Buildings insurance for a block of flats ....

We are required by our lease to insure our individual flats with RSA.
However RSA has told us that of the thousands of blocks of flats that they insure, the buildings insurance is carried by the respective managing agent s / freeholders, and the costs are then passed on to leaseholders through t he annual Service Charge.
That is except for just one block - ours!!! Our lease - ancient as it is an d dating from the early 1960s - has never been updated since. And it stipul ates that each leaseholder should take out buildings insurance for his / he r flat independently of the other leaseholders.
It is a nightmare right now for RSA and residents because frequently we are subject to criminal damage or vandalism - mainly from social tenants of 'b y-to-let' leaseholds. And there appears to be no insurance cover for the co mmunal parts of the building - corridors, stairwell, fire doors, outer fabr ic, etc.
The managing agents and freeholders are refusing point blank to normalise t he building insurance in a group policy.
Is there any legal action that we as leaseholders can take to force the man aging agents / freeholders to take out a block insurance policy? Even RSA h asn't been able to persuade them to do so so far.
Thanks - Chris B.
Reply to

Other than voting out the management company and replacing it with an RTM (or complete enfranchisement), I don't think so, but there is a way that you can insist on being able to insure with the insurer of your choice:
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1. Individual insurance is not as uncommon as you think, my first block had it
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I think you will find that that assumes that the the lease allows the freeholder to recover the cost of insurance premiums. Leases tend to give little latitude on additional expenditure.
On the other hand, such a lease would, almost certainly be considered defective, so it should be possible to get it changed with basically only the freeholder taking action in the relevant property tribunal. Of course it seems that you may need to but out the freehold first. (If it is not considered defective, it sounds like you wouldn't get the high majority needed to force a change on the minority.)
Changing the lease will make the solicitors, tribunal, and mortgage lenders richer, and you may find that people get cold feet when they hear this. If the lease is defective, it almost certainly wouldn't allow any of these costs to be recovered, through service charges. Individual conveyancing costs are likely to fall on the individual leaseholders in all cases, although they may have not have a choice about paying.
I imagine you could club together to take out insurance jointly, but such contracts won't transfer when a lease is assigned and it sounds like you have a lot of leaseholders who wouldn't want to join the initial club.
You should certainly look into using the Leasehold Advisory Service to get some free advice that should be more reliable than any from a newsgroup.
Although it is likely that you will have to seek right to manage and even leaseholder enfranchisement, beware that, in a block like yours, you may find it impossible to get competent people to come forward as directors. If you don't continue to use a managing agent, be aware that the law on flat management is really quite complicated.
You can assume that the BTL people are neither interested not competent. The social landlords are competent but not interested. The remaining owner occupiers may well be mainly those who are not competent and many may be tool old to get involved.
Reply to
David Woolley
Sorry about the typos:

but should be buy
not should be nor
tool should be too.
Reply to
David Woolley

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