Reply To: Lift Works: Wood Field

#5008
WestOneTango
Participant

Nelson, I am a layman – not a lawyer – but my advice would be to challenge Camden’s notice requiring you to contribute to costs incurred in relation to lift installations which are not within your Building.

If your lease is like mine, “Items of Expenditure” is defined as “All those items referred to in the Fifth Schedule the costs whereof form the basis of the Service Charge”. Those items which refer to lifts say “The cost of periodically inspecting maintaining overhauling repairing and where necessary replacing […] lifts lift shafts and machinery therein (if any)” and “The cost (if any) of […] the electric current for operating the passenger lifts”. Note here the use of “if any”.

This “if any” means that a cost must be incurred in respect of a service which the lease requires the landlord to provide. So, is the landlord required to provide a lift in your Building?

The Landlord covenants (what he undertakes to do) are set out in Clause 4. In relation to lifts, 4.2 and 4.2.4 say: “to maintain repair redecorate renew […] The passenger lifts lift shafts and machinery (if any) and the passages landings and staircases and other parts of the Managed Buildings and the Common Parts enjoyed or used by the Tenant in common with others.

Worth noting also that the definition of “Common Parts” similarly refers to those parts being “enjoyed or used by the Tenant”.

As you, the Tenant, do not enjoy or use the lifts so the landlord has no obligation to provide any. Arguably, therefore, neither should you have any obligation to contribute to the cost of lifts which are provided solely for the enjoyment and use of others.

You might consider the following actions:
– Do not pay any charges in respect of lifts
– Make contact (where possible) with other leaseholders in those Buildings which have no lifts and jointly agree a strategy
– Write to the Head of Leaseholder Services (Mike Edmunds) stating your case and ask him to review Camden’s position and retract the notice
– If Camden will not retract the notice, seek legal advice as to the strength of your case
– Seek a determination of your case by the First Tier Tribunal.