Communal areas in leasehold property

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    Communal areas in leasehold property

    Hello - I am a leaseholder of a flat in a building that has 4 other flats all demised on long leases. The freeholder is a limited company managed by one individual who lives nearby. The limited company does not own any flat in the building, it is just the freeholder.

    One of the leaseholders has recently started to leave personal stuff in the communal entrance hall to the building such as a push chair and a bicycle. My lease clearly restricts me from keeping anything in the communal areas and I can only assume that other leases have the same restriction. I have already left a note on one of the possessions left in the entrance hall but the owner has just ignored it. I am not happy to see this stuff in the entrance hall given that surely other leaseholders may start to do the same and treat the lobby like a junk room.

    What can I do to stop this? Report it to the freeholder? How?

    #2
    If it were me, I would be tempted to put the things outside in the rain, and hope they are stolen. Maybe someone more sensible than me will have a different solution.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by JK0 View Post
      If it were me, I would be tempted to put the things outside in the rain, and hope they are stolen. Maybe someone more sensible than me will have a different solution.
      In all fairness I have thought about doing this too but I don't actually think it is appropriate and I believe it can go against me.

      Comment


        #4
        There is an identical thread on here about the same situation.

        In your case, you write to the freeholder limited company, for the
        attention of the Company Secretary,
        1) stating your grievance, and
        2) want his assurance that he will ensure the lease is observed, and
        that the ofending items and leaseholder will be told to observe the
        lease and "cease and Desist" from leaving items in the communal areas.

        That' all you need to say, and see if you get a reply.

        R.a.M.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks RAM for your help. I have now written to the freeholder but with a slightly different approach.
          I have asked him if he has actually given special permission to another leaseholder to keep personal belongings in the communal hall, saying that if he has, I would also like to be given the same permission considering that my lease restricts me from doing so. If, on the other hand, other leases in the building do not include a restriction clause in this regard although mine does, then I asked him to confirm that he would agree to enter into a deed of variation to remove the clause from my lease to ensure that all leases are consistent and all leaseholders are subject to the same restrictions. If none of the above is acceptable, then I asked him to kindly write to all leaseholders to remind them of their obligation not to keep personal belongings in the communal areas.

          See what happens!

          Comment


            #6
            More importantly do the items restrict the access to the extent that it could hinder your escape from a fire?

            Flats with a common entrance and stairs have protected fire escape routes established (ie fire doors off the hall/stairwell to preserve the escape route)exacly for this reason and leaving junk in other peoples way could kill! I suggest you draw this to all other flat occupants attention.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Tipper View Post
              More importantly do the items restrict the access to the extent that it could hinder your escape from a fire?

              Flats with a common entrance and stairs have protected fire escape routes established (ie fire doors off the hall/stairwell to preserve the escape route)exacly for this reason and leaving junk in other peoples way could kill! I suggest you draw this to all other flat occupants attention.
              No, there is no issue with evacuation at this point in time although if other leaseholders start leaving their stuff in the communal entrance hall then yes there may be an issue.
              I am pretty sure that the leaseholder did not get permission from the freeholder before leaving their stuff in there and he/she is breaching their lease, unless there is no restriction in it (unlike mine) which is what I am trying to establish.
              But my point to the freeholder is either you allow everyone to do it (either by giving special permission to overrule the leases or by modifying all leases to make them consistent) or you forbid everyone from doing it, but it's not a matter of some can and others can't... or if that's the case I will take the matter to LVT.

              Comment


                #8
                Its a common view that behaviours have to be restricted, they don't.

                The lease should grant what rights they have to use the common areas, they cannot assume that they can do as they please in the absence of restrictions, they only have what the lease gives them.
                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.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                  Its a common view that behaviours have to be restricted, they don't.

                  The lease should grant what rights they have to use the common areas, they cannot assume that they can do as they please in the absence of restrictions, they only have what the lease gives them.
                  Absolutely but my lease clearly states that I cannot leave bicycles, push chairs and other personal belongings in the common areas, unless otherwise authorised by the lessor. So it's pretty clear. I suspect the lease of the leaseholder who is treating the common entrance hall as a junk room has the same clause... but I am waiting for a response from the freeholder to find out how he intends to resolve the matter.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                    Its a common view that behaviours have to be restricted, they don't.

                    The lease should grant what rights they have to use the common areas, they cannot assume that they can do as they please in the absence of restrictions, they only have what the lease gives them.
                    Absolutely but my lease clearly states that I cannot leave bicycles, push chairs and other personal belongings in the common areas, unless otherwise authorised by the lessor. So it's pretty clear. I suspect the lease of the leaseholder who is treating the common entrance hall as a junk room has the same clause... but I am waiting for a response from the freeholder to find out whether he granted permission to the leaseholder, and if so, if I can have the same as I might as well want to park my bicycle, leave my shoes downstairs, store boxes that I can't be asked to keep in my flat etc... eh why not after all?

                    If that's not appropriate, then he needs to either amend the leases which don't have the same clause as mine and/or write to all leaseholders to request that they observe their lease... whatever but it's all or nothing, not one leaseholder treated in one way and the other in another way.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I was addressing your 2nd para about it being one thing or the other by a landlords asserting a position, which they need not do. Readers seeking advice might latch on to that and come to the wrong conclusion as in the majority of cases the rights are limited to going through common areas to the flat, nothing more.

                      In your case it's not one thing or the other but a "sort of" in this case they have chose to assert a position of "no, unless I say so".

                      You are right to check the leases but there is an overriding concern that the items must be safe to be left there, and not put the landlord or the flat owner in breach of the lease by a more general clause to do anything that affects other to their detriment- ie dirty chavvy prams in hallways
                      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.

                      Comment

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