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    • rainbow_carnage
    • By rainbow_carnage 9th Oct 17, 4:27 PM
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    rainbow_carnage
    Who owns the loft space?
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 17, 4:27 PM
    Who owns the loft space? 9th Oct 17 at 4:27 PM
    We own a first-floor leasehold flat and would like to convert the loft space above us. The loft space is not mentioned in either our lease or the lease of the downstairs flat. We and the owners of the downstairs flat are jointly responsible for the maintenance and repair of the roof, as well as the outside walls that surround the loft space. There are two water tanks in the loft, one for each flat, though neither is in use.

    I'm trying to figure out who owns the loft space. Is it the freeholder? Or is it jointly owned by us and the owners of the downstairs flat?

    I would assume that it's the freeholder, but since the two leaseholders and not the freeholder are responsible for the roof, does that mean that we have some claim to the space?

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • stator
    • By stator 9th Oct 17, 4:38 PM
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    stator
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 4:38 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 4:38 PM
    If it's not mentioned in your lease then the freeholder own it.
    They might be willing to let you develop it, but they would want money.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • rainbow_carnage
    • By rainbow_carnage 9th Oct 17, 5:09 PM
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    rainbow_carnage
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:09 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:09 PM
    If it's not mentioned in your lease then the freeholder own it.
    They might be willing to let you develop it, but they would want money.
    Originally posted by stator
    That makes sense, though why are we responsible for maintenance and repair of something that we do not own?
    • aneary
    • By aneary 9th Oct 17, 5:13 PM
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    aneary
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:13 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:13 PM
    That makes sense, though why are we responsible for maintenance and repair of something that we do not own?
    Originally posted by rainbow_carnage
    Because if you don't maintain the roof you literally won't have a roof over your head.
    • rainbow_carnage
    • By rainbow_carnage 9th Oct 17, 5:23 PM
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    rainbow_carnage
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:23 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:23 PM
    Because if you don't maintain the roof you literally won't have a roof over your head.
    Originally posted by aneary
    Does the freeholder have any obligations at all with regard to maintenance? It's seems like the leaseholders are responsible for 100% of repairs, both inside and outside the house, while not owning 100% of the space.
    • stator
    • By stator 9th Oct 17, 5:25 PM
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    stator
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:25 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:25 PM
    The freeholder is responsible for whatever it says they are responsible for in the lease.
    Do you know who the freeholder is?
    Do you pay them a service charge/rent?
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 9th Oct 17, 5:26 PM
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    G_M
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:26 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:26 PM
    The freeholder is responsible for maintenance of the common parts: structural walls, foundations, roof, shared hallway, shared swimming pool etc.

    However the terms of your lease will almost certainly make you liable for tthe costs the freeholder incurs, sinc you are the beneficiary of these works. Without a proper roof, you will get wet at night in bed.

    Have you read/understood your lease? You paid several £00,000 to buy it, so reading it would make sense........
    • aneary
    • By aneary 9th Oct 17, 5:26 PM
    • 611 Posts
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    aneary
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:26 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:26 PM
    Does the freeholder have any obligations at all with regard to maintenance? It's seems like the leaseholders are responsible for 100% of repairs, both inside and outside the house, while not owning 100% of the space.
    Originally posted by rainbow_carnage
    How much do you pay in ground rent, do you pay a service charge and how long is your lease?

    If you pay £50 a year in ground rent and you have a lease of 100 years and no service charge why would you expect the freehold to pay for the maintenance???

    Surely you should have looked into this before buying?
    • rainbow_carnage
    • By rainbow_carnage 9th Oct 17, 5:33 PM
    • 457 Posts
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    rainbow_carnage
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:33 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:33 PM
    How much do you pay in ground rent, do you pay a service charge and how long is your lease?

    If you pay £50 a year in ground rent and you have a lease of 100 years and no service charge why would you expect the freehold to pay for the maintenance???

    Surely you should have looked into this before buying?
    Originally posted by aneary
    I did look into it before buying. The vendor claimed that the loft space was included in the demise. However, this was not in the lease documents. We bought the flat on the assumption that we do not own the space and will need to negotiate with the freeholder.

    We pay no ground rent. As part of the lease extension deal between the previous owner and the freeholder, the ground rent was reduced to peppercorn. He paid around £25k to the freeholder.
    • rainbow_carnage
    • By rainbow_carnage 9th Oct 17, 5:48 PM
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    rainbow_carnage
    Have you read/understood your lease? You paid several £00,000 to buy it, so reading it would make sense........
    Originally posted by G_M
    Wow, that's patronising. Did it make you feel better about yourself to write that?

    Of course I read the lease. I also paid a solicitor to read it. I was fairly certain that the freeholder owns the loft, but I wanted to double check with others because our neighbours didn't know, and I was not 100% sure. Obviously, I will get a solicitor when we have to start negotiating with the freeholder, but it's helpful to know where we stand.

