Landlord's employee parking in driveway

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    Landlord's employee parking in driveway

    I rent a flat that is the ground and basement of a 3 storey house with 3 people on tenancy.

    The flat above recently moved out and recently an employee of the landlord has started parking in the driveway. I have approached the person politely and received a rude and standoffish reply that the driveway does not belong to the flats and they will continue to park there. We have explicit use of the garden in the contract and the driveway (which is very small and forms the access path to the garden) is not mentioned. Former tenants of this house parked on the driveway and the former tenant of the flat above parked on the street even when the drive was empty.

    We don't have a car but them parking there does make it difficult to access the garden and get the bins out. We also use it for deliveries, guests parking etc.

    These are the only relevant parts of the contract:

    >> g) The Property means the house or flat and garden (if any) known as 123 Fake St, City, AB 123

    >> h) The Property includes any references to any part of parts of the Property excluding any part of parts specifically referred to in the Agreement.

    At best this seems ambiguous to me. Is there a correct legal answer to who has the right to the driveway?

    They also told me after I brought up parking that we couldn't put shoes in the communal area (we want to keep the carpet clean and there is little space inside the flat). There is not even a mention of a communal area, let alone regulations for it. The property is not an HMO. Is this correct? Is there anything in law which would apply to this space?

    #2
    Well, the parking space is not yours. You can ask them to park back a little, to give you more room, but I suspect that is it. What previous tenants did is not included in your AST, it seems. If it is obviously a parking space, it is not mentioned in your contract.

    And no, you really shouldn't leave ANY of your belongings in communal areas. Fire hazard, trip hazard and just unpleasant for others who use those areas. That's common to all flats, communal areas.

    Comment


      #3
      And apart from the above, your contract is not relevant - the common areas and driveway do are not your landlord's to let to you, they belong (most likely) to the freeholder, who also happens to be your landlord. The flats will probably have long-leases which might specify something different, but "communal" generally means right of passage, not shoe storage.

      Comment


        #4
        Ok fair enough - if the parking space is not ours I suppose there is little we can do. I will make a complaint to the her boss since instead the employee has been very rude and it's quite an inconvenience to us for her free parking even if the landlord technically has rights to it. The driveway is very small and even if the car is right at the pavement there is still only about a foot of space with a 1ft step to climb over.

        Would it be any different if we rented the whole house and not just the flat? What are the landlord's responsibilities with regards to access? We also presumably don't own the path to our front door by this logic, but surely the landlord could not simply block it or dig a big trench so it was inaccessible.

        Comment


          #5
          Generally (but not always) each flat would have a lease with the freeholder. That lease would specify the rights and obligations of the parties. One right typically would be right of access across various parts, so a trench would not be allowed.

          That lease might say XXX area is specifically designated to a particular flat for parking. If it does say such a thing, your contract with landlord should specifically exclude that if he does not wish you to park there.

          Have you asked the landlord what is going -- they may not even be aware. Is this a workman who is carrying out a temporary job?

          Comment


            #6
            You need to get a copy of your landlord's lease (tenancy agreement). Unfortunately sub-landlords are often sloppy about making sure that sub-tenancy agreements actually reflect what they are allowed to promise.

            If the sub-tenancy agreement is sloppy, the comeback is against your landlord, and he gets left in the position where all he can do is issue section 21 when the time comes.

            (You are subtenant.)

            Comment


              #7
              The employee is the lettings manager. If it were someone doing work on the flat above I would have no issue really. Even if the lettings manager had been polite enough to email and tell us about the situation we would have been happy rather than have an unknown strangers car appear every day.

              since it would be the lettings manager I would contact about the leasehold details I see little coming out of that route unfortunately.

              Since we have a joint tenancy I am also wary of pushing things too far since while I'd be happy to move, it would be bad if it resulted in my housemates being moved out.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by richardsmith View Post
                Since we have a joint tenancy I am also wary of pushing things too far since while I'd be happy to move, it would be bad if it resulted in my housemates being moved out.
                Presuming this is not a periodic tenancy I assume you realise that you cannot end the tenancy unless you all agree. Assuming it is a joint tenancy and you are not just renting a room.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Unless the neighbour's landlord has been the leaseholder for many decades, you can obtain a copy of his lease without involving the letting agent, by going to the Land Registry. There will be costs involved. You are likely to need an unofficial copy of the title and title plans (£3 each) and a copy of the main lease document (no more than £7, although you may need to obtain lease variation documents, as well).

