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    • Baldesare
    • By Baldesare 17th Mar 17, 6:35 PM
    • 7Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Baldesare
    Advise regarding leasehold attic
    • #1
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:35 PM
    Advise regarding leasehold attic 17th Mar 17 at 6:35 PM
    I need advice regarding an email i have received today from my freeholder.

    I live in a 1 bed maisonette, the property is leasehold and my freeholder has been trying to get my partner and i to purchase the attic for a few years, we did consider as we tried to get planning permission to convert the attic into another room but we were turned down due to changing the skyline of our road. .. foolishly we didn't appeal.

    I have just received the following from my freeholder ....

    Please let me know ASAP whether you are still interested in purchasing the attic space.

    We have the option of selling the whole attic to your neighbour to create one large space for them to extend into.

    We will not agree anything until we hear from you but need to know by the end of next week.


    Now our water tank for starters is up in the loft but also is this even allowed? we are 4 purpose built maisonettes, basically i just wanted to find out if this was possible and if it sounds more like blackmail to get us to purchase the loft (he's charging £7000)

    thanks for any advice in advance.
Page 1
    • Baldesare
    • By Baldesare 17th Mar 17, 6:54 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Baldesare
    • #2
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:54 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:54 PM
    I should add we have a mortgage with this property
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th Mar 17, 6:54 PM
    • 14,785 Posts
    • 13,141 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #3
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:54 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Mar 17, 6:54 PM
    Now our water tank for starters is up in the loft
    Originally posted by Baldesare
    Really...?

    Are you sure about that?

    I'd be VERY surprised if you had a water tank at all.
    • Baldesare
    • By Baldesare 17th Mar 17, 7:01 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Baldesare
    • #4
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:01 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:01 PM
    yes we have a water tank upstair in the loft, its a 1930 property, our overflow is leaking at this moment in time.
    I have been living here for 10 years and can assure you there is a water tank.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th Mar 17, 7:03 PM
    • 14,785 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #5
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:03 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:03 PM
    I am indeed very surprised.

    This might be a good opportunity to bring your plumbing into the second half of the 20th century...
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 17th Mar 17, 7:03 PM
    • 638 Posts
    • 774 Thanks
    sparky130a
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:03 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:03 PM
    yes we have a water tank upstair in the loft, its a 1930 property, our overflow is leaking at this moment in time.
    I have been living here for 10 years and can assure you there is a water tank.
    Originally posted by Baldesare
    So what has the freeholder said about fixing that?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th Mar 17, 7:04 PM
    • 40,553 Posts
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    G_M
    • #7
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:04 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:04 PM
    I am indeed very surprised.

    This might be a good opportunity to bring your plumbing into the second half of the 20th century...
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    ????????????

    what's so dated about a water tank?



    OP - you need to get your lease out and see what it says. There may well be things in it which make it impossible for the atic to be sold by/converted by the freeholder (or neighbour).

    * if your water tank is up there, there must be some right for you to have it upthere. In which case your consent would be needed to alter your lease to allow the water tank to be removed

    * your lease may describe your property as 'top floor maisonette'. Again, putting a new flat above you would require your lease to be altered, requiring your consent.

    These are just possible examples. Read the leae carefully.

    And then there's planning permission. Your application was tirned down. What guarantee does the freeholder, or neighbour, have of getting PP granted? Especially if you raise objections at the planning stage?

    The above of course all assumes you don't want the attic. If you DO want it, the the next step is price negotiation, while pointing out all the problems the feeholder will have getting the neighbour's plans through........
    Last edited by G_M; 17-03-2017 at 7:11 PM.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 17th Mar 17, 7:05 PM
    • 982 Posts
    • 2,139 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #8
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:05 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:05 PM
    I don't know the answer but would be interested to find out.

    Contact the Leasehold Advisory Service and let us know what they say. I can't link to their site but Google will take you there.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th Mar 17, 7:05 PM
    • 14,785 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #9
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:05 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:05 PM
    ????????????

    what's so dated about a water tank?
    Originally posted by G_M
    I dunno about you, but I'm not a big fan of brushing my teeth in dead pigeon stock.
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 17th Mar 17, 7:08 PM
    • 638 Posts
    • 774 Thanks
    sparky130a
    I dunno about you, but I'm not a big fan of brushing my teeth in dead pigeon stock.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    I'd imagine it's better than golden eagle stock though....
    • Baldesare
    • By Baldesare 17th Mar 17, 7:13 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Baldesare
    he hasn't replied to me yet about that, we also had the loft insulated and paid for this ourself....
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th Mar 17, 7:37 PM
    • 40,553 Posts
    • 46,399 Thanks
    G_M
    I dunno about you, but I'm not a big fan of brushing my teeth in dead pigeon stock.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Extra protien.........
    • Baldesare
    • By Baldesare 17th Mar 17, 7:39 PM
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    • 2 Thanks
    Baldesare
    Thank you, i have just emailed the Leasehold Advisory Service and il have a look at the lease this evening.

    Our water tank is something we've wanted to remove but we were waiting to see if we got planning permission instead of spending money to change the boiler etc when wed do it once the loft was converted
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 17th Mar 17, 7:44 PM
    • 1,282 Posts
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    agarnett
    You say the property is from 1930, but is it purpose built flats?

    If it is in a 1930s house that at some stage was converted, then who knows what your lease might say. They're all different. Send me a PM and I will take a non-professional look out of curiosity if you like.

