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Coach house issue with carport

27 replies 2.4K views
 I own freehold a Coach House above three carports. The carports are on a 99 year lease to some adjacent houses. It has recently come to my notice that one of the house owners has put doors on to the carport, In effect turning it into a garage.
She is refusing to remove the doors. 
1.  The carport is on the bend hence the reason the doors were removed By the builders once the estate was established.
2.  My contract states that no alterations are to be made to the building.
3.  I will have no idea what is being kept in there
4. I have concerns about the safety of the building and the tenants in the flat above
I have written to the Householder asking her to remove the doors within the next two weeks.
where do I stand legally?
Thanks


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Replies

  • Alan2020Alan2020 Forumite
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    If your contract says so, get a solicitor to write to her giving her 14 days to put back to original state and make good any damage and failing that you will take legal action to forfeit the lease.
  • Jeepers_CreepersJeepers_Creepers Forumite
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    I guess it depends on the wording of your deeds when it comes to these carports, and also whatever it says in this other householder's version. I understand you can download these for £3? The deeds for these types of property often make it clear what can and can not be stored in the garages, or in your case carports. Yes, having doors on them will now make it harder for you to know what's going on in there, but bear in mind that most coach-houses like yours are over fully-enclosed garages, so no way of knowing what's been stored. The coach-house owner normally has to take it on trust that garage occupiers are conforming...

    Your situation might be made more complex by the builders having originally fitted doors to this carport? It seems strange that it had these doors and then they were removed - not sure I fully understand the reasoning; once the door is open, what difference does it make to egress? 

    Anyhoo, if your deeds are very clear, then I guess you can take action to enforce this. How easy it'll be, I dunno. Do you have insurance with legal advice helpline or cover? If so, give them a bell.
  • NameUnavailableNameUnavailable Forumite
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    What do the garage lease's say? Presumably they will prohibit any alteration to the property as that is yours, the other parties only rent the spaces underneath.
    If this is the case I would issue a notice to remove the doors and make good any damage to the walls where they were fitted. If they fail to act you would then have to do the work yourself and take legal action to recover your costs.
  • stroppymarestroppymare Forumite
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    The carports originally had glass doors because they were being used as part of the sales office for the estate. I was told when I purchased the property that garage doors would not be allowed because of the proximity of the carports to the bend in the road.
    I have written to the householder giving her 14 days to remove the door and make good informing her that refusal to do so will initiate legal proceedings.
     I have asked the builders For a copy of the lease which they have given to her. Thank you for the suggestions.
  • edited 20 November at 9:37AM
    eddddyeddddy Forumite
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    edited 20 November at 9:37AM


    I have written to the householder giving her 14 days to remove the door and make good informing her that refusal to do so will initiate legal proceedings.

    A friendly discussion might have been a better first step. That letter sounds like a neighbour dispute, which you'd need to declare when you eventually sell your property.

    It might scare away buyers for your property, if they think they'll have difficult neighbours who they'll have to threaten with legal action.



    Having said that, the legal position is that the neighbours are probably in breach of the lease. If they don't correct the breach (i.e. remove the doors), your remedy is probably that you can forfeit the lease - i.e. you repossess the car port, and it becomes yours.  But you'd need to follow the correct legal procedures.


  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • davidmcndavidmcn Forumite
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    3.  I will have no idea what is being kept in there
    4. I have concerns about the safety of the building and the tenants in the flat above
    I doubt your rights in the lease cover either of these points. You've already told us why the doors were removed, and it wasn't "so the freeholder can more easily inspect what's inside". 
  • greatcrestedgreatcrested Forumite
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    I imagine it's  Planning constraint.
    As it is on a bend the planners woul not permit a garage, requiring thr driver to stop on the bend, get out, open the garage door and then go back and sort out the accident he has caused.
    Whereas a carport can be driven into without stopping.
    Just a guess.
    But that is irrelevant really. What matters is what the lease does or does not allow the leaseholder to do.I would imagine the lease would prohibit this change, or only allow it with freeholder consent.
    Enforcement of lease conditions is best done, in order of priority
    * amicably by discussion
    * via a solicitor letter
    * by court action

    If I include a blue link in my post, click and read it before posting a follow-up question. The answer may be in the link.

  • NameUnavailableNameUnavailable Forumite
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    eddddy said:


    I have written to the householder giving her 14 days to remove the door and make good informing her that refusal to do so will initiate legal proceedings.

    A friendly discussion might have been a better first step. That letter sounds like a neighbour dispute, which you'd need to declare when you eventually sell your property.

    It might scare away buyers for your property, if they think they'll have difficult neighbours who they'll have to threaten with legal action.



    Having said that, the legal position is that the neighbours are probably in breach of the lease. If they don't correct the breach (i.e. remove the doors), your remedy is probably that you can forfeit the lease - i.e. you repossess the car port, and it becomes yours.  But you'd need to follow the correct legal procedures.


    I wouldn't say it's a dispute unless the leaseholder refuses to comply (with terms of said lease). If they don't and it has to be escalated then it would become a dispute.
  • NameUnavailableNameUnavailable Forumite
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    The carports originally had glass doors because they were being used as part of the sales office for the estate. I was told when I purchased the property that garage doors would not be allowed because of the proximity of the carports to the bend in the road.
    I have written to the householder giving her 14 days to remove the door and make good informing her that refusal to do so will initiate legal proceedings.
     I have asked the builders For a copy of the lease which they have given to her. Thank you for the suggestions.
    You should / should have been provided with copies of any lease as you are the freeholder.

  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    eddddy said:


    I have written to the householder giving her 14 days to remove the door and make good informing her that refusal to do so will initiate legal proceedings.

    A friendly discussion might have been a better first step. That letter sounds like a neighbour dispute, which you'd need to declare when you eventually sell your property.

    It might scare away buyers for your property, if they think they'll have difficult neighbours who they'll have to threaten with legal action.



    Having said that, the legal position is that the neighbours are probably in breach of the lease. If they don't correct the breach (i.e. remove the doors), your remedy is probably that you can forfeit the lease - i.e. you repossess the car port, and it becomes yours.  But you'd need to follow the correct legal procedures.



    Seems from the OPs first post she's already tried asking the recalcitrant leaser.
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