                  If the parking space is not on the title plan, outlined in red, it is unlikely that they have exclusive use, although the freeholder could have made such an arrangement, outside the lease, with the current leaseholder, unless your landlord's lease gives him a right to use the space.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                    Unless the neighbour's landlord has been the leaseholder for many decades, you can obtain a copy of his lease without involving the letting agent, by going to the Land Registry. There will be costs involved. You are likely to need an unofficial copy of the title and title plans (£3 each) and a copy of the main lease document (no more than £7, although you may need to obtain lease variation documents, as well).

                    If the parking space is not on the title plan, outlined in red, it is unlikely that they have exclusive use, although the freeholder could have made such an arrangement, outside the lease, with the current leaseholder, unless your landlord's lease gives him a right to use the space.
                    Would it not be the other way around -- if the lease for the flat in which OP resides states it is within his demise, and the AST does not specifically exclude it, then OP has some power. If it is not in OP's flats lease at all, I can't see that OP has much real power in the matter at all.

                    Yes he could initiate a dispute with the freeholder/his immediate landlord over excessive use of parts that should be accessible by all -- but I can't see that getting very far, since his immediate landlord is not necessarily breaching his agreement (as landlord) And if it were not specifically designated in either plan AND were specifically designated as common use, the OP could park his car in the spot anytime the rogue car leaves -- the problem is OP does not have a car....

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I said red line on the neighbours lease, because that would tend to indicate they had control, which would make it less likely that the OP had rights, and can be checked just with the title plan.

                      It would be unusual for flats to demise the grounds and then give a right of way to another flat, but not impossible; normally the freeholder would retain them and the right of way would be over the freeholder's land. As such the definitive test is probably the OP's landlord's lease, as it should detail any rights of way.

                      £3 for the neighbour's landlord's title plan could provide evidence that it was highly unlikely that the OP had any rights, but rather more documents will have to be retrieved to establish whether there is an easement giving them rights.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        To be clear, the landlord owns both flats and almost certainly the freehold since they have owned many houses in the area for a very long time.

                        I have had a look at the land registry - it doesn't provide a lot of insight. There are 3 records for the number of my house, but nothing for a or b (neighbors and my flat). They are a freehold and two leaseholds. All appear to be the same and have red lines around 15 properties in the area. The red line covers the entire property so there doesn't appear to be a definition of what "123b" actually covers. So I have no idea where my rights start/end, if there is even a definition of them.

                        I expect the landlord simply divided the house up at some point, but never created leaseholds for them. Not sure how to interpret your advice in light of this!

                        In the attached screenshot my property is the one in the middle.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by richardsmith View Post
                          I expect the landlord simply divided the house up at some point, but never created leaseholds for them. Not sure how to interpret your advice in light of this!
                          If that were the case it is hard to see how you have any rights at all - you would not legitimately have had the expectation of parking space and it is not mentioned in your AST.

                          As I see it the only thing that will help you is if

                          a) there exists a lease for your bit, and that lease includes the parking as sole demise of that lessee. Even if it is in common or shared, as I said before, as best case, it might permit you to park there when the other goes away, but does not prevent the landlord from allowing someone else to use it as and when.

                          b) the lease(s) say that parking is not permitted in the area

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If there is no definition of what my flat is in a leasehold, nor in the AST, are there any default parameters that apply? What counts as the garden? There is also a front garden at the property. There are no letters on the doors, so legally is there an A and B? Somewhat academic of course since by convention we have the keys and we live in our flat.

                            From my searches in the land registry I am pretty confident there is no lease. There appears to be a freehold, then two leases that simply lease the entire set of 15 properties to the landlords management company. So it looks like the landlord is free to do what they want with what is not defined in the AST (although this seems to be a very ambiguous definition).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post

                              Presuming this is not a periodic tenancy I assume you realise that you cannot end the tenancy unless you all agree. Assuming it is a joint tenancy and you are not just renting a room.
                              Regarding this, what I meant was I am happy to irritate the landlord by asserting my rights and be eventually evicted since I will move soon, but that would be bad for my housemates. Although our AST doesn't expire until end of Feb 2019, so I suppose they couldn't do that anyway?

                              Comment

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