THE HHGE FLAT WINDOWS: WHO OWNS? WHO REPAIRS?
The responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the HHGE windows is clearly defined in the Head Lease of Hanger Hill Garden Estate Ltd (the owner of the freehold land on which the flats were built and the common parts). Each flat owner owns one share in HHGE Ltd.
HEAD LEASE 4.5 REPAIR OF BUILDING
‘To carry out and to provide the works and services set out in paragraph 11 of the Fourth Schedule hereto Provided that without prejudice to its liability to keep the Estate in a good state of repair the Lessor shall have power to discontinue or modify any of the matters referred to in the Fourth Schedule whether to the Estate as a whole or to a Flat which in the opinion of the Lessor shall have become impracticable obsolete unnecessary or excessively costly provided that in deciding whether or not to discontinue such matter the Lessor shalt consult with but shall not be bound by the views of the lessees of the flats in the Estate
FIRST SCHEDULE: Flat Demise. Areas which are the responsibility of the (HHGE Ltd)
5.iv. The windows window frames doors and door frames in walls bounding the flat and the main entrance door and frame to the flat in the walls bounding the flat.
FOURTH SCHEDULE Paragraph 11 Works and Services’
11.1 Save for the cleaning of windows which are the responsibility of the Lessees of the flats within the Estate, the works and services mentioned in paragraph 9.1 above are:
(a) Structure etc
Maintenance repair cleaning redecoration replacement renewal demolition and rebuilding (whenever necessary or desirable) of and compliance with codes of practice and the requirements of statutes and regulation affecting, main structures sheds, roofs foundations external walls party walls and structures boundary walls fences and railings windows window frames chimneys and chimney pots doors door frames balconies and terraces and their railings.
SUMMARY: Legal Responsibility for Window Repairs and Maintenance
The HHGE Head Lease makes it clear that the windows and their frames are owned by HHGE Ltd and the responsibility for repair and replacement therefore lies with the HHGE Board, not with the individual flat owner, except that the flat owner is responsible for damage to the window glass “arising out of any act, neglect default or omission of the Lessee its servants agents licensees or invitees”. The costs of window repairs or replacement can be recovered by the HHGE Board through the service charge levied on each flat owner.