How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Matt Jones Your Own Question
Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
13732703
Type Your Law Question Here...
Matt Jones is online now

Hello, I share a roof and loft with 2 other freeholders.I

Customer Question

Hello, I share a roof and loft with 2 other freeholders.
I would like to convert the loft into a bedroom, what it the best way to approach neighbours?

Do I suggest buying the roof and loft from them, or just the loft space and then we are all responsible for the roof?
Thanks
Kate
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 3 years ago.

Matt Jones :

Hi I will try and help

Matt Jones :

can you just tell me a bit more about the make up of the property

Matt Jones :

where are the other properties in relation to yours? are they next door like terraced properties, or is is more of a leasehold Flat arrangement?

Customer: Hello
Customer: its a 1880's house, probably converted in the 1970's. I'm the top floor flat of 3. Flat 2 below and flat 1 on ground floor.
Matt Jones :

thanks

Matt Jones :

and who owns the freehold?

Customer: It's shared between the 3 of us
Matt Jones :

so is the roof, or roof space part of the freehold?

Customer: Attic/ loft and roof are part of the shared freehold yes
Matt Jones :

Thanks

Matt Jones :

in that case you would need the consent of the other freeholders, and (depending on where the property is) you woudl probably have to offer them something for it.

Matt Jones :

You would then just change the terms of your lease to incorporate the roof space, or the entire roof if you wished to take responsibility for the outside as well, and then re-register at the land registry.

Matt Jones :

you would need to get a professionally drawn plan to incorporate the new dimensions within the altered lease

Matt Jones :

I hope this helps. Do ask any follow up questions you feel you need to.

Matt Jones :

I need to pop off for a bit shortly. if I have answered your questions then please click to leave me positive feedback. The question wont close and so if you think of additional questions later on you can always as them at that point.

Customer: I think I will have a few more questions. Later today is better for me too.
Matt Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello,


 


 


So to sum up


 


 


First step is to approach neighbours that I would like to access the loft space as a more habitable space. Putting in a window and boarding up rafters.


 


If they agree to a window (at my cost) and allowing me to use space that would be best option.


 


Second option is that they say if you make loft into a habitable space you need to take responsibility of the whole loft


 


Third option is that they may say you have to take responsibility of whole loft and roof, and at this point I would have to purchase it off them.


 


Would an estate agent have to come to price the roof, or could I just offer then £5000k each for it?


 


 


Then as you said depending on 3 scenarios above.


 


Scenario 1 – no change


 


Scenario 2 – purchase loft space off them – terms of lease would need to change and land registry re-registered (imagine all solicitors costs neighbours costs including plus land registry fees will all apply to me). I would then need to get plans re-drawn with new dimensions.


 


 


Scenario 3 – purchase loft and roof off them - – terms of lease would need to change and land registry re-registered (imagine all solicitors costs neighbours costs including plus land registry fees will all apply to me). I would then need to get plans re-drawn with new dimensions.


 


New plans to show new dimensions – is this an architect or land registry?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Matt Jones,
I followed your instructions to end with feedback, but now I fear you've disappeared?
Are you coming back?
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hi, no still here. Been out all day.

i think you have summed up the situation quite well. to add my own take on certain aspects:

S1 - Essentially the loft space would not become yours, you would be using the space with permission under a "licence" by the freeholders. I am not sure this is the best option from a legal perspective as it would be better to have some certainty on the aspects of repair, maintenance, damage etc, clearly set out in a deed. But of course this is up to you.

S2 & 3 - yes correct

As to the plan, an architect or draftsman would draw this up.

If you wish to discuss further then I can offer a service where for an extra fee we discussion any other issues over the phone.

in addition if you need a solicitor to help with the drafting I am happy to offer my services through my firm

Let me know if you require any further assitance.

if you ask any further questions on this subject I will respond, so don't worry, but it may not be this evening as I am just putting my daughter to bed
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello, thanks for the above. I'll have a chat through it all with my other half and work out best next steps. I will of course contact you if I decide to use your services. Many thanks
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ok no problem

Related Law Questions