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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi there I am a leaseholder of a downstairs flat, there

Resolved Question:

Hi there

I am a leaseholder of a downstairs flat, there are council secure tenants upstairs. The landlord for both is L&Q.

. The upstairs lady has taken all her carpets up and has just bare floorboards and now whatever noise they make up there, is echoed down here tenfold! is she allowed to do this? we have heard / read mixed messages on whether she is bound by some law to have adequate and proper floor coverings so as not to be a noise nuisance to us?

. The same lady is also demanding a split of the garden, a garden we have shared as an open space for over 15 years. Our lease does mark out a 50/50 split on paper but the problem is that the 50/50 line is right in the middle of our kitchen window so any fence that is erected would go right there. We think this is just plain impractical and illogical and it has been suggested that we have a case to enter into a 're negotiation of deeds' with the freeholder to make a logical and practical split. can you verify if this is the case please?

thanks very much
Damian
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Is there anything in the lease about floor coverings please?

Customer:

Hi Alex, thanks for picking this up for me.

Customer:

No, not that I am aware of , I will have to have another look but I dont think so. Nothing in our lease about floor coverings

Customer:

Other things you should be aware of with regard to the garden issue. There is pathway that leads to a private park at the back of the garden. Tht

Customer:

that pathway is on her side technically but is clearly outlined on our lease as a shared right of way. so on that basis alone surely she can't demand a split? trouble is we have been told she can stop us from entering her side , but to get to the path we kind of have to. hope that makes sense.

Customer:

Hi Alex, I have just read my lease and found the following under the 'The Lessee's Covenants'

Customer:

16.1 Nuisance : Not to permit or suffer to be done in or on the Demised Premises any act or thing which may be or become a nuisance or inconvenience to the Lessors or any other lessee tenant or occupier of any of the flats / maisonettes to the owner or occupier of any adjoining or neighbouring property nor to commit or permit any form of harassment on the grounds of race colour religion sex sexual orientation or disability.

Customer:

16.2: Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing not to obstruct or permit or suffer or suffer to be obstructed any pathways driveways access ways hallways landings staircases steps or passageways used in common with the Lessors lessee's tenants or occupiers of other flats maisonettes or other authorised persons to keep the same in a clean and tidy condition.

Alex Watts :

Ok - you need to speak with the Council.

Customer:

Then in the Lessors covenants there is this...

Alex Watts :

There will also be a clause that says not to cause noise or annoyance to others in their tenancy agreement.

Alex Watts :

Therefore speak to the Council who should take steps.

Alex Watts :

In a flat it is not normally acceptable to have bar wood/laminate, the Landlord usually requires a carpet covering for this very reason

Alex Watts :

As for the garden it should be split

Alex Watts :

However you will have a right of access over the land, via the pathway

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

4: To Enforce Mutual Covenants. : if so required by the lessee to enforce the covenants similar to those mentioned in clause 4 hereof and set out in the with schedule hereto entered into or to be entered into by the lessee's of flats maisonettes the less indemnifying the lessors against all costs and expenses in respect of such enforcement and providing such security in respect of costs and expenses as the Lessors may reasonably require.

Customer:

dont know if thats relevant

Customer:

L&Q are denying such a note or clause exists in her tenancy agreement, they have already said there is nothing in her tenancy agreement to enforce this. Also, we don't want the garden split , thats the whole point. It is a conceptual split anyway and thats fine but we object to any fence going down the 50 50 line as we have that pathway, our windows and in fact our utility meters on her side. so a fence is neither logical or practical and we dont want one across our kitchen window

Alex Watts :

Sadly if the Landlord or Council wont take action only you can sue

Alex Watts :

You would have to sue for noise nuisance

Alex Watts :

But you should complain direct to the Council first

Alex Watts :

If they refuse to do anything complain to the Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

They are at: www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

Then complain to the Landlord

Alex Watts :

If they wont do anything complain to that Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

http://www.tpos.co.uk/

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

ok fine with regard to the flooring issue: But the question is with regard to the garden can she force a fence to go up and stop us entering her side of the garden to get to the path?

Customer:

also, are we allowed to see her tenancy agreement, can we request it?

Alex Watts :

No

Alex Watts :

If its shared then its shared, no fence

Alex Watts :

She can't stop you using the path -

Alex Watts :

That just would not happen

Customer:

so there is no grounds or any circumstance where she can challenge or change that? we have fallen out so she is making her own demands to L&Q about splitting the garden saying the 'situation is untenable etc'

Customer:

and did you say we can't request / see her tenancy agreement?

Alex Watts :

You can't request to see her agreement, it is nothing to do with you.

Alex Watts :

You should speak to the Council and the Landlord and take the above steps I reccomend.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

The council have already said its nothing to do with them. ok thanks but you didn't answer this one please...

Customer:

so there is no grounds or any circumstance where she can challenge or change that? we have fallen out so she is making her own demands to L&Q about splitting the garden saying the 'situation is untenable etc'

Alex Watts :

It is to do with the Council as she is their tenant.

Alex Watts :

Which is why you need to write and complain then go to the Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

Then the next step is Landlord

Alex Watts :

Write and complain then go to the Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

Final step is issue proceedings yourself. But that can be expensive

Customer:

L&Q are the freeholder ( landlord) - she is their tenant so the council said its nothing to do with them. So in summary… there is no specific law to force her to put adequate floor coverings down, if its not in her tenancy agreement then we have to complain via your steps outlined.

Customer:

again please though as I really do need clarity on this point if you dont mind?

Customer:

so there is no grounds or any circumstance where she can challenge or change that? we have fallen out so she is making her own demands to L&Q about splitting the garden saying the 'situation is untenable etc'

Customer:

so there is no grounds or any circumstance where she can challenge or change that? ( demand to put a fence up and stop us from entering her side to get to the shared path) .we have fallen out so she is making her own demands to L&Q about splitting the garden saying the 'situation is untenable etc'

Alex Watts :

I thought you said they are a secured tenant?

Customer:

yes , L&Q took over council stock housing in the Lewisham area about 3 years ago. She was a council tenant but then become L&Q's tenant . she has lived there about 25 years ( us 15 ) so I assume she is a secure tenant.

Alex Watts :

I see.

Alex Watts :

In that case you complain to L&Q

Alex Watts :

If they dont do anything go to the Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

Then if that does not resolve it you can issue Court proceedings for nuisance

Alex Watts :

To be clear she cant put up anything to block access over the garden and path

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

well no yes and no, sorry… the question is not whether she can put an obstacle to block access. the question is, are there any circumstances or scenarios where she can demand a 'fence' split and demand from L&Q that we stop entering her side of the garden to get to said pathway, she is telling L&Q that the situation is untenable and demanding a split because of it.

Alex Watts :

No, she can't demand a fence.

Alex Watts :

If a garden is split for flats, it can't be split - that would not be practical

Alex Watts :

They can't put up a fence, no

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:


ok thanks.

Alex Watts :

Thank you.

Alex Watts :

All the best with this

Alex Watts :

If I could invite you to rate my answer before you leave today

Alex Watts :

If the system wont allow you please do say

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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