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See You In Court! Landlord’s legal challenge to council

A legal challenge has been launched on a local authority accused of charging “disproportionate” sums for repair work on a block where some apartments are council-owned and some are operated by private landlords.

Landlord David Aiton, quoted in local media in the Falkirk area, says the council’s bill for work on the roof of a fore-property block is too expensive.

Falkirk Council says the work will cost some £11,463 per flat.

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The council has told the Daily Record: "We have a responsibility to keep our properties in good repair. The roofing and roughcasting at this location are approximately 45 years old and show signs of deterioration.

"We want to protect the property from the elements, reduce the number of reactive repairs and preserve the life of the property.

"The quotes we have issued for the work are based on competitively tendered prices. The price includes an allowance for unforeseen costs, however, these costs would be deducted should they not be used.

"Private owners have the opportunity to provide their own quotes for these works from an approved contractor of their choice, provided they meet appropriate health and safety guidelines and have appropriate insurances."

But the lawyer for private landlord David Aiton has written to the council saying the work the council is proposing is "disproportionate".

Aiton has told the Daily Record: "It's not a fait accompli that the council can just ride rough shod over the rights of individual property owners … We are legally challenging the legitimacy and fairness of Falkirk council's proposal."

He continues: ”There are private owner occupiers who have worked hard to own, maintain and pay for their own properties, in these blocks of flats.

"They are now being extremely stressed and potentially crippled financially by the council's extortionate, disproportionate and grossly unfair approach. This is particularly galling when the council's own technical advisers are even assessing the properties as being 'in reasonable condition’.”

The Daily Record says the issue of owner-occupiers being charged large sums for repair work has been raised before with Falkirk council over other locations.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    This should be happening on a regular basis, challenge local authorities, central gov. We are worth more than £500 billions.

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    A real danger buying in a block where a large proportion of the others are owned by the council, they will want to load a lot of the costs onto the owners so as to save them a lot of money.

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    Never trust a council

     
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    I would never buy in a block like this

     
    Kathryn Everson

    Unfortunately experienced this with stepdaughter who insisted on buying into a council block, then loaded with extortionate fees to replace windows and other 'communal areas'. No way could the council tenants be expected to afford these large sum payments. It has been obvious for years contractors working for local authorities load quotes and in turn, rather obvious councils load costs onto the private tenants.

     
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    The annoying thing about taking legal action against public sector is that the bureaucrats aren't risking their own money when faced with legal action.

    Any decision or action whose legality isn't sufficiently clear and needs a court's involvement should not need someone to risk vast amounts of their own money to challenge it whilst the bureaucrats who caused the situation risk nothing.

    Bureaucrats who lose in court should have the sort of sanctions against them that will ensure that they are less cavalier in making questionable decisions involving public funds.

    PLC employees should face similar sanctions to avoid them similarly bullying the little man.

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    This is the reason why I would never buy a flat.

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    I've always kept clear of leasehold, just reading the lease has always put me off

     
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    Buy the flat but make sure you also own the freehold.

     
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    Re Gordon Brown - I have a couple of flats, but I and the other owners are shareholders in the Ltd company that owns the freehold, we don’t pay ground rent and WE decide via our own appointed management company what work needs doing and which trades person gets the job…. Our yearly costs are low and the block is in great order, this is the only way I would buy a flat.

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    I agree but technically the ground rent is still payable even if it is to yourself in the Limited Company.

     
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    Small LLds need to be in the public domain. We are only heard from the local authorities, central government and press. But not by ourselves, Local authorities do not do better work than reputable traders used by llds. Lets hope D A is well represented.

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    Mario
    The government has pulled the same stunt, with the PRS as it did with British industry. It villified it and set up stooge organisations to undermine them. It then allowed it's intermediatarys to loot it. And still basically

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    I was interfered with then, should have said the governments associates are still looting Britain.
    The NRLA purports to represent landlords, l pulled out of it after a years membership, whenbit became apparent it represented a tiny percentage of them, and essentially is shelter in a different guise.

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    You forgot the teachers which the Thatcher Government vilified; the profession is still suffering from the after effects.

     
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    So, what is the solution? moan? quit? or simply survive all unnecessary vexatious and vicious attacks from council, central government, shelter, press, etc, etc and accept one is in one of those pariah business?

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