society. Increasingly we are also now receiving numerous further enquiries both from solicitors and estate agents.

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Limited Company Administration

Where there is a management company we receive a separate fee for acting as Company Secretary, administering company books, completing Companies House Annual Returns, submitting forms to appoint, resign or change the address details of directors, preparing annual reports, running an Annual General Meeting, serving notices and producing minutes.

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Maintenance Planning

Our Contracts Manager keeps a detailed log on each property and at the start of each year identifies the maintenance issues which will need to be addressed for individual properties. Where necessary, tender documents are prepared and quotations invited. All properties are maintained according to the Lease and good management practice.

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Resident Mediation

A development of flats or houses is a communal living environment and we always do our best to encourage good relations among residents. We regularly draw their attention to the section in the lease stating that no noise should be audible outside their individual property between certain times, usually between 11 pm and 8 am. When they are proposing to have work carried out which is likely to cause disturbance, we recommend that they advise neighbours in advance and arrange for the work to be done at convenient times.

When we are advised during working hours that a property is being affected by a defect or negligence from another property, we will make contact with the owner, tenant or letting agent and put all parties in touch with each other. Outside working hours and if the matter is urgent, we recommend contact direct with the property resident to advise them of the problem. If we are advised of a defect which appears to come from an individual property, we reserve the right to pass on the name and contact details of the owners.

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Right to Manage

Under current Right to Manage legislation, leaseholders are entitled to take over the management of their block. A minimum of 50% of leaseholders must agree with this move and there are very precise steps that need to be taken to ensure its success. We are happy to provide advice and carry out the necessary procedure for leaseholders to allow them to assert the right to manage. However, they should be aware that the right to manage is also a responsibility to manage and, in anything more than very small blocks, we would recommend the appointment of a suitably qualified managing agent at the commencement of the process. Please contact us for a free no obligation consultation.

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Specialist Advice for Developers, Freeholders and Leaseholders

Developers
Minster Property Management has gained considerable knowledge about the best and worst features found in flat and residential estate development sites of both physical structures and legal issues.

Physical Structures - early input into the planning of the scheme can increase the development's marketability, design out areas of potential conflict and reduce service charge costs.

Legal issues - advice on the most appropriate and effective terms to be included in any lease or transfer will safeguard the investment and prevent future management problems.

The practice welcomes the opportunity to provide advice which will make the management of the development straightforward, practical and enforceable. Consultation may avoid some of the pitfalls experienced in poorly planned developments.

Freeholders
The rights of both landlords and tenants are now strictly governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 as amended by the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. For example, the Landlord must undertake consultation with the tenants on items of major works or where entering into a long term contract. Failure to follow the correct procedure can have dire financial consequences for Landlords. They may be prevented from collecting service charges to recover costs expended. Landlords also need to ensure that appropriate ground rent demand and service charge notices are served. Failure to serve these may result in the inability to collect ground rent and service charges. Minster Property Management provide clear authoritative advice and undertake all appropriate consultation as part of their management duties.

Leaseholders
Minster Property Management can provide advice to leaseholders on various issues including Service Charges, Appointing a Manager, Right to Manage, Section 20 Consultations, Extending Leases and Purchase of the Freehold, Setting Up and Running recognised Residents' Associations, as well as Applications to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The practice is often approached by dissatisfied tenants unhappy with the service provided either by their direct landlord or their appointed managing agents. Minster Property Management pride themselves on providing unbiased straightforward practical advice to resolve personality or management issues.

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Administration Charges

Administration Charges (all charges plus VAT)

Click the links below to navigate to the correct section.

To Leaseholders £
Chasing payment of service charge – 1st reminder Free of charge
2nd reminder 35.00
Subsequent reminders 45.00
Obtaining mortgage information and advising mortgage lender re arrears 55.00
Re-presenting a dishonoured cheque 25.00 + bank charges
Solicitors’ fees for recovery of debt Dependent on solicitor costs
Issuing consents for works dealt with by Managing Agent without use of solicitors From 45.00
Issuing photocopies of documents From 15.00 + 15p per sheet
Issuing copy of insurance schedule (one per year) Free of charge
Additional copies of insurance schedule From 15.00
Issue of complete Insurance Policy document From 25.00 + 15p per sheet
Call out visits by Estates Manager or equivalent (normally chargeable to the management company, but where the defect falls within the responsibility of the property owner, the owner will be liable for the charge) 65.00 per hour (1st)
50.00 per subsequent hour
Staff Attendance at Leaseholders’/Directors’ Meetings From 45.00
Provision of general administration services to individual property owners From 25.00
Registration of letting required for provision to insurance company and administration involved in dealing with landlords, letting agents and tenants From 40.00
Dealing with landlords, letting agents and tenants re let properties From 25.00
Arrangement to pay service charge by standing order From 15.00
Dealing with protracted leaseholder correspondence (telephone calls, emails and letters) and/or repeated personal contact From 35.00
Dealing with protracted shorthold tenants’ or letting agents’ correspondence From 35.00
Dealing with insurance claims From 35.00
On termination of management, administration in respect of handover – identification, extraction, collation and listing of files and documents, and liaising with new managing agent/client:

