Loft conversion and wooden flooring

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    Loft conversion and wooden flooring

    I am co-freeholder in an Edwardian house converted into 3 flats. I live in Flat 2, the middle flat. The top flat (Flat 3) has been sold to new buyers who will become co-freeholders in our management company. They have proposed various building works and I would like to clarify the position of other freeholders in regard to our lease and granting consent to these works.

    1) The attic space above the top flat is not demised to Flat 3 and is co-owned by all 3 freeholders. The access to this space is in Flat 3 so it is not practical to be used by others. The new buyers have indicated that they would like to do a loft conversion in future. My basic understanding is that they would have to cover the cost of an independent surveyors valuation to establish value of roof space and premium payable to co-freeholders. They would also be responsible for covering costs of amending lease to reflect change in layout eg licence to alter. There is also the issue of future roof responsibility - does this remain the responsibility of all 3 freeholders as it is at present, how is this usually negotiated? In the event that I don't wish to give consent to this proposal can I be outvoted 2 to 1 by the other 2 co-freeholders including the interested party should they have a vote? Does consent have to be unanimous?

    2) The new buyers would like to replace the carpeted floors with wooden floorboards. Our lease currently requires flats to have carpets with underlay but I'm aware that a variety of soundproof/fireproof options for floor insulation have become available since it was drawn up. For that reason I would be open to discussing their proposal. However they have suggested that if their floor joists are found to be damp or rotten and in need of replacement before they can lay a new wooden floor that this would be classed as a common parts repair. They have also suggested that this repair would include propping up from below ie from within my flat, again as a common parts repair. This would certainly lead to my ceiling having to be replaced. I have looked at what I think is the relevant part of my lease relating to the demised premises and this doesn't appear to be the case.

    Extract from lease of Flat 2 relating to the demised premises

    ALL THAT the flat known or intended to be known as No. 2, (address removed) comprising that part of the first floor of the Property shown and edged red on the plan annexed hereto TOGETHER WITH the ceilings and floors of the said flat and the joists and beams on which the floors are laid but not the joists or beams to which the ceilings are attached and the windows of the said flat AND TOGETHER ALSO WITH all cisterns, tanks, sewers, drains and conduits used solely for the purpose of the said flat but no other EXCEPTING from the demise the main structural parts of the property including the roof foundation and external parts thereof.

    What I understand by this is that Flat 3 would be responsible for repair/replacement of joists and beams under their floors. If removal/repairs to my ceiling are deemed necessary in order for Flat 3 to lay new wooden floors should Flat 3 be liable to cover this cost. Also if there is any dispute about this matter am I within my rights to refuse consent to wooden floors as per the original lease?

    Apologies for long posting but I would really appreciate your help.

    They would need a deed of variation for the lease, not a licence to alter. It is the need for the deed of variation which triggers the possibility of the the freeholder charging a premium.

    Recent discussion on the forum seems to be against relaxing carpeting rules.


      Loft Conversion is the most suitable for small loft conversions where there is limited space. It creates additional headroom for the new room(s) and affords additional space for the loft conversion stairs. The increased height created by the Dormer allows for more straightforward installation of bathroom fittings.

      There are different types of dormer loft conversion:
      • Gable fronted Dormer – these are sometimes called a dog house dormer
      • Hipped roof dormer – a dormer with a hipped roof
      • Flat roof dormer – you guessed it – it has a flat roof!
      • Shed Dormer – a single planed roof that is pitched at a shallow angle to the main roof


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