Is Roofing Covered by My Flat’s Service Charge?

A leaking roof can cause all kinds of logistical headaches for leaseholders of a flat – not least financial ones. But do you have to pay for roofing works over and above the standard service charge? Read on as we take a closer look…

Not one-size-fits-all

When it comes to figuring out whether the service charge on your flat covers any roofing repairs, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question. That’s because every lease is different in terms of how it treats responsibility for such matters.

In the majority of cases, the freeholder is obliged to carry out any repair works, but it is the leaseholders who will foot the bill. However, since not every lease will contain this stipulation, and indeed since not every leaseholder will pay a service charge in the first place, it’s impossible to say with certainty how your situation will be affected.

The best course of action is to consult your lease. This will state in plain English who is liable to carry out and fund the works. As mentioned above, it will likely fall to the freeholder to conduct the repairs and the leaseholders to fund them. However, the freeholder must consult all leaseholders about any works they intend to carry out in advance if they will incur costs greater than £250 per leaseholder. Failure to do so could mean that the freeholder has no legal recourse to claim the monies back from you and the other leaseholders.

Settling disputes

In most situations, the service charge you pay will go towards the minor costs of maintaining and repairing a building on a weekly basis. Any excess from that amount will then go into a sinking fund which is intended to handle major works such as roofing repairs and replacements. If a leaking roof requires attention that is likely to cost more than the service charge covers – and will leave each individual leaseholder out of pocket by more than £250 – the freeholder must consult them beforehand.

If your freeholder quotes a price for the work which you deem to be unreasonable, you can challenge the request in the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). When filing this kind of claim, you must gather enough evidence to demonstrate what the works should cost and how the freeholder’s quote is excessive. The legislation surrounding this type of dispute is fairly complex and it’s advisable to seek legal advice prior to filing your challenge.

Following due procedure

The most important thing to keep in mind when becoming involved in roofing disputes and who is liable to pay for any works is that there is a clear and official procedure that you must follow. If you do not do this or you take the matter into your own hands at any point, you may find yourself liable to pay disproportionately for the costs of the roofing due to your own failure to comply with your legal obligations. With that in mind, sticking to the rulebook is the best course of action in these cases.

The same applies if your freeholder is being difficult or failing to respond about requests to fix a leaking roof. Unless the lease stipulates otherwise, the ultimate responsibility to address the issue falls to them and they should later recoup monies from you.

Flat roof repairs in Leeds

Whether the cost of your roof is covered by the sinking fund or you’re having to split the cost with other leaseholders, it’s critical that roof repairs are sorted sooner rather than later. At DPR Roofing, we have extensive experience in flat roofing across Leeds, so we can always provide a timely, cost-effective and long-lasting solution.