Under 10 units
10-19 units
20 units & over

Suppliers’ advice letters:

Under 10
10-19
20 & over

Advice mergeletter to leaseholders:

Under 10 units
10-19 units
20 units & over
Fees



100.00
125.00
150.00



35.00
50.00
75.00



35.00
45.00
55.00

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To Solicitors £
Completion of Managing Agents’ Leasehold Questionnaire required on the sale of a property 175.00
Registration of Deed of Covenant From 55.00
Registration of Notice of Transfer or Assignment From 55.00
Registration of Notice of Charge (Mortgage) From 55.00
Issue of HM Land Registry Authorisation From 55.00
Registration of Stock Transfer Form and issue of Share Certificate From 55.00
Issue of complete Insurance Policy document From 25.00 + 15p per sheet
Issue of Asbestos Report or Fire Risk Assessment From 25.00
Completion of additional enquiries From 35.00
Charge for advice letter due to failure to provide requested documents From 35.00
Issue of replacement Share Certificate and Indemnity & Undertaking
From 45.00

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Administration Charges– Summary of Tenants' Rights and Obligations

1
This summary, which briefly sets out your rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, must by law accompany a demand for administration charges. Unless a summary is sent to you with a demand, you may withhold the administration charge. The summary does not give a full interpretation of the law and if you are in any doubt about your rights and obligations you should seek independent advice.

 
2 An administration charge is an amount which may be payable by you as part of or in addition to the rent directly or indirectly:
 
for or in connection with the grant of an approval under your lease, or an application for such approval
 
for or in connection with the provision of information or documents
 
in respect of your failure to make any payment due under your lease; or
 
in connection with a breach of a covenant or condition of your lease.
 
  If you are liable to pay an administration charge, it is payable only to the extent that the amount is reasonable.
 
3
Any provision contained in a grant of a lease under the right to buy under the Housing Act 1985, which claims to allow the landlord to charge a sum for consent or approval, is void.
 
4

You have the right to ask the First Tier Tribunal (formerly the leasehold valuation tribunal / LVT) whether an administration charge is payable. You may make a request before or after you have paid the administration charge. If the tribunal determines the charge is payable, the tribunal may also determine:

who should pay the administration charge and who it should be paid to;
the amount;
the date it should be paid by; and
how it should be paid.
However, you do not have this right where:-
a matter has been agreed to or admitted by you;
a matter has been, or is to be, referred to arbitration or has been determined by arbitration and  you agreed to go to arbitration after the disagreement about the administration charge arose; or
a matter has been decided by a court.
5
You have the right to apply to a First Tier Tibunal for an order varying the lease on the grounds that any administration charge specified in the lease, or any formula specified in the lease for calculating an administration charge is unreasonable.
 
6
Where you seek a determination or order from a leasehold valuation tribunal, you will have to pay an application fee and, where the matter proceeds to a hearing, a hearing fee, unless you qualify for a waiver or reduction. The total fees payable to the tribunal will not exceed £500, but making an application may incur additional costs, such as professional fees, which you may have to pay.
 
7
A First Tier Tribunal has the power to award costs, not exceeding £500, against a party to any proceedings where:
 
it dismisses a matter because it is frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of process; or
 
it considers that a party has acted frivolously, vexatiously, abusively, disruptively or unreasonably.
 
 
The Lands Tribunal has similar powers when hearing an appeal against a decision of a First Tier Tribunal.
 
8
Your lease may give your landlord a right of re-entry or forfeiture where you have failed to pay charges which are properly due under the lease. However, to exercise this right, the landlord must meet all the legal requirements and obtain a court order. A court order will only be granted if you have admitted you are liable to pay the amount or it is finally determined by a court, a tribunal or by arbitration that the amount is due. The court has a wide discretion in granting such an order and it will take into account all the circumstances of the case.

 

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Residential - Commercial - Property Management - Wimborne - Bournemouth - Poole - Dorset - Hampshire

Listed in the YFS business directory in the Property Management Wimborne category