    What may not be surprising is that some previous owner has re-plumbed and installed a system in the loft without permission. I think that happens a lot with a premium on space and in an effort to overcome generally much lower mains water pressures suffered in gravity fed flats above two floors. Have you any pumps too on a shower for example?

    Some leases in purpose built blocks give the top floor leaseholders reasonable use of the loftspace above their flat for modest storage (NOT storage of water!). It isn't part of your demise, but instead your lease may grant you a restricted license to use the space.

    If you made too much of a point about not wanting yours and using the wrong language, you might inadvertently talk your way out of maintaining the status quo, and your neighbour may well be able to take over the space by paying the freeholder for the privilege. Whether it would become part your neighbour's demise is debateable - he might just be granted a restricted license to use the space - hopefully not for growing cannabis!

    However, your freeholder does indeed seem to be offering you the chance to purchase the loftspace as part of an extended demise of your flat. £7,000 may sound a lot - it depends a lot on whether you can capitalise on it in your location. In some parts of London I think I would probably grab it before it was gone, but there would be questions about how it might affect your service charge contribution and your ground rent going forward, and whether you alone might inadvertently be taking over sole responsibility for your section of the roof!

    I would guess if the planning submission you made was many years ago, the fact you didn't appeal won't now necessarily have prejudiced your chances in 2017. There is a shortage in many areas for low cost housing and many local authorities are only too pleased to forget local planning aesthetics and just get one more potential bedsit type dwelling on the books and another low income first jobber or student off the streets either now when you take a lodger, or via the next purchaser who may buy your expanded flat as buy-to-let!
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th Mar 17, 8:06 PM
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    G_M
    ........ then who knows what your lease might say. They're all different. Send me a PM and I will take a non-professional look out of curiosity if you like.
    Originally posted by agarnett
    With respect to your doubtless well-meant offer agarnett, the concensus here is that such an offer is ill-conceived.

    OP - do not take advice from a single source, especially when, as in this case, you have no idea of that individual's level of knowledge or expertise.

    The strength of a forum like this is that you can benefit from the knowledge of multiple people.

    And more importantly, people can correct or add to the opinions/advice offered by others.

    Being a public forum, contributers here are a mix of professionals, knowlegable amateurs, and complete ignoramouses.

    I have no idea which of these catagories agarnett falls into, but by quoting your lease here, rather than sending one person a PM, you will benefit from input from all the catagories I mentioned, and can then select the wheat from the chaff.........
    Last edited by G_M; 17-03-2017 at 8:08 PM.
    • Baldesare
    • By Baldesare 17th Mar 17, 8:14 PM
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    • 2 Thanks
    Baldesare
    The property is a purpose built maisonette, we renew the lease in 2014.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 17th Mar 17, 8:26 PM
    • 4,937 Posts
    • 4,589 Thanks
    eddddy
    How much would an extra room increase the value of your maisonette?

    Depending on property values in your area, one option would be to buy the attic, even if you don't plan to convert it - and eventually sell the maisonette with potential to convert the attic (as long as that's likely to add at least £7k to the selling price).

    But now that your neighbour's interested in the space, I guess there may be a bidding war which pushes up the price.
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 17th Mar 17, 8:35 PM
    • 1,282 Posts
    • 534 Thanks
    agarnett
    It is a fact that of the four million or so residential leaseholders in the UK almost none have a good idea exactly how their lease works, or how their lease may be defective, and all leases are different save for some small groups of leases sold by developers on the same site. It is also true that even the so called professionals in the business don't have a firm idea of how the leases will work either, or don't want to tell you without charging you a fee for a mere non-committal opinion, or for fear of starting a trend. That even includes some of the lawyers who call themselves residential property specialists.

    There has for decades been a cabal of nasty residential property interests in the UK whose representatives stick their noses into forums like this in order to keep an eye on, and even steer trends. So your choice OP. I know a bit through my own leasehold interests.

    Wouldn't it be awful if someone got a private opinion from a lay person and it turned out to go against the grain!

    Baldersare, I take it English is not your first language? If that is so, this flat may have been your first and only introduction to, and experience of UK leasehold property. It is a disgraceful mess compared to arrangements in some more advanced European economies.

    You say you bought the maisonette 10 years ago and you renewed your lease in 2014. How many years left before original expiry of the lease were there in 2014 before you renewed it / extended it?

    Did you extend it by 90 years?

    What change to annual ground rent did you agree when you renewed it?

    I ask these questions because they are clues to how your freeholder may already view their relationship with you.
    Last edited by agarnett; 17-03-2017 at 8:38 PM.
    • Baldesare
    • By Baldesare 17th Mar 17, 8:42 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Baldesare
    To start with no english is my first language not my second, my surname is Italian.

    I renewed my lease in 2014 as it was 56 years and it was renewed to 99 years.
    My ground rent went from £25 to £150 annually.

    I am happy to buy the loft if we could go upstairs but like i previously said we tried this 2 years ago and were turned down by Sutton Council
    Last edited by Baldesare; 17-03-2017 at 8:47 PM.
    • Nasqueron
    • By Nasqueron 17th Mar 17, 9:48 PM
    • 4,179 Posts
    • 2,326 Thanks
    Nasqueron
    I am indeed very surprised.

    This might be a good opportunity to bring your plumbing into the second half of the 20th century...
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    My parent's house, not sure exactly how old it is but I believe after 1930, has the water tank in the attic, it's still there after they had the attic converted about 20 years ago as it was my bedroom and refilling after say the toilet flushed was noisy. The house I live in now has the water tank in the bathroom with the boiler
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