Liability for removal of pipes in my flat

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    Liability for removal of pipes in my flat

    I own a ground floor leasehold flat in a block of four flats that is currently being converted into a block of six flats by the freeholder. The freeholder owns the two first floor flats, myself and another leaseholder own the two ground floor flats.

    As part of the freeholder’s sky development (removal of current roof and building of two new storeys) they have removed defunct water tanks that sat in the old roof cavity. There are pipes that run from that water tank through my flat and into outside drains.

    They are proposing to cut the existing pipes at the point they go into my ceiling (and presumably put a bung in the top of them). So I will be left with redundant, decaying pipes that are likely to rot and leak over time - as they’re still full of water. I may also encounter problems with rodents and vermin, depending on how well the pipes are sealed on both ends.

    The freeholders are saying it is it is my problem to pay for the removal of the pipes in my flat, should I wish, as the pipes sit in my flat. My lease is a fairly standard lease - I’m responsible for repairs and maintenance in my flat and the whole block is jointly responsible for paying for communal works.

    Can anyone advise on whether I have any recourse to go back to the freeholder (and their appointed managing agent) and contest this? i.e. ask them to either pay in full for the removal of the pipes that wholly served their flat, or share the costs equally.


    We'd have to see your lease, but normally leases only make you responsible for maintaining pipes that exclusively serve your flat.


      Keep it amicable if possible. But the freeholders are being mealy mouthed, which is ratgher unattractive. When we do roof extensions we bend over backwards to be accommodating to the other lessees by for example decorating the common parts at nil charge and doing some external decs while the scaffold is up complimentarily. Presumably they have converted you to direct feed off the mains?
      I'd agree that it is not necessarily the case that the f/h should strip out the pipes but they ought to tap them at the base and drain.


        We were converted onto the mains several years ago. The tanks and their pipes have been redundant since then, and they’re only an issue now because the roof has been taken off to build more flats.

        The attitude of the freeholders has been confrontational from the start. They are trying to make us pay for improvements (we’re not liable for under the terms of our lease) and I’m paying significant legal bills to fight them all the way. This is just the latest hurdle I’m having to overcome.

        They stand to make a consevative £700-800k profit from the build but are coming after me and the other leaseholder for trivial payments - eg skip hire to clear some rubbish in the gardens, dumped by their tenants.

        I tried hard to be amicable at the start but it has gone beyond that now unfortunately.


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