Who owns the windows in a flat above a commercial premises

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  • Who owns the windows in a flat above a commercial premises

    I am the landlord of a 2 bedroom 2nd floor flat above a commercial premises ( car showroom ) . The showroom is run by the Freeholder and they own 8 flats of the 12 in the building . A few years ago without my knowledge they erected scaffolding and replaced the old single glazed metal windows in their flats .

    They have since written to the 4 leaseholders and advised if we want to replace our windows we must use a specific design and a specific company , furthermore we must seek permission for access and pay for the necessary scaffolding .

    The lease required the Freeholder to paint every 4 or 7 years i can't be sure , any iron works in the building and to clean any windows that make up part of the building . The windows are rotting owing to having only been painted twice in the last 20+ years . We had a survey to show diss-repair of the building 5 or 6 years ago for an LVT hearing and the windows were one of the items included in that report .

    My question is typically who owns the windows and who is responsible for replacing them ?

    I appreciate that they would not bear the whole cost and would be able to charge it to the service charge account .

    We have never been able to trust this Freeholder in the 30 years i have owned the flat . If it is my responsibility to replace them at my cost , why on earth wouldnt they alert me to the project and allow me to do the job at the same time they have scaffolding on the building and their forecourt was clear of cars ?

    They would have been able to charge me 1/12th of the cost of the scaffolding if all flats were completed at the same time , yet know they would require me to pay 100% of the costs of the scaffolding .

    I do not believe the scaffolding for the 8 flats they replaced the windows appears in the service charge account , one other leaseholder paid for replacing their windows and 100% of scaffolding to complete .

    It would save me alot of aggravation if the freeholder has to replace the windows as my flat occupies a corner plot and covers 3/4 of their forecourt . They will be very difficult about getting access !

    Many Thanks

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