The number of agencies or firms that leaseholders or residents may have reason to communicate with regarding their property can be confusing. Each organisation has their own responsibilities, and whilst some issues affecting leaseholders and residents may overlap, there will generally be only one agency that should be the first point of contact for members. This guide aims to summarize the role and responsibilities of each of the agencies involved.
Members unsure of which agency to approach concerning a problem they have encountered are free to get in touch with the committee for advice.
In October 1999, the York City Council issued its Development Brief for the redevelopment of Hungate; land not already owned by the council was acquired by purchase/compulsary purchase to enable a comprehensive redevelopment of the run-down Hungate area to commence.
Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd – H(Y)RL – is a private company that was established in 2001 specifically to take on the redevelopment. Outline planning permission for the overall development was submitted in October 2002, and whilst the final designs for each of the proposed blocks has been/will be approved by the council planners in turn, the overall layout of the site was finalised in 2004 based on H(Y)RL’s plans.
Having acquired the ownership of the development area, H(Y)RL is, and remains, the freeholder of the land on which Leetham House and the other Hungate phases stand. Moreover, as the freeholder and lead developer of the site, any planning submissions are made by H(Y)RL, rather than either Lendlease or the main contractors for each building.
When Leetham House was first completed, H(Y)RL was the building’s landlord, and therefore those leases issued prior to July 2017 will be made in their name. Following the sale of a head lease for Leetham House to Adriatic Land 7, whilst H(Y)RL remain the freeholder, they are no longer the landlord, and therefore there is no longer any legal relationship between H(Y)RL and the leaseholders.
The Lendlease Group is a multinational construction and property development conglomerate with a headquarters in Sydney, Australia. The conglomerate’s presence in the UK came about by its acquisition of Bovis in 1999. Specialising in very large or complex developments, Lendlease’s other UK developments have included Bluewater Shopping Centre and London 2012 Athletes’ Village, and pre-construction development of Wembley and the Millenium Stadiums.
Given the size of the proposed Hungate Development, Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd sought to limit its risk by engaging Lendlease, as its lead partner in the Hungate redevelopment. In turn, Lendlease lacked regional development knowledge, leading to Evans Property Group becoming part of the partnership; Evans have an extensive track record of delivering both residential and retail developments in Yorkshire and central Scotland.
Whilst Hungate (York) Regeneration are the lead developer, Lendlease are responsible for managing the main contractors engaged to deliver each phase of the development, the marketing of properties in development, and addressing any post-completion construction issues. Clearly, whilst Lendlease have on-site employees/contractors who deal with any post-completion issues, they maintain a central after-sales office based in the West Midlands, to whom leaseholders with defects inside their property should contact in the first two years following initial purchase.
AFTERSALES TEAM CONTACT DETAILS
Telephone: 0121 712 1700 (option 2)
Mail: Lendlease, Clarendon House, 76-90 High Street, Solihull, B91 3TA
New build properties are invariably sold with a 10-year structural warranty – without such a warranty leaseholders would be unable to secure mortgages. Whilst there are any number of structural warranty providers in the UK, the National House Building Council are the pre-eminent supplier.
Warranties are purchased by the developer or builder, and the NHBC warranties for Leetham House properties were purchased by Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd. Warranties normally run from the date of building completion rather than the date of first purchase completion.
In the first two years of the warranty, the developer or builder is solely responsible for rectifying any issues covered by the warranty at their own expense. Accordingly, leaseholders with defects occurring during this period must contact Lendlease’s Aftersales Team and not the NHBC. Nevertheless, NHBC do require that leaseholders complete questionnaires during this 2 year period in order to ensure any issues left outstanding continue to be the responsibility of Lendlease to address. In the remaining 8 years of the policy, only major structural problems are covered by the warranty, and therefore leaseholders are required to employ their own contractors for non-structural defects after year 2.
Whilst the NHBC will ensure any structural problems arising during years 3-10 are dealt with, in the first instance the developer will be expected to investigate and potentially instigate any remedial work. It may be that a sub-contractor’s work has failed in some way, and if a guarantee has been provided by that sub-contractor, that sub-contractor will be expected to complete repairs at their own expense. Accordingly, during this period Lendlease will continue to be involved in Leetham House, but their involvement must be instigated via the NHBC (problems inside the property) or Watson (problems with the building). Nevertheless we strongly advise that Watson should be kept informed of anything notified to the NHBC.
Telephone: 0800 035 6422
Adriatic Land are a property conglomerate currently comprising six different companies, each identified with a separate number: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. Each Adriatic Land company was originally an independent property company that has subsequently been acquired by the conglomerate and renamed.
Adriatic Land 7 purchased a 999 year head lease of Leetham House in July 2017 from the freeholder, Hungate (York) Regeneration. As part of the purchase, Adriatic Land also acquired the head lease of 45 parking spaces in the Phase 1 undercroft. The purchase makes Adriatic Land 7 the landlord of all the properties in Leetham House, though Hungate (York) Regeneration remains the freeholder.
In addition to being entitled to receive ground rent payments, being landlord, Adriatic Land 7 is the entity to whom leaseholders must deal with for such things as lease variations and lease extensions. Nevertheless, Adriatic Land 7 are able to sub-contract their responsibilities as landlord as they see fit, employing Home Ground to collect ground rents, and Watson to manage the building.
Watson were originally appointed as managing agents of Leetham House by the original landlord, Hungate (York) Regeneration, but following the sale of the head lease to Adriatic Land in the summer of 2017, they now work for Adriatic Land. Watson are also the managing agent for Hungate Phase 1 (Blocks A, B and C).
As managing agents, Watson are responsible for the day to day cleaning, maintenance and upkeep of both the common areas of Leetham House (external doors, corridors, lifts, the undercroft, the central courtyard), the fabric of the building (roof, walls, drainage, services), and the area around the building (the Estate). Accordingly, as Watson are responsible for arranging sub-contractors when required, (cleaners, maintenance contractors, gardeners, etc), they administer day-to-day expenditure on behalf of the landlord, and the collection of leaseholder service charges.
Watson maintain a working dialogue with the developer, Lendlease. Whilst the day-to-day wear and tear on the building falls to the leaseholders to pay for via their services charges, issues relating to failed or faulty installation, may be the responsibility of the developer to address in the first instance.
Watson maintain an online facility to keep leaseholders informed of issues called My Watson.
Maintenance Surveyor: Lisa Harvey – firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Office Email: email@example.com
Mail: Watson Property Management, Glendevon House, 4 Hawthorn Park, Leeds, LS141PQ
Home Ground have been contracted to collect ground rent payments for the landlord, Adriatic Land 7.
Ground rent payments are due annually, in advance, for the period 1 July-30 June each year.
By registering for an online account with Home Ground, it is possible for leaseholders to see their transaction history and if any payment is due. Moreover, it is possible to notify any change of correspondence address. Registered leaseholders can also make an online debit card payment with respect to any outstanding invoice. However, leaseholders should note that online card payments can only be made for the full value of any invoice shown as owing; if you have any credit on your account such that the balance owed is less that the value of the invoice, then it is not possible to make an online card payment for a smaller sum than invoiced.
In addition to paying via Home Ground’s web site, it is also possible to pay via a bank transfer to their account; such payments can be for any sum.
Leaseholders can register for online account access here.
Mail: Home Ground Management Ltd, PO Box 6433, London W1A 2UZ