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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have a problem with my flying freehold that we did a loft

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I have a problem with my flying freehold that we did a loft conversion 20 years ago. The neighbour
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Uk
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: well the message sent before I finished it. Its who owns the loft space. I have the deeds

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

  1. May I clarify is this a freehold or leasehold property?
  2. I believe you were cut off before you had finished typing. May I clarify the issue with you?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi it is a freehold.
My neighbour (attached) bought his property 17 years ago, we have been here for 25/26 years. He converted and built flats. We have had a disagreement with the owner who doesn’t live there about another matter which has angered him and he said to my face “I want the loft room back” (we have a flying freehold) This stunned me as we converted the loft about 20 to 22 years ago and told the previous owners who lived there what we were doing and they were fine with it.
This owner has always known it was there, this is an act of revenge.
I’ve had to get the deeds and check, they are a bit vague to me as mine say ONLY the first floor is included in my title and his deeds say the first floor is excluded from his title.
I would like to know where we stand with this ?

Thank you. Do you have the deeds available to upload?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
but I don't want them on the internet that others will see

Quite understandable. I will need to see these in order to give you any kind of meaningful response on the above I'm sure you will understand. This thread is not secure so privacy is not guaranteed. I can let you have my email address if you prefer? The only downside is that communicating by email is treated as a "premium service by the site" but I can specify the minimum fee which is about £3 so as not to substantively increase the cost to you. Do let me know if I can assist any further.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi £3 will be fine.

I'll send over an offer in a few moments...

Joshua and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

Many thanks - my email address should be visible. If you can kindly drop me an email with the document attached?

Thank you for the above. according to your title deeds, your property is freehold property and therefore you own all of the property including the loft space within the red edging on the plan. Accordingly, there is no provision for your neighbour to seek to claim any part of your loft within the red edging.

There is a very small part of your property number one and two On the file plan which overhangs the black line denoting the physical boundaries of your and your neighbours properties. To that extent, the part numbered 1 excludes the 1st floor of that part of the property from your title but you will own anything above and below the first floor.

Conversely as regards ***** ***** number 2, you only own the first floor of that part of the property and anything above or below it will be owned by your neighbour.

Accordingly, if any part of your loft is over the part numbered 2, or any part of your property otherwise is over the extent of the red edging on the plan, it may be that that part of your property is a technical trespass on your neighbours property. notwithstanding this, and in particular any part of the loft space over the part numbered 2, the loft space above your property belongs to you.

in the event any part of your property does extend the on the red edging or any part of your loft is over the part numbered 2 on the plan, it is very unlikely at this stage that your neighbour would be able to seek to recover any part of that property in practice as you would likely have a claim either for adverse possession of the same or would be able to defend any such application by your neighbour to claim such part of your property on the grounds of something known as estoppel.

Is there anything above I can help you with any further or clarify for you?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for that.
The issue is at the front of the property Part 2. My loft is up to the red line following the footprint of the flying freehold. I'm not quite sure what you mean as at one point you say it is owned by him and then me. Can you clarify this please ?

If part of your loft is above the area marked part 2, this part of the loft is not included in your title and accordingly according to the title you do not own that small part of the loft. However given the length of time you have occupied that area of the loft, you would have a defence to any attempt by the neighbour to claim it on grounds of estoppel.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you. If we sell in the future will this be a big issue, looks like it would be, is there anything that can be done now to sort this ?

If the issue develops into a forma dispute it could create an issue for you on sale. Hopefully it would settle down. if the issue does not develop into a formal speech, any buyer will almost certainly require a legal indemnity policy upon sale can be obtained for a one-off reasonable premium which should not cause any undue issue from your point of view. If the neighbour makes the issue into a formal dispute then you may need to consider resolving the issue either amicably or by reference to a Lands Tribunal which would require the involvement of solicitors and not insignificant legal fees. Ideally you will be able to settle the matter before it escalates into a formal dispute

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you very much for your help.

A pleasure.