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Self-help to fix a ceiling

Michele C owns a flat in Woking, Surrey, and had a leak in her bathroom ceiling. She had repeatedly told the managing agent about this, but nothing was being done.

The LEASE adviser suggested a variety of options, from obtaining an order for specific performance, through to Right to Manage or buying the freehold. Ms C was advised that another option might be self-help, where she would arrange the repair herself, and deduct (“set-off”) the cost of the work from future service charge bills.

Before exercising self-help a leaseholder should be sure to write to their landlord and:

The leaseholder should ensure the work is carried out properly and expenditure is appropriate.

It is important before going down this route to ensure that there is nothing in the lease that prevents any set-off.

Ms C said that the advice was “was prompt, informative, and absolutely needed”.

More information you might find useful:

LEASE is governed by a board, appointed as individuals by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.