purchasing unused communal land

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    purchasing unused communal land

    Hi just wondering if anyone has any experience (or if there is any formula used for this)

    we have just purchased a property which is a victorian conversion made up of 4 flats. The property is share of freehold and there is a communal garden that has a side entrance so all flats can access it and there is direct access from my flat and the one above me as I am lower ground. The garden is small and not really used. To the side of the property there is what looks like a coal storage celler. If we dig into this we can add another bedroom and it would not impact any freeholder and would not take away from their use of the garden as its tucked away in one corner.

    I am about to approach the freeholders but wondered if there is any good way to acquire this land without not ploughing out too much as the work involved to excavate that area will be quite costly.

    I understand its a vague question without knowing details so any help would be useful before I approach them or have my solicitor do so. We are due to exchange on the property shortly.



    You refer to share of freehold ! Are you saying you have a freehold flat shared between 3 or a lease hold interest like the other 2 flat owners and together you also will own the freehold reversion.

    If the latter which I suspect is the case you will need the express consent of other flat owners and any mortgage lender, their leases will have to be rewritten to alter communal space. They may not agree particularly as expanding the coal cellar if done wrong could have an adverse impact on structural integrity of building.

    I would approach tenants personally and ask their views first offer to pay their professional fees and offer them nominal sum say £1000 each flat and gauge reaction.

    Do not exchange contracts until this is resolved if important to you.
    Remember your lender will also have to consent !

    Keep us posted


      Hi thanks so much for the replies. That is very kind and informative. I was offline so apologies for not replying.
      I have just heard from the solicitor and this is what she said

      "The freehold is owned by xxxx Limited so I expect there will need to be a meeting of all the leaseholders before a decision will be made on the land - I fear you will not get a quick response on this part of the purchase. The managing agents, I believe, are xxxxxxx

      Its an area that the flats above use if that makes sense. i will try and add a link to a picture


      So this one shows on land registry what belongs to my flat and what is in blue is the additional land. As you can see from the pictures below, the blue that I have outlined is what the flats above already use. I have to walk down the steps to my front door and as you enter the flat that area is not accessable.


      That red ouline square is approx the ceiling height of my flat as I am lower ground.

      So as per the email the freeholder is owned by a limited company and the company name is the address of this building.

      By what you say that sounds like a lot of paperwork! :-)

      The area is in a corner of the garden which no one has easy access to. It is all filled in (as there are rooms above, if you imagine its just like for us it was just filled in, so its not like anyone can even use this space. I hope I am making sense here

      Thank you so kindly



        Before you spend any more money I would take a trip to you local council building control department and planners. Ask to see any plans of works done when converting the premises - this may tell you what is in the area you mention and indeed it may be structural to the building as a whole. It is a free service.

        If you do decide or even if you can buy expect big costs from agent and freeholder and your fellow leaseholders. A long and winding road I suspect.

        Freedom at the point of zero............


          Thank you very much, I will check with the council. I did a search on the council website for the planning applications when the conversion took place but there was no information apart from an old letter scanned in saying it was approved. I will pop down to the council and see what they say, great idea.


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