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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10264
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My office is one of 27 units in a building in west London,

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My office is one of 27 units in a building in west London, each of which is individually owned as a share of freehold. The lease is 999 years. All owners on the top floor would like to extend their roof space by building a mansard and claim that they own the airspace above the pitched roof and do not have to have it valued.
I believe that they do not own the air space and that it belongs to all the unit owners who have a share in the freehold. If they want to extend they should have the airspace valued and pay a proportion back to the other unit owners.
Who is correct?

How many owners are on the top floor that would benefit from this?

How many others are there?

Do they actually lease the loft space and who is responsible for the actual roof itself?

Be most unusual for them to lease sky.

The usual situation is that the freeholder owns the building which includes the land to the centre of the earth and “sky as far as the heavens”. Then, the leases are little boxes of property which are taken out of that usually extend to the centre of the floor joists, plaster on the walls, and the centre of the ceiling joists.

Exceptionally, the top units may or may not include the roof space the actual roof itself would normally be the responsibility of the freeholder.

Do you know the exact extent of the Premises or whatever each of the individual demise is called? you are going to need the lease on one of the top units to be able to get an accurate answer.

At this stage, I can tell you that the normal situation is that they would be wrong but the lease may shoot that down in flames.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There are 6 units on the top floor, 30 in total in the building. All units are leasehold and have a share in the 'virtual' freehold of 999 years from 1988/9. All units pay service charges based on the sq footage of their units to cover maintenance of the entire building inc roof. I may be able to get a copy of one of the top floor units.
Thanks Mark Pritchard.

You will be able to get a copy of the lease of one of the top floor units from the land registry for a fee of about £20.

If you get the office copies from the land registry which you can do from this link,!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/

You will then have the title number and details of the date of the lease which you are then enquiring about. You can get the Office Copies for £3 online but the lease will not be available online and you have to order over the telephone.