Buyers Guide

Lease Advice: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly!

Lease Advice

A lot of life is about compromise. Whether it be living with your family, embarking on a cohabiting relationship, or friendships. At any point in time, unless you are living in a bubble or are incredibly selfish, then all areas and aspects will be give and take. Whether it is as mundane as what to choose for dinner, which film to see, or who has control of the remote for the evening, it all needs compromise

Some of us are better prepared to handle compromise than others, some of us are more accommodating than others and some just go through life downright selfish. Only the other day I was queuing for a delayed tube and a young man thought trying to sneak in ahead of the long queue was appropriate behaviour. The tens of people waiting thought differently and let him know their feelings. But why would someone think such a selfish act appropriate and what in the makeup of a person drives them to want to upset a host of others?

Now the point of this is not to give some moralistic discourse on life’s journey, but rather to give an angle on what it means to live in a home. This may seem a strange comment, but you need to stand back and think about community and sharing.

If you are looking at a flat as your first home then it is best to approach it with a view as to a community you are entering. It is a matter of give and take, in being reasonable. It would be unpleasant to leave smelly rubbish in a hallway for your neighbours to look at and smell, when you could take it down to the bin store. If you don’t want it in your flat then fair guess others would not want it inflicted on them.

If you are having a party, alerting your neighbours and having consideration would seem common sense. After all, would you want to be disturbed when you had planned a quiet evening? Would you rather be considerate and friendly in handling matters?

The biggest challenge to managers of flats and the common parts is disputes between neighbours. A lot of disputes start out from a trivial matter and then grow out of proportion. What may seem the most important, earth shatteringly important thing at one moment, can actually be trivial from another perspective. It is not always possible to see that, however.

Over the years, I have seen examples of the good the bad and the ugly many times over. When a neighbour is happy to help, or a community spirit fosters around sharing and supporting each other, it is fantastic. This may come from adversity, where the leaseholders feel their managing agents are not treating them fairly and band together to resolve. Or, it can come from a positive approach, whereby there are great community amenities that allow garden parties and community activity.

It is always bad when one of the neighbours creates disturbance, nuisance, or annoyance in their day-to-day living. If they are so inconsiderate that they block hallways with bicycles, rather than putting them in the cycle store, or leave wet umbrellas outside of their flats, then this can become an irritant and lead to conflict and contention.

The ugly is the extreme and very rare. When you get a leaseholder who has little or no social skill, that leads them to aggressive behaviour or to be constantly in conflict, then this becomes a real problem. Managing those people is more the work of psychotherapy than common part management.

Of course, there are all types of humans in everyday life and you are naturally going to encounter them in the course of flat living. However, if you embark on your exciting journey stepping on the home ownership ladder with a spirit of give and take, then the experience should be the more fun and satisfactory.

Of course everyone is different and there would be no TV programmes like Neighbours from Hell! without dispute and conflict. These problems arise in houses as well as flats, so don’t be put off, just be aware!

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