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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I own a flat which is share of freehold. I have an extractor

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I own a flat which is share of freehold. I have an extractor fan in my kitchen and bathroom and the management company have written to me stating that the Directors of the Freehold company (other flat owners in the block) have requested that I remove my fan because it is noisy, I don't know which fan they are referring to, however:
-My property is a basement flat and gets very damp and mouldy constantly, even in the summer
-My lounge is open plan with the kitchen.
-The kitchen area does not have a window.
- The bathroom does not have a window and is ensuite so adjoins directly to my bedroom
Without using an extractor fan, it would be impossible to live my daily life in my property as the humidity, condensation etc would build up immediately everytime I shower or cook.
I already use a dehumidifier in addition to using my extractor fans when cooking or showering.
If I asked the management company for all the leaseowners to pay for remedial works due to damp/mould and condensation, they would most certainly through the lease at me quoting that it is my responsibility to maintain my property which would surely include adequately ventilating it?
I checked with the local authority building control and they said it is my right to have a fan as extraction is required.
There are other ongoing issues with the Directors to do with my garden and it feels they are now nit picking at anything. There are inherent noise problems with this building which the management company are aware of so to ask me to remove my fan is a totally unreasonable request as it is the same as me asking my neighbours to remove their doorbell or telephone as I can hear that aswell as everything else!
I bought the property in 2008 and the fans were installed then so that was over 7 years ago.
Please advise if I am within my rights to have an extractor fan. I also have a question about the other ongoing issue but can raise that as a separate question once this has been answered. Thanks.
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Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Please continue the search as I do want this answered if possible.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Is there any clause in your lease which states you cant have a fan?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, no the lease does not state that you cannot have a fan.

The management company have written a letter regarding another issue to do with our pergola in our back garden, stating a clause in the lease about not making any alterations internally or externally.

At the end of the letter, the have written:

'Whilst writing the Directors have also asked that we request that you remove your extract fan which is causing noise disturbance to others.'

I also need advice regarding the pergola issue but will raise that as a separate question so you can be paid for that separately.

Anything about causing annoyance etc?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


12 (d) …nor to commit in or upon the demised premises…any act or thing whatsoever which shall become a nuisance annoyance or disturbance to the Landlord or to the owner or occupier of any neighbouring property….

But if you dont have it, your quality of life is affected?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Of course! It is a tiny one bed basement flat:

- The lounge is open plan with the kitchen

- The kitchen area does not have a window

- If I cook without using the fan, the condensation builds up in minutes saturating my kitchen and lounge and furnishings. This is also dangerous for the electrical sockets in my kitchen as condensation drips into the sockets.

- The only way to have any air is to open my lounge window or front door which is through the porch (separate room) which doesn't extract anything. This is totally impractical, especially in the winter when it will be freezing cold and also from a security point of view.

- The flat already suffers from damp and mould even using the extractor fan so this will be impossible to deal with if I don't use the fan.

If we are talking about the bathroom fan:

- My bathroom is ensuite with my bedroom and the bathroom does not have a window. There is no other ventilation for the bathroom.

To not be able to use my extractor fans on a daily basis for cooking and showering would have serious consequences on the condition of the flat with damp and mould. Again I have to stress that this is already a major problem even with the fans in use so to not use them would be impossible.

My quality of life would be severely affected for the above reasons, plus I also suffer from asthma.

Ok, they cant stop you as you need this under the Environmental Protection Act as it would be hazardous to health otherwise. They can't make you take it out or stop using it. They can only do this with a Court order.
But they can't make you take it out without this. Especially if you suffer health wise.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That's great, thanks for this.

I think on this basis they will tactics and say that I never obtained permission to install an extractor fan which would have meant making alterations to the property. If they say this, where do I stand?

Technically yes but again you need it for heath purposes.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thanks. Is that referring to my personal health purposes or the Environmental Protection Act.

So can I quote the Environmental Protection Act to them in my reply?

Yes you can.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Fantastic, thanks so much.

Will you be available tomorrow to answer a question about my lease relating to my fence and pergola? If so, I will send the question to you in the morning.

Yes if I can ask you to post a new one for that.
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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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