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Can I Be Forced To Pay For Building Works, I Am In Leasehold Property With No Savings

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Gentledilly | 11:23 Sun 17th Dec 2023 | Home & Garden
17 Answers

I live in a flat for the over 55s, block of 50 flats. We have just been told there is work to be carried out and the cost to each flat will be approx £5,000.  Work is usually paid for from the sinking fund which is added to when each flat is sold.  They are saying there is not enough to cover the works.  I am a pensioner and basically live from month to month with no savings.  Does anyone have any advice please?



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Yes get along too Citizen's advice and ask THEM for advice and take the paperwork

the short answer is : possibly - that is why you need advice nearer hom when they cansee the conditions of the lease

These folk were set up by the government to give advice to leaseholders and you can either speak to them in a pre-booked interview or contact them.


Don't worry yourself.  IF you have to pay then you will be entitled to Benefits in fact you may already be entitled to them. Please check on the DWP web site.

some very m,easured answers, I must say

You may find this helpful

Shelter is also good for housing advice.

Apologies, I didn't scroll down and missed Corby 's link

What is it that needs doing that's going to cost a quarter of a million pounds? If its something like reroofing it seems cheap

Question Author

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.  The entire building have to have new doors to meet fire regulations, including communal doors and doors that give access to electric meters.  We have been quoted in excess of £238,000 and the sinking fund only has £160,000 (although that seems low and will need looking into) the management fee has been quoted as £11,500 and so each of us approx £5,000.  I will certainly look into all the advice you have given me, thanks again.

I understand it is a new build.  If I'm correct then the company should be in a position to force the builders to correct these very basic mistakes.

Question Author

Barry thank you for your reply.  It was built in 1985, still the original doors to the flats and cupboards so I expect they no longer meet the regulations.  I have no problem with the works being done because we want to be safe.  My issue is really the financial side.  My flat is paid for and we pay £244 per month service charge, which has just gone up to £393 which is also a shock. I have no savings and my pension just covers my monthly outgoings.  I have no means to go to my bank for a loan because apart from the flat I have nothing else to offer. Anyway, I will look at all the options that everyone has offered and will take it from there.  Thanks again.

Thanks for clearing that up, dilly, I was clearly mistaken.  I hope you get the advice and help you need - this is a bad time of year to have this kind of stress.

What are your neighbours saying and doing about it, they must be just as worried as you.

have you checked to see if you can get any benefits/help with your council tax? It is worth a check on  You don't have to put in your personal details, just your outgoings, pension amount, any money you have saved etc. Only takes a few minutes to fill out the online form 

Has there been at least 3 quotes for the job?  If not, why not?


Can you get to your local Fire Service Fire Prevention dept ?? I, as a retired fireman, cannot imagine that FRSC doors ( Fire resistant self closing) were not fitted during the original build, even though it was a fairly long time ago. If you can contact them ask if the legislation regarding these doors has changed. Best of luck and I hope things work out for you.


Can't offer advice, but... almost £400 per month service charge? That seems astronomical. 

Question Author

FBG40 thank you for your answer.  Yes we have self-closing doors in the communal areas but this work is for all of our personal front doors to our flat and the doors in the corridors that house our electric meters.

pasta freak I know!  It has jumped by £148 a couple of months ago when this particular company took our management over.  Believe me, there are 50 flats and we are all raging about it.  It's something else we are going to have to fight.  I thought moving here would make life easier but sadly not, but hey ho I'm here to fight another day!!

Can you form your own management company?

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