    Putting down someone for not being certain about the exact interpretation of arcane legalese is hardly in the spirit of this site.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 9th Oct 17, 6:41 PM
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    00ec25
    Of course I read the lease. I also paid a solicitor to read it.
    Originally posted by rainbow_carnage
    well good because we cannot read it as we can't see it and it contains your answer -

    in the absence of such definitive info, all we can say is the norm would be if not specifically mentioned in the lease then patently the freeholder owns it since you are merely a leaseholder and it is not available for your use since it is not specifically included in your leased demise
    • chappers
    • By chappers 9th Oct 17, 7:04 PM
    • 2,705 Posts
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    chappers
    do you currently have access to the loft, it may well be part of the demise, but you would almost certainly need permission from the freeholder to develop it and as part of that permission they may make you take over sole responsibility for the repairs to the roof.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 9th Oct 17, 7:40 PM
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    HampshireH
    I would be interested in knowing if your freeholder agrees to this? Is it just a block of 2 flats or is your flat part of a bigger area such as two up two down?

    I expect it unlikely your freeholder will are to you developing it. Your neighbour downstairs has their services up there and also have a right to access these. How would you overcome this in your development?
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 9th Oct 17, 7:41 PM
    • 117 Posts
    • 128 Thanks
    HampshireH
    * apologies for odd spelling. Would appear the new Android update has full control of predictive text and changes actual words which were intended
    • rainbow_carnage
    • By rainbow_carnage 9th Oct 17, 8:44 PM
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    rainbow_carnage
    I would be interested in knowing if your freeholder agrees to this? Is it just a block of 2 flats or is your flat part of a bigger area such as two up two down?

    I expect it unlikely your freeholder will are to you developing it. Your neighbour downstairs has their services up there and also have a right to access these. How would you overcome this in your development?
    Originally posted by HampshireH
    It's the top floor in a Georgian terraced house. There are only two flats. We're the only ones with access to the loft (via our bathroom). It's not something that can be sold on the open market.

    Neither of the water tanks is in use (we have combi boilers). The downstairs people have no interest in the space. They'll be inconvenienced slightly during the build, but the end result with actually benefit them.

    I can't see why the freeholder would oppose the loft conversion, but he will probably want money for the space. The two houses on each side already have domers. So I'm not that concerned that he or the council will say no. It's just a matter of negotiating a price that we're both happy with.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 9th Oct 17, 8:46 PM
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    HampshireH
    Thankful that makes it much clearer. If the tanks are redundant it may be easier. Had they not been I expect it would have been unlikely.
    • rainbow_carnage
    • By rainbow_carnage 9th Oct 17, 8:51 PM
    • 457 Posts
    • 218 Thanks
    rainbow_carnage
    do you currently have access to the loft, it may well be part of the demise, but you would almost certainly need permission from the freeholder to develop it and as part of that permission they may make you take over sole responsibility for the repairs to the roof.
    Originally posted by chappers
    We're the only ones who have access to the loft. When we bought the flat, the vendor's solicitor argued that it is part of the demise, but as it's not mentioned in the lease, our solicitor disagreed.

    The lease clearly lists what's included in the demise. It also lists what is not (i.e. what belongs to the downstairs flat), and what is shared. There's no mention at all of the loft. The paperwork was done in the 50s, and has been amended twice since then. None of these documents mention the loft space.
    • vivatifosi
    • By vivatifosi 9th Oct 17, 8:52 PM
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    vivatifosi
    If it is Georgian, then you want to look at listing issues too in case you end up paying for something that you can't develop.
    Please stay safe in the sun and learn the A-E of melanoma: A = asymmetry, B = irregular borders, C= different colours, D= diameter, larger than 6mm, E = evolving, is your mole changing? Most moles are not cancerous, any doubts, please check next time you visit your GP.
    • rainbow_carnage
    • By rainbow_carnage 9th Oct 17, 8:58 PM
    • 457 Posts
    • 218 Thanks
    rainbow_carnage
    If it is Georgian, then you want to look at listing issues too in case you end up paying for something that you can't develop.
    Originally posted by vivatifosi
    It's not listed. Nor are we in a conservation area. The houses on either side, which are more-or-less identical, have dormers. We've gone to look at the house next door to see how much space we'd get.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 9th Oct 17, 11:46 PM
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    EachPenny
    It's not listed. Nor are we in a conservation area. The houses on either side, which are more-or-less identical, have dormers. We've gone to look at the house next door to see how much space we'd get.
    Originally posted by rainbow_carnage
    The fact the neighbours have had conversions in the past doesn't automatically mean you would get permission to do the same though.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
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