Liability for fire escape maintenance for first floor flat in converted terrace house

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    Liability for fire escape maintenance for first floor flat in converted terrace house

    Hi forum

    Detail:1900's terraced house converted into two flats back in the 80's. The first floor flat has fire escape/rear access iron stairs at the back of the house leading to their section of the garden and needs replacing. Only the first floor flat has access to it.
    Question: Who is responsible to pay for the maintenance/replacement of the iron ladders/steps as they're not a communal, only used by first floor flat, and no mention of responsibility in any paper work?

    A) Occupier in first floor flat.
    B) Shared between occupiers in both ground floor and first floor flat.
    C)The freeholder (note the freeholder is the occupier in ground floor flat, they own 100% of the freehold).
    D) Other/More info required.

    Extra info;
    - Both tenants own there properties i.e. Mortgage not rented
    - The freeholder does not collect/charge for any monthly maintenance. Any repairs, for example the roof are just split 50/50 as an when required.
    - Original lease does not mention the fire escape/rear access ladder at all.
    - The lease states landlord/freeholder should maintain "structure inc foundations, roof, gutters and rain water pipes" no mention of fire escape/rear access.
    - The fire escape/rear access is mentioned in the perimeter of the first floor flat lease only. Is excluded from the lease of the ground floor flat.

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    The person that the lease says is responsible. We cannot tell who that is without sight of the lease.

    Whether or not there is shared use is irrelevant compared with what the lease says.

    Comment


      #3
      IMO the first floor flat owner is resp but can't read the Lease from herw

      Comment


        #4
        NO has said responsibility not mentioned in lease. I would take a pragmatic approach, get prices and ask for a contribution. Ground floor has escape. What would happen to you ? If not too expensive not worth hassle. What price your safety ?

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you all for your feedback, much appreciated.

          As scot22 picked up on in my comments the original lease has no mention what so ever about the maintenance/cost of the fire escape ladder. The only time it is mentioned in any documentation is in the perimeter description where it states "fire escape included in first floor flat" but no mention of maintenance/cost responsibility.

          With the Foundations, Walls, Roof, Guttering it's made clear in the lease it is for the freeholder to initiate and maintain and charge the lease holders accordingly but the fire escape ladder no mention what so ever.

          I suppose the ultimate question I was looking for thoughts/view on; is the cost to replace 50/50 between Ground and First floor OR First floor liable for 100%?

          It's not a communal ladder, can only be used by first floor, and the ground floor flat does not rely on it for the structure of the building (like the roof, walls, foundations, guttering).


          Comment


            #6
            Is it within the title plan area for the flat?

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you for further response. Yes it's within the title plan and its shown within the perimeter of the grounds of the freehold, also shown on the original drawings showing the boundaries between the two flats. But the only text is in the "Schedule of notices of leases" where it states quote;

              1)First floor flat, staircase, balcony, fire escape

              2)Ground floor flat excluding first floor balcony and fire escape

              Comment


                #8
                Seems clear to me. It's your responsibility to maintain. I suggested asking for a contribution of uncertain. However no feel it's all yours.

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                  #9
                  @Scott22 thanks for your views/feedback...your comment "It's your responsibility to maintain" who are you referring to as 'your', The occupier in the first floor flat or the freeholder?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Leaseholder of first floor flat. Lease specifies it in Schedule.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you members for your time and feedback

                      Comment

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