1. Can I make alterations to my leasehold property?
2. Do I need to tell PHP if I sub-let my property?
3. I live on the ground floor, why do I have to pay towards the lift repairs?
4. I have been notified about some works to my property. I want to object, what can I do?
5. The quality of the work done to my property is not good enough, what can I do?
6. What are my Service Charges for?
7. I was not the leaseholder for the period of time these charges covered, do I have to pay?
8. I cannot pay my service charges, what can I do?
9. I don't agree with my final accounts or estimated charges, can I have an explanation?
10. Are the charges I am being asked to pay subsidising the tenants?
11. I have paid too much in the way of service charges, can I have a refund?
12. What is a BDLS questionnaire?
13. What does 'Demised' and 'Non-Demised' mean?
14. What is different about Willow Park?
15. Can I have a copy of my lease?
16. Can I keep a pet?
17. My neighbours are rowdy/untidy/causing damage, what can I do?
18. I pay my service charge and insurance so why doesn’t this cover me for major work?
19. Where can I obtain a copy of my building insurance cover?
20. Does the building insurance cover my contents?
21. Can I insure the building through my mortgage lender instead of you?
22. I am going away and my flat will be empty for longer than 30 days. Will I be covered?
23. Why do I have to pay an excess when I make a claim on the insurance?
24. Why am I charged a Management Admin Fee and what does it cover?
Can I make alterations to my leasehold property?
Yes, but a leaseholder must get permission from PHP before starting work. An Alterations Form is available on request from PHP for completion.
Do I need to tell PHP if I sub-let my property?
PHP need to be notified of your contact address for service charge bills and information and in case of emergencies i.e. repairs/leaks affecting other PHP properties. Contact details for your tenants and/or managing agent will assist us with delivering a quality service to you. The leaseholder is ultimately responsible for the conduct of their tenants and enforcing the conditions of the lease, failure to do so may lead to court action and forfeiture of the lease.
I live on the ground floor, why do I have to pay towards the lift repairs?
Under the terms and conditions of the lease you have to contribute towards the cost of maintenance for the whole building.
I have been notified about some works to my property. I want to object, what can I do?
You need to put this in writing by the date on the notice and send to the Leasehold Services Officer who will deal with your observations.
The quality of the work done to my property is not good enough, what can I do?
You need to put the details in writing and send to the Leasehold Services Officer who will liaise with PHP staff involved in delivering the works. You will then be contacted and informed of actions to be taken.
What are my Service Charges for?
Service charges cover the ongoing day to day cost of managing your block. These are split between all residents according to the lease. Depending on where you live, these can include:
· Grounds maintenance
· Building insurance
· Communal lighting and heating
· Reactive maintenance
· Management and administration charges
Service charges can vary from year to year, reflecting the cost of services you actually receive. We benchmark our charges regularly with other housing providers so that we can be sure that PHP Service Charges offer value for money. Unlike a private management company we are a not for profit organisation so only pass on the actual cost of works and services to you. In addition, because your properties are still owned by the council, works or services that the lease considers the responsibility of PHP are exempt from VAT.
I was not the leaseholder for the period of time these charges covered, do I have to pay?
Final accounts are sent to the leaseholder(s) holding the lease at the time of issue. Most solicitors will insist on retention fees in lieu of unpublished accounts. The current leaseholder is liable for costs up to the date of assignment and any observations should be directed to the Leasehold Services Officer.
I cannot pay my service charges, what can I do?
You need to talk to the Income Team as soon as possible. They will be able to advise you on the various options available.
I don't agree with my final accounts or estimated charges, can I have an explanation?
A full breakdown of charges will be provided whenever estimates or final accounts are issued. Leaseholders are advised that they should put any enquiries or queries in writing to the Leasehold Services Officer.
Are the charges I am being asked to pay subsidising the tenants?
No, your lease states the proportion of any work that you must pay. It will be based on either the number of flats in the block or the size of the property. For example, if the flat is in a block of four, you would normally pay 25% of any costs.
I have paid too much in the way of service charges, can I have a refund?
Yes, you will be offered a refund or you may choose to carry forward the excess towards the charges for the following year. The Income Team will advise you what to do.
What is a BDLS questionnaire?
The 6 page questionnaire includes questions about service charges, work due to be done to the flats, tenancy disputes, asbestos reports, electrical works, external, internal and electrical works to communal areas etc. When leaseholders put their flat up for sale, the solicitors can ask PHP for this landlord's questionnaire to be completed and it is done to BDLS standard (Bournemouth & District Law Society). There is a standard charge made for this service as set by the BDLS - this is currently £125 + VAT (totalling £150.00) and cheques should be made payable to PHP.
What does 'Demised' and 'Non-Demised' mean?
Anything 'demised' covers all the property transferred to the lessee at the time of purchase and 'non-demised' is the property not transferred e.g. windows and doors. You are advised to check your lease to establish whether such items apply to your property.
What is different about Willow Park?
This is the only leasehold block PHP manage which is dedicated for elderly residents only - purchasers have to comply with certain requirements to be eligible for the flats and need to be over 60. There is a Sheltered Housing Officer at the scheme who is available if required.
Can I have a copy of my lease?
This will be provided at the time of you purchasing the property and you are advised to have a copy available. An additional copy is available through the Leasehold Services Officer.
Can I keep a pet?
In most cases this is normally allowed in relation to the size of the flat and the pet. Please put the request in writing and send to the Leasehold Services Officer. Under the terms of the lease you will be expected to look after your pets in a responsible way. You will be asked to re-home any animal that does cause a nuisance.
My neighbours are rowdy/untidy/causing damage, what can I do?
PHP treat cases of anti social behaviour very seriously and will require full details of dates and times of incidents in order to contact all parties and deal with the issues promptly. All such cases should be reported to the Leasehold Services Officer at PHP.
I pay my service charge and insurance so why doesn’t this cover me for major work?
Your service charge covers the cost of services supplied to your block such as grounds maintenance, cleaning of communal areas, day to day repairs and the cost of managing the leasehold service. The building insurance covers unforeseen circumstances such as fire or flood. Just like your car insurance does not cover the cost of servicing or replacing tyres because of wear and tear, the buildings insurance does not cover work needed to your home.
Where can I obtain a copy of my building insurance cover?
A summary of cover and a copy of the full policy are available on our 'Building and contents insurance' page or you can contact the Leasehold Services Officer.
Does the building insurance cover my contents?
No. You will need to take out your own contents insurance cover. We have details of low cost contents insurance, with flexible payment options, provided through the National Housing Federation. Contact us if you would like more details.
Can I insure the building through my mortgage lender instead of you?
No. We will insure the building against loss or damage caused by a range of risks as highlighted in the building insurance policy. You should not have more than one building insurance policy for your property.
I am going away and my flat will be empty for longer than 30 days. Will I be covered?
You will not be covered for damage caused by escape of water or malicious persons in respect of properties which have been unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days.
Why do I have to pay an excess when I make a claim on the insurance?
It is normal when arranging insurance cover to have an excess applied to each claim; it usually means lower cost premiums. As so many properties are insured through the Borough of Poole we have been able to obtain very competitive prices. The excess on each claim is normally £100.
Why am I charged a Management Admin Fee and what does it cover?
The Management Admin Fee is to recover the costs of managing your property and block. It covers the cost of staffing and providing the following services (please note that the list below is not exclusive):
Sending out estimated service charges and final accounts each year
Sending out account invoices/statements
Logging payments on your account
Dealing with account and service charge queries
Monitoring service contracts.