Unauthorised works by Leaseholder

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  • Unauthorised works by Leaseholder

    I'm sorry this may sound long-winded...
    One of my leaseholders had alterations done some time ago to the flue of their gas boiler which is installed vertically from the ground floor up through the chimney of the building - which is a terrace converted into maisonettes.

    They replaced what had been a compliant and effective metal cover that allowed for the safe release of their emissions at the top of the chimney, and also kept the chimney watertight and sealed from wildlife.Their plumber however removed this and installed an air intake pipe that made it impossible to protect the chimney from rain and the chimney pot has been left open for some time. The installation seems to have required the removal of the chimney pot from the chimney block leaving the cement crown damaged and the pot repositioned with poor workmanship evident.

    I have asked the leaseholder on several ocassions to fix this so that the chimney could be protected from water ingress. No permission was sought for the work or for access to this part of the building which is not part of their premises.

    Their flat is currently unoccupied as they sublet and their gas safety cert expired on 31 Dec due to non-compliance with the new flues in voids regulations - as such their boiler has been labelled "At Risk" by GasSafe and they are investigating ways to reflue to comply.

    Do I have the right to call my own plumber to disconnect their flue extension and protect my building from water getting in every time it rains? There is already much tension with this leaseholder as they seem indifferent to their obligation to obtain permission for any work that affects the building. I want to make sure that I don't overstep what I may legally do. They have been asked to do something about this for several months.

    Thank you for any advice.

  • #2
    The lease may allow you to enter and inspect, enter and repair and enter and repair or re charge the cost of the works.
    The lessee however can always sue for harassment and over breach of quiet enjoyment, and who wins/loses depends on the facts, and that while damage is being caused, the unit is empty, and it might be appropriate to simply tape a bag over it.

    That said your insurance may require that properties that are empty over 30 days start to affect cover and combined with the gas you may have to have your solicitor send them a letter notifying that they are in breach and you intend to take action unless they remedy it forthwith.
    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.


    • #3

      The lease will allow for that. While the flat was empty twice this week the owner has visited and twice has put on the gas boiler, despite there being an "At Risk" notice stuck on the front.Is this a breach of GSIUR Regs 1998? If so what do I do about that?

      I've written to tell them I'm putting a bag on.

      To JKO - I can't see your response here, but it was on my email. LHolder won't resite boiler,deviate flue, or go electric. I can't see how a chimney installation from ground floor with only inspection opportunity at base and top some 20 metres up can satisfy the new regs either.


      • #4
        Hi Tom.

        I did remove my post because I erroneously thought that an 'at risk' label prevents the boiler being used. (I remembered that one of mine has such a label, due to overzealous rule interpretation by B*****h Gas wanting to get some more work from me. )

        On the bright side though, I can't see that he would get anyone to move in with such a label in place. I would have thought removing it would be an offence.


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