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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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When I bought my flat from an executor in December 2003, the

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When I bought my flat from an executor in December 2003, the current landlord was a Borough council. The properties were taken over by a community housing association who then said the land was communal. The flat is a downstairs one with a garden at the rear and one at the front of the property and my lease states that I must keep the garden area well maintained and in a tidy condition but does not specify which garden. It also refers to rights of way in common with the Council and all others now entitled on foot or with bicycles and a right of way in like terms to the upstairs tenant. The area at the rear is tinted green on the map attached to the lease. As far as I am aware, the upstairs tenant has access to the rear garden to clean upper windows and possibly have a washing line.
Does communal mean that the upstairs tenant can have a bar-b-q or play golf on the garden I have to maintain. I do not see how I can be expected to maintain land for someone else to use in this manner. Is this a matter of bullying by the Housing Assoc?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX 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, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Does it say the garden is communal or just that the tenant has right of access etc please?

Customer:

The lease for my property states that the Lessee is to maintain the garden area. There is no definition of garden area. Further rights of way over the freeholder's land is granted on foot or with bicycles such as the Lessee may require and reserved in similar terms for the upstairs tenant over the green land at the rear of my property. There is no mention of the word communal

Alex Watts :

Ok - this means they can walk over and have a right to pass and repass the land.

Alex Watts :

They can't have BBQ

Alex Watts :

This is because if it is not a communal garden then they can only pass over it

Alex Watts :

Therefore although you need to maintain it, which is a normal clause, no one else has a right to have BBQ or parties on it etc, only you do

Alex Watts :

It just allows the tenant to have a right to pass and repass on that land, including allowing to clean windows (I assume put up a ladder) and then have a washing line

Alex Watts :

These are quite normal clauses

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Does this insistance by the housing association that the land is communal overrule the terms of my lease?

Alex Watts :

No. It must be in your lease to be bound by it

Alex Watts :

They can't amend the lease without permission

Customer:

You are brilliant!!! Thankyou

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you please?

Customer:

Many thanks - no wonder there has been nothing in writing to me.

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.


Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.


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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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