My first home was a flat in Kingston Upon Thames. It was a 1930s built development with many delightful features. Not though, either the Managing Agent or the Freeholder. The former wanted to do as little as possible and the latter arranged a deal with a property developer who submitted an application for an extra floor.
Together with other residents we defeated the planning application and the next hurdle too, when the Freeholder commissioned a building survey which reported a list of defects of the block which would cost £80,000 to address. Ofcourse the block had no reserve or sinking fund to speak of and in those days (the 1980s) most people did not have £4000 laying around to pay across for the works.
I helped to organise the residents into a fighting force and shortly afterwards we had a bit of luck when the freeholder fed up with the lack of development potential offered the freehold title for sale at Barnard Marcus auctions. I went along and signed the contract to purchase the freehold for £3000. A good day’s work, if you can call it that, as these days it would be worth 20 times that.
This, however, was nothing to my next experience when I moved to Wimbledon Village. I’d jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, with a freeholder who treated the commercial tenants on the ground floor as kings and the lessees of the flats on the upper floors as the serfs. Just about every conceivable inconvenience imaginable was thrown at us, removing our parking facilities (which were not expressly delineated in the lease) obstructing our entrance way with commercial goods, charging the service charge fund with legal fees for his solicitors when tenants complained of the above.
My experiences though have contributed to a substantial knowledge of leasehold legislation and as a surveyor led me to focus on an area in which I felt very strongly that good management is when both parties are treated with respect.
I have done a lot of refurbishment and development work and I am always aware when surveying buildings of potential and costly problems. I try to guide clients offering practical and cost effective advice wherever possible to help you make decisions on how best to spend your money on property.
My team and associates that I recommend are all professionals offering services with a similar customer focused perspective.
Contact us on
M J Foreman & Co
Phone: 07776 181202
1 Rocks Lane
120 Bunns Lane