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Nicola-mod, Moderator
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 21
Experience:  Moderator
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I live in a block of 8 Flats, all owned, but leasehold properties.

Customer Question

I live in a block of 8 Flats, all owned, but leasehold properties. The back area/ courtyard has always been common use as it houses the dustbins, bicycles and used by all Flat owners for recreation. The Lease Holder still owns one of the ground floor Flats and has constructed a 'patio' of decking from their back patio doors protruding into this communal area. The objective was to disguise the view of the dustbins at the back.
According to the terms of our leases, All those paved and other areas forming part of the estate and the halls and staircases landings and other parts of the buildings forming part of the estate which are in common by the owners or occupiers of any two or more Flats.
This decking/ patio is temporary as it was erected over drains to the Flats and is also directly under the main fire escape.
Up to recently, the Flat was only rented and nothing was permanent. The owner is now selling the Flat, and describes it as with 'patio'.
Southern Water have informed me they would need emergency access to the drains.
Fire Officer remark, as long as there are no barbecues.
Flat owners are angry because the communal washing line was removed and part of their paved communal area just removed.
If, as they intend, this Flat is sold, can we as the other Flat owners stop the inclusion of the 'patio' which was communal recreational ground. PO1 2NF Grand Parade, Portsmouth
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Are you saying that you have written to the solicitors selling the property?
Have you raised the issue with them?
Have you raise the issue with the agents?
I need to know what you have done so far.
How long has the patio/decking been in place?
Would you like it removed completely?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Like all the other Flat owners I received a letter from Coffinmew of Southampton 10/9/2013. They have written that the lease states' you have the right to use in common with the leaseholders of other flats in the building all parts of the Reserved Property is the paved external areas of the building and the halls, staircases, landings and other parts of the building which you in common with other leaseholders.

They then interpret it' the right to use the Reserved Property are only in so far as that right is necessary for access and egress to your property and so far as such access is used in common with other leaseholders'

To me this statement is a contradiction.This is in answer to their letter, not initiated.

We will be raising the issue with the agents tomorrow. They act for the owner, and also our interests, but can you serve two masters.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

What is the exact wording of the right to use the patio area in
the deeds?

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 years ago.

Just a quick reminder, there is an information request here from the Expert. This means they need to know more details before they will be able to give you a full answer.

Thank you,