Leaseholder issue - Communal areas

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    Leaseholder issue - Communal areas

    Is a tenant's committee allowed to authorise and carry out the cordoning off of a paved communal pathway outside a block of flats with a majority vote, when the only person who uses it every day is the minority?

    You need a lot more details. What is the "tenant's committee"? Who is the lessor (freeholder)? What does the lease say about the demise? Are other lessees currently allowed to enter that area (whether they do or don't)?

    The general answer would be no, but it depends on those details.


      The tenants committee is the other 5 flat owners in the building who meet every few months to discuss issues relating to the property and how the maintenance fees should be spent. It is a registered company chaired by one of the flat owners who has now sold, so her position will be taken over by another flat owner or failing that, a company will be hired to manage the affairs. I think the freeholder is an estate management company whose main purpose is to collect ground rent and deal with buildings insurance.

      The lease says the following about the demise:

      "In so far only as the Lessor has any right to grant the same full right and liberty for the Lessee and all persons authorised by it at all times and for all purposes in connection with the use and enjoyment of the Demised Premises to go pass and repass over and through and along the passages footpaths and accessways and main entrances forming part or which in the future may form part of the Estate and the Building respectively and in particular over the staircases passages and landings leading to the Demised Premises"

      "To enjoy the garden ground within the estate as an amenity to the Demised Premises so that such use shall not be a nuisance or annoyance to any other flat owner"

      All other lessees are allowed to enter the area in question, but the last statement is the issue. My neighbour has security CCTV footage of me taking a certain route from my car to my flat one afternoon from about 10 months ago. She seems to think that I deliberately weaved between her car and a bush for no other reason other than that it was a wind-up. (We don't see eye to eye in most matters) So what I believe she is trying to do, is stop me from using the paved walkway past her living room window so she can get some extra privacy.


        At least at face value (based on what you have said), you cannot be prevented from walking in that area, nor can she fence it off.
        A majority vote does not allow them to do that either. 100% vote might allow that, but it would need a lease variation and likely compensation to the other lessees and possible variation in the proportions of service charges if you have any sense.


          By the way I think the freeholder is probably the company itself (of which you are likely a shareholder), and the "estate management company" is employed by that company. That may not be the case however.


            I agree that it is unlikely that anyone can take the right away.

            My reading of this is that it is a three party lease, with the "committee" being the residents' management company. The second mentioned company will be what is known as a managing agent, and the third mentioned company is the freeholder. However I'd suggest that the OP urgently needs to read his lease , and the management company articles of association carefully and understand how they all fit together. I they don't understand the concepts of RMCs and managing agents they are going to get very confused on this forum.

            It is also possible that it is a two party lease and the management company is a right to manage company (RTM).

            In both cases, the company has no rights to decide who may use parts of the communal area, although, in the RTM case, some other issues that would normally be handled by the freeholder can be handled by hte management company.

            Another issue here is that the neighbour's CCTV system needs to be registered under data protection law, as it can clearly see into areas not under the beighbour's control. It also need notices indicating the presence of CCTV and who is the data controller. There is a good chance that the freeholder will not approve of such notices!

            Although possibly not good diplomacy, the OP could make subject access requests to the neighbour for copies of all the CCTV recordings that include images of the OP!


              Moderator2 : this thread should be in the long leasehold forum.


                Yes, you are correct, it is a three party lease. So is it the freeholder I need to approach with regard to this? I appreciate your comments by the way. I never knew that about the CCTV and it does state in the lease that no placcards or signage are to be put up


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