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Solicitor4All, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7803
Experience:  Director and Principal Solicitor. UK
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I am a joint freeholder for a maisonette. I own the lower

Customer Question

I am a joint freeholder for a maisonette. I own the lower one.
The top floor owns the front garden. This is where we keep our bins and gain entrance to both our properties.Question 1:
The lease says we are both responsible for adhoc maintenance - I think this means the entrance? If my neighbor wanted me to pay for maintenance to the whole front of his garden would I need to do this? What are the boundaries of this?
The lease also details that whilst its his garden he cannot block entrance to my home etc. Does this mean my maintenance obligation is only for walkway or entrance?Question 2:
I want to paint the outside of my lower flat which is street-facing. This falls in his garden. Is this his responsibility? or mine? or both?
Previously he said he liked the color and didn't want it painted, but surely I have the right to paint my own home?
He now says he will be happy to share costs to paint it, which is great, but I want to be clear on responsibilities on this, and if it's my property I want to take ownership of the responsibility of painting this - if that makes sense? He is very controlling and tries to regulate what I do to my part of the property so I want to better define the boundaries of responsibility to avoid future misinterpretation.
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Solicitor4All replied 12 days ago.

A very good morning to you there, how do you do?

Expert:  Solicitor4All replied 12 days ago.

 My name is Solicitor4All a law expert with over 15years practice. I will be helping you this morning. Thank you for the inquiry.

Expert:  Solicitor4All replied 12 days ago.

Thank you for the brief here.

Please leave the inquiry with me and i will prepare a response for you here this morning. Thank you.

Expert:  Solicitor4All replied 12 days ago.
Thank you for your patience. 

1. If the maintenance covenant does not specify what portion of the garden is your responsibility then unfortunately it would be a shared responsibility and it wouldn’t limit you to just your entrance. If the other person is sensible though you could agree on who does what based on use, it shouldn’t be difficult if it’s clear you use no more than the entrance.

2. His garden is the ground and not the structure of your building. Your 4 walls are yours and unless the lease prohibits you from painting certain colours  then you can paint and it is not their responsibility.

Expert:  Solicitor4All replied 12 days ago.

Any follow up please do not hesitate to send your message. Always glad to assist and to clarify anything. All the best.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thanks. Would I need their approval or permission to paint the lower ground part and do they need to approve the colour I decide on?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Sorry to explain what I mean
I now understand its my responsibility, but I want to be clear on if I need permission or approval from them as it faces the street. For instance would I have to get them to agree the color, or can I paint whatever color I like as long as it does not devalue the property?
Expert:  Solicitor4All replied 11 days ago.

Thank you for your message, If the lease does not state a requirement to use only certain colours then you do not need to get permission. You may just to be courteous.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi, the other freeholder is digging in their heels to control me maintaining my exterior walls. Ive gone through my register and found this
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
File attached (ZG5ZTL3)
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Then I went through original lease and found this
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
this area seems to cover joint maintenance
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
this seems to be specifically about painting
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
as this is in the lease Im guessing owning 50% of freehold over rides these clauses?
Expert:  Solicitor4All replied 11 days ago.

Hi thank you very much for the attachments, I can only see a couple of lines on each attachment though. Review of formal/legal documents does attract the small fee for premium service for review and advice and once that is accepted I believe I should be able to access the lease and read it in full and to advise you accordingly.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Ok thanks for the offer but I cant afford that
Can you confirm then if the freehold agreement over rides the leasehold agreement? The lease agreement refers to ground floor property leasing from upstairs property. I think this is no longer relevant if we have equal shares of freehold and are both landlords - am I understanding this correctly?
Expert:  Solicitor4All replied 10 days ago.

Thank you for your patience. the agreements will normally state which will take precedence in the case of a conflict. However from the specific situation that you have stated the truth under trust law is you can be joint freeholders and joint leaseholders. How practically you can make management of the leaseholds work in this situation is not so straightforward. One of you would not be able to take legal action against the other in the capacity of landlord because as joint freeholders and joint landlords you would need to both pursue. From a practical point of view and without going into the complexities of trust law you are a lessee to yourself and the other joint freeholder/landlord