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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 9286
Experience:  Solicitor
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I have a piece of land at the side of my living room window,

Customer Question

Hey,I have a piece of land at the side of my living room window, I'm on the 4th floor in an apartment.It's only accessible from my flat and I was hoping to convert it in to a balcony. Builders etc assured me this was completely feasible before I bought the property.i believe it would make the flat much airier and also add value. My freeholder has said he won't allow the conversion as it's "his land" is there anything I can do to dispute this?Best,hannah
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 4 months ago.

Hi - I'm a little confused as to how there is land next to a fourth floor flat, but there is a simple answer regardless - unless the land is within the extent of your demise (eg the extent of what is contained in your lease) then the land is not yours and you can't develop it into a balcony area. If the land belongs to the freeholder of the block of flats, then the freeholder could of course agree to have this area included in your lease, so you perhaps could do the work, but it would require a new lease or a variation to your existing lease (which must be by Deed) and no doubt the freeholder will want some money for it. So, in summary, if the land isn't already in your lease, you can't do anything about it without the freeholder's consent. Hope this helps, please accept and rate my answer. Best wishes, WB

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It's a converted building and in essence the outdoor area is almost turret like.I approached my freeholder and made him an offer but he's a tricky fella and said the land was his and wasn't for sale. This piece of land can only be accessed by my apartment, so there would be unfeasible for him to ever use the area.Could a solution to the problem be to buy the freeholder out? If I gained 50%+ of other leaseholders interest
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 4 months ago.

Thanks - that makes sense now! No, I don't think you'd be able to force the sale of the freehold by the landlord. The land in question is not part of the demised premises of the block - you might be able to effectively force the purchase of the freehold to the block, through a common enfranchisement (subject to meeting all the other criteria) but unless this area of land can be classified as part of the block or as directly ancillary to its use as a block of flats, I doubt this would work for these purposes, as that normally only relates to common parts, car parks etc and not land that happens to adjoin and be owned by the same freeholder, and is not used by the tenants of the block for any purpose. If he doesn't want to sell the land, I'm afraid that there is no feasible way to force him to do so. Sorry it's not what you would have liked to hear! Best wishes, WB (Please leave a rating for me, thanks)

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It is however part of the building........so if he were not longer the freeholder then surely it would no longer belong to him?Was a law not passed in 1993 that allows leaseholders to buy out the freeholder if there's a 50%+ majority of owners who wish to do so?
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 4 months ago.

Yes, and that is the law that effectively gives you the right to buy the freehold to the block, in certain circumstances, which I referred to above. However, you said this was land, and now you say it is part of the building. Which is it please? Best, WB

Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 3 months ago.

Hello - you appear to have left a negative rating? I am not sure why as I am waiting for you to confirm whether the area in question is land (as originally described) or part of the building. The answer to this is important to the guidance I can give. Regards, WB

Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 3 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

I see the expert opted out.

Is it land or is it a building?