shared freeholder wants to build loft extension. can i stop him?

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    shared freeholder wants to build loft extension. can i stop him?

    My upstairs neighbour (and shared freeholder) has indicated he would like to build a loft extension. I'm against it as i am elderly, always at home and 1) will have to put up with the noise and dust of builders, let alone the scaffolding and 2) i believe that he will then rent the larger property out to a group of people who will make even more noise than i am currently experiencing from just the two people upstairs.

    Based on my leasehold document it states that: 'I have the right to install and maintain an independent television or radio aerial in the roof loft of the building and connect thye same by passing a wire or wires through the eaves carrying the same down the exterior thereof to the demised premises the Lessee making good all damage occasioned by the exercise of this right'. Therefore doesnt this mean I have a right to access and install a tv aerial in the roof space?

    In the leasehold document for the people upstairs it states that 'the demised premises include the roof chimney stacks and roof space'

    It also states in their leasehold 'that not during the said term to erect any temporary or additional buildings on any part of the demised premisesd nor erect or bring upon the demised premises or any part thereof any chattel adapted or intended for use as a dwelling or sleeping apartment or for the sale of goods nor allow or permit the demised premises or any part thereof so to be used nor make any alteration in the plan or elevation of the demised premises or in the architectual decoration thereof or cut maim alter or injure any of the principal timbers or walls thereof nor construct any gateways or openings in any of the walls bounding the demised premises nor stop up or divert any surface water or other drain or under the demised premises.'

    Surely this means that he isnt allowed to add and additional building (loft extension??) to be used as a dwelling or sleeping apartment AND that he is not allowed to cut maim or injure any of the main timbers or make any alterations in the plan or elevation and therefore he would not be allowed to build out back from the current pitched roof?

    Hopefully someone out there can help me. I'm a pensioner and have lived in this flat nearly all of my life and have little money to pay for lawyers and the like to fight the man upstairs.

    Walter

    #2
    How is the Freehold owned, jointly in your two names. in a company? Is there any provision for dealing with disputes?

    That clause clearly prohibits making the changes to the building that an extension will require, but there may be more in the lease that relate to the 'said term' sometime it only applies to the last 7 years (or other defined period of time)

    There may be other clauses of use, for example a clause stating occupancy by a single family only, this would rule out a group of sharers.

    Check your insurance policies, union memberships, former employer benefits, you may have access to free legal advice somewhere. You can also get free advice from www.lease-advice.org.

    There is also the potential to make some money here, you may not want the hassle but if the extension adds value to the property you could be asking 50% of the uplift in value to give your permission.

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      #3
      thanks for that. there is the 'family' clause in there so that may be of some use. the leasehold advisory service thought there was a possibility that i could veto the extension then when i ran it past a surveyor who has done work for me in the past he didnt think i could. so i'm now in a quandry as to what my rights are. can you recommend a solicitor who is an expert in this kind of stuff.

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        #4
        If upstairs demise includes as you have said 'roof, chimney stacks and roof space' you probably cannot unreasonably refuse them permission to extend into the loft.

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          #5
          As well as your other thoughts, I think you need to point out that consent to assign will be withheld (neighbour will be unable to sell) until such time as the property is returned to its original condition.

          Hopefully that should persuade neighbour that there is no point in doing his extension.
          To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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