Potential issue with my freeholder...

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    Potential issue with my freeholder...

    I am a leaseholder living within a 4-story terraced house. Us leaseholders are obviously responsible for exterior mending and decoration, and about every 6 years the scaffolding goes up and this is carried out. It's one of those typical Georgian seaside terraced houses, so it needs its regular magnolia painting and all sorts of maintenance that you would expect with such an old terrace by the sea.

    A couple of years ago the freeholder sold the somewhat dilapidated garage at the back of the ground floor flat's garden to a developer, who has now turned it into a little 'house'. Prior to this there was a passageway no more than about three foot wide where we could access the road behind the house, so if the rear of the building needed attention then scaffolding and workmen could come in through there. Even though the freeholder could've left that space open for us she chose not to, as obviously that would have meant less money from the developer.

    It's now time to see to the back of our building. Now that this passageway is gone, we are blocked in and the worst case scenario is we would need to pay for a crane to lift the scaffolding up and over from the front, over the roof, and the workmen, along with their debris, would have to pass back and forth through the ground floor flat, for a period that would last for weeks.

    This is going to cost us about 5 times what it would have cost otherwise, not to mention the inconvenience and inevitable damage that will be done to the flat on the ground floor, and the misery for that tenant having to live there whilst all this is going on around him.

    I'm assuming the worst here, in that it's just 'tough luck' and there's nothing we can do, in terms of holding the freeholder accountable for any of this additional expense. It's in our lease to carry out these works regularly, but she has just gone and done something that is going to make this extremely costly and inconvenient for all of us.

    Any views?

    Check all leases to see if there is right of way...


      Access to Neighbouring Land Act may come to your rescue


        How can I look further into that? (Neighbouring Land Act)... Thank you.


          As far as the lease is concerned regarding 'right of way', I can't see anything in the lease that mentions this. When the leases were created at the point of conversion this wouldn't have been a consideration given the access that already existed alongside the garage out back.


            Originally posted by Sharon View Post
            How can I look further into that? (Neighbouring Land Act)... Thank you.
            Search online for " UK Neighbouring land Act" or read section copied below posted by a law firm :

            Option 2: Access to Neighbouring Land Act

            If there are no rights of access reserved in your title deeds, then the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 may be of help, provided the work you want to carry out can be shown to be necessary to preserve your property and not easily undertaken otherwise.

            To qualify as preservation works you will typically need to show that access is needed to:
            • maintain, repair or renew your property or another structure on your land;
            • clear, repair or renew a drain, sewer, pipe or cable;
            • fill in or clear a ditch; or
            • treat, cut back, fell, remove or replace a hedge, tree, shrub or other growing thing which has or may die or become damaged, diseased, dangerous or insecurely rooted.

            If the court agrees to grant access then it is likely to impose strict conditions on what you are permitted to do, at what times of the day access can be obtained and the time frame within which the works must be completed. You may also be ordered to pay your neighbour compensation.

            A request for access may be refused if the court is satisfied that your neighbour would suffer unacceptable interference or disturbance in their use or enjoyment of their land or some other form of undue hardship. Your legal advisor will be able to predict whether such arguments are likely to be raised and will help come up with acceptable limits on the work to be undertaken to help address them.


              Thank you for this info - I will try and find out if this can help us in any way.


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