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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Loft encroachment

Customer Question

 


Hi, I live on the top floor flat of a period property consisting of 3 owners all sharing the freehold on. Now I have an issue with my downstairs neighbors, who has loft space that goes onto our floor of the flat, however I've check the deeds of the property and it doesn't detail who owns this part. My question really is if you have a flat, is it normal to have loft space that goes into the neighbors floor? The loft space is partitioned off by a wooden wall, since the top floor flat has eaves. The problem I have is my neigbour has put a speaker in her loft space, which is directly adjacent to my living room/ bathroom and as and when turns the music just to be a nuisance to us, which is why I'd like to understand if she owns that part of the loft. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Sai


 


I've attached my floor plans, and my floor is the second floor, and we're I've shaded the plans red is where the loft space of my neighbour below goes into my flat. The wall of the bathroom is actually not how the floor plans detail it, it's smaller and the the wall essentially starts where I've red lined it on the plans.


 


Hope this makes sense.


 


 

Attachment: 2013-11-05_134223_1st_floor_2nd_floor_ad.pdf

Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 10 months ago.

Hi,


You need to obtain a copy of their lease. It's not clear from the attachment.


You can order a copy of her lease from looking up and downloading a copy of the registered title from the land registry's find a property service:-

http://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0C7IdFQG9k5Tz/

 

Once you have a copy of the registered title you should call their customer services number and ask for a copy of the registered lease. They will hold an official copy of it and you can order one for about £11.

 

The lease itself will have definition of her flat. It will likely be referred to as "Property", "Premises" or "Demised Premises", The definition will describe the actual property she has a lease of in words and will also cross refer to a plan.


If the definition or the plan indicates that the loft space is included then she owns it. If it does not then the loft space will form part of the freehold.

If she does not own it and it forms part of the freehold then she cannot use the area as her own and you will be able to enforce the removal of the speakers, because ownership of it cannot change without a transfer being executed by her and you all together as freeholders (which plainly you would not consent to).

 

If the area is included in her lease then she is allowed to use it as her own. However, if you consider that she is using the speaker in such a way to cause a nuisance then you can attempt to modify her behaviour by looking for the relevant "NO nuisance or disturbances" clause in the tenant's covenants of her lease. There may also be a covenant in her lease specifically dealing with the times at which she may play music and if so this is another avenue of enforcement for you to use.

 

Ultimately, you can apply to court for an injunction in the event that you consider that she is breaching the nuisance clauses of her lease.

 

As to loft spaces generally, it depends from property to property. Some include loft space so that they can sell for a higher price upon original sale, some don't include loft spaces.


If this is useful please kindly click accept and rate my answer as okay service or above. If you do not then I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your questions.

Kind regards,

Tom

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6400
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and 4 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you Thomas.


 


The key will come down to the lease itself, and if it doesn't state she owns the loft then there is nothing stopping me from claiming the loft space back? For example, if I wanted to knock through my bathroom wall into the loft space she is using?


 


Where would I stand legally if the lease comes back and doesn't explicitly say she owns the space, then can I access the loft and block off her access?


 


Many thanks,


 


 

Expert:  Thomas replied 10 months ago.
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Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Attachment: 2013-11-20_112333_2a_cambridge_drive_lease.pdf

Attachment: 2013-11-20_112847_2a_cambridge_drive_lease.pdf


 


Hello Tom,


 


Thank you for you response previously, I have subsequently found the leasehold for 2A the flat in question below me (Attached)


 


After reviewing the lease hold the 2A along with the floor plans, it doesn't suggest they have the right to access the loft? Would you be able to review the leasehold document, and advise what I can legally do to stop her using the loft and playing her speaker.



Many thanks,



Sai





Expert:  Thomas replied 9 months ago.
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