How to prove ownership of outside balcony and stairs to 1st floor flat?

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    How to prove ownership of outside balcony and stairs to 1st floor flat?

    I live in 1 of 3 flats in a converted house in London. Each owner is a long leaseholder and also an equal share owner in the overall freeholding company (a limited company).

    There is an outside balcony and stairway providing access between the 1st floor and the communal garden, which has been broken due to a lack of maintenance over the years. We are currently disputing ownership of this structure, with the 1st floor flat claiming ownership due to their address being on the original planning permission application, but no other proof that we've seen.

    What concrete proof is required to establish ownership?

    Additionally, if we remain in a stalemate, but the freehold want to remove the structure on a majority vote, what procedure should we follow as this will probably be disputed. If removed then the access door to the balcony will also have to be sealed and made safe - whose responsibility is this?

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    James

    #2
    The answer will be in the lease if it is demised. If there is no mention and the first floor wishes to keep it, demise it to them by way of Deed and make them responsible for repairs and maintenance.

    Comment


      #3
      I presume you mean the 1st floor flat's lease? I will attempt to obtain a copy, but I don't believe it is demised in their lease. Instead they claim to have a letter between the old leasee of the 1st floor flat and the freehold, in which the leasee asked for permission to build and retain the structure, which (they claim) was given.

      There is also a later deed of variation which has been signed by everyone and gives retrospective consent for the construction of the structure to the 1st floor flat.

      If everything is as they claim would that be sufficient for them to be legal owners of the structure?

      Comment


        #4
        The Deed of Variation is the document needed and from what you say implies it belongs to them. The Deed should be registered at Land Registry so get a copy if they can't provide one.

        Comment


          #5
          Surely the freeholder should hold all those documents, including all copies of leases as well as any previous dealings?

          You're part of the freeholder so you should have access to all those documents?

          Comment


            #6
            I agree that the freeholder *should*, but there aren't copies available at the moment. I'll have to rectify that.

            Comment


              #7
              It is not uncommon for freeholders big or small not to have documents.

              based on the post its clear that the freeholders at some point gave consent for the construction by the flat owner of the stair and therefore the implication is that it is a permitted structure and moreover the lessees to keep in repair. NO vote can rescind the DoV only its terms can.
              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


                #8
                Perhaps, as it seems the first floor has a deed of variation permitting the structur, then rather than removing it you should be looking at forcing the first floor to repair it.

                I am assuming you wish it removed as it is dangerous/an eyesore and repairing it would solve the problem?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Whose address is on a planning application cannot be evidence of ownership. I think that lha would object strongly if I applied for planning to convert his house to a hotel and then on the strength of the application claimed title to his house.

                  Majority voting cannot deprive someone of part of the property comprised in their lease or otherwise vary a lease.

                  It seems from what is said that the balcony was built after the lease was granted. If that is the case then it clearly was not included in the original demise. Obviously the Deed of Variation needs to be looked at to see exactly what it says. Merely giving permission to construct the balcony does not imply that the area occupied by it was incorporated into the demise. Further, if it was included in the demise it does not necessarily follow that the lessee is responsible for repairing it. The question can only be answered by looking at both lease and deed.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                    Whose address is on a planning application cannot be evidence of ownership. I think that lha would object strongly if I applied for planning to convert his house to a hotel and then on the strength of the application claimed title to his house.
                    .
                    (adjusting his yarmaluke) Well my boy I am sure we could agree terms...a price between friends, but not today it is Saturday LOL

                    Funnily enough the house was once a b & b during WW11
                    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


                      #11
                      You seem to be living in the (very troubling) future!

                      Comment

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