undemised roof space repairs

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    undemised roof space repairs


    I'm the leaseholder of a first floor flat in a Victorian terrace. The only access point for the roof space is in my flat, however the roof space itself is undemised - it does not feature on any plans and there is nothing in my lease giving me specific permission to use it or any associated responsibilities.

    The house next door is having a loft conversion so I gave access for my freeholder's surveyor and next door's surveyor to check the party wall. Next door's surveyor mentioned to me (without the freeholder's surveyor present) that there appears to be an issue with the purlins in the roof space above me - they are vertical rather than diagonally load bearing. Essentially it looks like at some point in the past someone has started to convert the roof space but then never completed it, the problem with this is that the vertical purlins are not resting properly on the joists or the load bearing walls and the roof may start to bow in the future. It isn't a serious matter (i.e. I don't need to move out for emergency works) but it was unusual enough for the surveyor to flag it up as an issue.

    My lease doesn't make reference to the roof space at all apart from that the lessor is obliged to maintain and keep in good and substantial repair and condition the structure of the building including [...]foundations and the roof.

    I'm a bit unsure about the legal obligations regarding ownership of the roof space and just wanted to clarify, if the space is undemised is the freeholder responsible for any necessary remedial work or would it be considered part of keeping the roof sound and therefore the leaseholders will become involved as well?


    Thanks - I'll let our managing agent know about the surveyor's suggestion and brace myself for whatever fantasy number they come up with to fix it.

    My own surveyor did mention that it was a non-traditional layout but didn't seem to think it was a problem that needed anything doing to it.


      Some older roofs do have queen posts or jack studs, which are short vertical posts which hold up the horizontal purlin ( a purlin runs the length of a roof, holding up the rafters from the base to the apex of the roof.

      As long as the point load from those studs are carried by the horizontal joist, or transferred to a say a wall below, that that is fine.

      Some roof structure contain a mix of angled and vertical studs, such as factory made roof trusses, a triangle with various bits in the middle.

      What the other surveyor might think is that some of the angled studs have been removed to use the loft space.

      A quick check of the timbers to see if there are signs of alteration will be a good start.
      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


      Latest Activity