Screening on patio

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    Screening on patio

    The freeholder is pestering me over some bamboo screening I attached to the existing railings of the patio.

    The exact lease clause being used is "Not to erect any awnings or other cover or enclosure on any part of the demised premise"

    I already spoke to LeaseAdvice (the phone line) and they reckoned it is not a breach of this clause which is (according to them) clearly intended to prevent more substantial constructions particularly those which include an overhead/roof-like structure.

    The strange thing is many neighbours have similar things on their patios - one even has a large wendy house/garden shed, another has a geodesic dome, many have trellis like boardings as well, another has erected a opaque black canvas to almost double the height of the existing railings. We have lived here for 3 years now and all of those neighbours have had this stuff during that time. If you check Google or Bing Maps, it's possible to learn some of these have been in place for years before we moved in also. The management company is claiming they conducted a general site visit and that we aren't the only one to receive a letter. But in a follow-up letter they suggested they had "been informed" that we still hadn't taken it down - which suggests there is someone living here pushing it as an issue (are they allowed to lie like this?). It's been a month or so now and nobody else has taken theirs down. Admittedly LeaseAdvice did tell me not to concentrate on this aspect as you can't be sure that they have the same lease, which is fair I suppose. However something tells me that a freeholder unfairly/unevenly applying rules on leaseholders in this way could be a breach of their commitments to us as well?

    Obviously I have Googled extensively on this but - surprisingly (or not?) - I cannot find any previously documented case where a freeholder took issue with some bamboo screening on a patio railing. It seems to be without precedent. Which is either good for me or maybe bad for me, I don't know.

    I'm interested to hear the thoughts of this forum.

    Thank you

    It cannot be a breach of that particular clause as it does not appear to fall into the category of awning, cover, or enclosure. Perhaps posting a photo of the screening would be helpful.


      Here's a photo. On the far left you can see the neighbour's wendy house I mentioned. And up top you can see the black canvas hoarding another neighbour erected.

      If it needs to go, then it can go. It was only £25. I just wish they'd be upfront and honest about the reason - which I suspect is I have a curtain twitching neighbour who simply doesn't like its make-shift look.


        To get around it and avoid an argument you could plant some live bamboo in pots or troughs. It's a very effective screen, providing there is no prohibition on plant pots in the lease. Another
        alternative is jasmine but this needs something to climb up but less effective in the winter, or leylandii in pots but you have to keep them trimmed to 4 or 5 feet! Have a chat at your local independent garden store.


          I'd suspect that because it's higher than the existing railings it falls foul of "enclosure" in the quoted clause.

          If you trimmed it down to the height of the existing railing it would probably be OK.
          Or roll it up and stick it in a corner when you are not having a barbie?

          (The fact that your neighbour has got away with it using black canvass is not realy relevant, he may have a different lease anyway).


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