Flat roof or roof terrace not demised

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    Flat roof or roof terrace not demised

    Hello,
    I wasn't sure which forum to post in so I'm posting my query here. We live in a Victorian conversion comprising a ground floor flat with a kitchen extension into the garden and a flat which comprises the upper floors. We bought the ground floor flat in the early 2000s at practically the same time as the neighbours bought the other flat. Our kitchen extension has a flat roof which up until fairly recently has not caused us any problems. In the last year though we have started to have leaks through one side of the extension roof resulting in one wall getting wet and hairline cracks worsening on the external walls. We have discovered that there are paving stones which have been stuck to the felt at some time and that water is getting trapped under them and is finding its way down into our flat. Moreover the neighbour is using the 'roof terrace' as a storage place for all kinds of heavy stuff (a bit like an overflow for his flat). Builders have seen it and said that both the paving stones and the heavy items are damaging the flat roof and causing the leaks. We are insisting that we get the flat roof repaired but unfortunately the neighbour is being very obstructive. We as the ground floor flat owners are in the unusual position of being both a leaseholder of our flat and the freeholder for the entire building, a fact which I presume should put us in a strong bargaining position although it doesn't feel that way at the moment. I have ascertained from the original lease for my neighbours flat that the roof terrace is not demised to him although the door onto the roof terrace is shown and his lease states that he has "the right to use the flat roof over the lower flat for flower boxes but not to overload the same". Our lease obviously includes the kitchen extension and the freehold includes the garden. As far as I can see from the documents the flat roof has never officially been converted into a roof terrace. We desperately want to get the roof repaired and are willing to pay half the costs (or all if need be) but I'd like to know how to proceed as the neighbour is not cooperating and even refuses to take most of the heavy things off the flat roof. Thanks in advance for any advise!

    #2
    He should have to pay the costs as he has breached the lease and damaged your property!

    Have you spoken with the Leasehold Advisory Service? I think you would have to serve notice on the neighbour telling him to cease the breach of lease and make good the damage. If that fails I think you could then apply to the First Tier Tribunal for an order that the lease has been breached. After that I believe you would be entitled to exercise your right to forfeit the lease... I've never actually heard of this happening but presumably your neighbour would wise up before things got to that point.

    I think you'll get better advice if you post this question in the Long Leasehold section of the forums...

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      #3
      I haven't spoken to the Leasehold Advisory Service but I'll definitely consider taking these steps if I can't get my neighbour to cooperate . I'll repost this in the Long Leasehold section too. Thank you for your advice.

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        #4
        Leasehold Advisory Service is free so worth talking to them in any case.

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