Freelholder abusing his power?

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Freelholder abusing his power?

Post by Denny » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:21 am

I am a sitting tenant, covered by the Rent Act, who has lived in the same flat under the same landlord and his family before him since the early 1980s - part of a multiple flat property worth around £3m on the open market.. I never got on with this landlord or his predecessors, and he did everything he possibly could to bully me and get me out of my flat: making out I was harassing tenants, and getting fake witnesses to stitch me up. He effectively 'lost' a civil dispute about 13 years ago and had to pay me £10K + costs in an out of court settlement and there was a consent order allowing me to decorate my own flat and put in fixtures and fittings but I had no right to use the garden or driveway parking spaces - that was explicit in the agreement, even though I didn't use them anyway. About 3.5 years ago, this same landlord decided to sell the entire house and told me, quite specifically, that he wanted to disassociate himself and his family from the future of this entire house. But he never did this asnd he is a frequent visitor to see his daughter who lives in the basement flat and in equally an unpleasant woman. So, he lied. Instead, he sold the two flats on the 1st floor only and kept the rest (as far as I know). Now I have a brand new landlord - a property investment company - who I do get on with well, but the freeholder is my old landlord still and he is not entirely out of my life. Recently, I asked my own new landlord if I might use the garden anyway, now that he owns nt flat and is part of his ownership demise to use it - along with the car parking space. He is not on the premises and he told me that he did not mind at all but initially refused to put anything in writing. He now has- after some persuasion. Then I told him that I did not have a gate key to access it. He then tried to get the garden key from the freeholder (he should have been given it anyway). Yet the freeholder had not sent it to him; instead he asked the landlord why he wanted it and explicitely asked him to not pass it to me for my use. Yet this freeholder had given the new neighbouring flat owner the garden key for his tenant to use - so I am effectively be discriminated against under this new arrangement. As it is, I now have a garden gate key - from the neighbouring tenant - and because my new landlord has authenticated his permission in writing (in an e-mail but not as a revised part of my tenancy agreement, which I did not want - i don't want to pay rent on the privilege - so that I can access the garden as and when I like, just like everyone else. However, I am afraid that my freeholder's (ex landlord family) will just call the police and get me arrested for trespassing if I do enter it. Would they be able to do this? I don't trust the police at all and would not want to risk this happening. The freeholder is a professor at a university and he likely to be believed more than me and he is not beyond fitting up stories with phoney witnesses, whilst I will have none if I enter the garden alone.

Another problem I have with the freeholder (old landlord) is his refusal to decorate the communal access hallway. It is in a filthy and cracked state and needs dong badly. The neighbouring tenant is not pleased about this either. Can the freeholder be forced to decorate it to an acceptable standard if my own landlord and neighbouring landlord are not involved (or don't care because they don't live at the house?)

Thanks you help is appreciated.

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Re: Freelholder abusing his power?

Post by gardenlaw » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:07 am

It seems to me that your new landlord can grant you access to the garden as a tenant of theirs. The freeholder gave them and by extension their tenants the right to use the garden and by email your landlords have given you permission. You may not trust the police but an allegation of trespass is not a police matter. It is a civil matter. I do not think they would become involved and even if they did you can say that your landlord has given you permission.

Your landlord's lease should provide for the freeholder or a management company to decorate common areas. Have you asked them what they intend doing to have the work done?

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