Share of Freehold - Roof Terrace Repair Cost Responsibility

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    Share of Freehold - Roof Terrace Repair Cost Responsibility

    Hi All,
    I own a share of freehold, Flat 1 in London, UK.

    House=
    Flat 1: Ground Floor
    Flat 2: First Floor + Second Floor

    The neighbours (Flat 2) now has a leak in their roof Terrance (which does not belong to me nor I have access to use either).

    They are requesting me to pay 50% of the repairs (as we are 50/50 share of freehold)

    Is the roof Terrace consider as part of the house structure?
    This is definitely not a 'common part'.

    Thank you for your suggestions.
    Anton

    #2
    The answer (hopefully) will lie in your lease. You have to look at the landlord's repairing obligations to see what the landlord has to repair. Then you look at the service charge provisions for confirmation that you have to pay a percentage of the cost incurred by the landlord in carrying out the repairs. If the obligations refer to terms defined such as "Building", "Structure", "Exterior" or "Common Parts" you have to go by the definitions in the lease and not in any dictionary.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your quick response.

      I have checked the lease contract (as part of my share of freehold):
      "Building" = the address of the house
      "Structure" = nothing
      "Exterior" = nothing
      "Common Parts" = external paths, driveways, yard, garden, and refuse are at the building, that are not part of the property or the flats, and which are intended to be used by the tenants and occupiers of the building as shown in yellow in the plan [please note the roof terrace is not shown in yellow in the plan of the leasehold]
      "Retained parts" = main structure of the building including roof and roof structures, the foundations, the external walls and the internal load bearing walls , structural timbers, joints, guttering, and the structure of the balconies including any balconies railings or walls (if any) .
      All parts of the building lying below the floor surface or above the ceilings
      Common parts.
      All boundary wall fences and railings of the building.


      As you can see in the retained parts, there is 'some ' mentioned on the 'roof and roof structures' - is the roof terrace considered a 'roof structure'?

      Thank you,
      A

      Comment


        #4
        A bit tricky.

        I assume that the service charge provisions require you to contribute to the cost of maintaining the Retained Parts.

        I would interpret "roof structures" to be the parts which hold the roof up.

        Before we consider whether there is an argument that the roof terrace is not part of the main structure of the building, I think it would be helpful to know if the lease of the ground floor flat specifically includes the roof terrace or otherwise mentions it.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
          A bit tricky.

          I assume that the service charge provisions require you to contribute to the cost of maintaining the Retained Parts.

          I would interpret "roof structures" to be the parts which hold the roof up.

          Before we consider whether there is an argument that the roof terrace is not part of the main structure of the building, I think it would be helpful to know if the lease of the ground floor flat specifically includes the roof terrace or otherwise mentions it.
          --> It does not mention that at all in my (ground) lease

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by sushilover View Post

            --> It does not mention that at all in my (ground) lease
            But does it mention it in the ground floor flat lease?

            Comment


              #7
              Assuming any leak in their terrace will impact you more than them, you might be advised to pay.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Section20z View Post
                Assuming any leak in their terrace will impact you more than them, you might be advised to pay.
                I am in the ground floor = Flat 1

                House=
                Flat 1: Ground Floor
                Flat 2: First Floor + Second Floor

                The Roof terrace is located in the Second Floor.

                How does the leak in the second floor impact me more than then? When it leaks, it goes to their first floors. (I am in the ground floor).

                Thanks, A

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post

                  But does it mention it in the ground floor flat lease?
                  In the ground floor lease there is no mention about the roof terrace - plus this is not a 'common area' aka, I don't have any access to their roof terrace (which is located in the second floor).

                  House=
                  Flat 1: Ground Floor
                  Flat 2: First Floor + Second Floor

                  thanks,
                  A

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You need to get hold of a copy of their lease (you should be able to purchase this from the land registry for about £7 - but make sure you do this via the government site, not the numerous sites that sell you the same for 3x the price), and check the details in both your lease and their lease.

                    Whether or not you are responsible for paying a contribution to the cost of the repairs, and if so how much, should be covered by the detail in the clauses.
                    It seems unlikely that you would need to pay 50% if they have a flat 2x the size of yours, but it is possible.
                    The fact that leaks in the roof don't immediately affect your property doesn't mean that you won't be responsible for contributing to the cost (roofs are typically considered to be a part of the main structure of a building and are usually therefore a communal cost).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by sushilover View Post
                      I am in the ground floor = Flat 1
                      Oops! Even though you clearly state the contrary, for some reason I got the idea into my head that you owned the other flat. What does the lease of the other flat say about the roof terrace? Is it included in the demise or are they granted rights over it? Do they have access to it? Do they use it and if so how?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post

                        Oops! Even though you clearly state the contrary, for some reason I got the idea into my head that you owned the other flat. What does the lease of the other flat say about the roof terrace? Is it included in the demise or are they granted rights over it? Do they have access to it? Do they use it and if so how?
                        It doesn't say anything about the 'roof terrance' specifically. It only talks about the roof and the main structure of the building, etc.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Macromia View Post
                          You need to get hold of a copy of their lease (you should be able to purchase this from the land registry for about £7 - but make sure you do this via the government site, not the numerous sites that sell you the same for 3x the price), and check the details in both your lease and their lease.

                          Whether or not you are responsible for paying a contribution to the cost of the repairs, and if so how much, should be covered by the detail in the clauses.
                          It seems unlikely that you would need to pay 50% if they have a flat 2x the size of yours, but it is possible.
                          The fact that leaks in the roof don't immediately affect your property doesn't mean that you won't be responsible for contributing to the cost (roofs are typically considered to be a part of the main structure of a building and are usually therefore a communal cost).
                          I agree that I should NOT pay 50% given that my property is so much smaller, however this is a 'mistake' (using a very polity term here) of my solicitors when they draft the lease while I was purchasing the property. Unfortunately, there is no way back on that, and I have 50% of the share of the leasehold and my neighbours have the remaining 50% of the share of freehold.

                          As for the ROOF TERRACE, I see your point - it does not affect me directly, however I strongly believe it is blur/border line, i.e. in the lease (I was told that my lease is very vague in a lot of things .... which is very frustrating as I paid a large amount of money to my solicitor to help me with the whole house buying process..).
                          One of the things which is not 100% clarified is the ROOF TERRACE, it can be considered the 'main structure' of the building/house as you mentioned, but on the other hand you can also argue that given this is not a common area, and that they did the surveys when they move in and didn't spot that, I should not be paying the cost of the ROOF terrace repair.

                          I feel you can argue this both aways.

                          Additionally, the owners of the other 50% of the share of freehold want to move out in 12-18 months time (sell the property) as they now have a baby and obviously want to up size.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I think there is a confusion about being freeholder and leaseholder.

                            get the upstairs lease and check what does it say about repairing obligations.

                            If it is an extension, your co freeholder is benefiting from extra space and he should pay more - which would be reflected in the lease.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The roof terrace is still a part of the roof. Without inspection of your leases and given what you have said I think you need to pay 50%. Of course if the roof terrace is 'unofficial' as in just a flat roof they are using not iaw the lease then you should argue that they repair if it has been damaged through their use.

                              Comment

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