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Subject: Neighbour wants to install gas flue inspection

hatches in my bedroom Hello Hope you...
Subject: Neighbour wants to install gas flue inspection hatches in my bedroom
Hello
Hope you are well.
I hope you can help me out with a query that I have, I own a flat which is part of a criss-cross lease. There are 2 converted flats in this building, the leasehold is structured such that ground floor have freehold of top floor and top floor have leasehold of ground hold. I live on the top floor and my neighbour on the ground floor. I am in the process of selling my flat.
The gas flue for my neighbour’s boiler is boxed in and runs behind the bedroom wall in my flat.
My neighbour wants to rent out his apartment and in order to do so must get a Gas Safety certificate which he has failed to obtain on account of the concealed flue.
My neighbour wants to put inspection hatches in the bedroom wall but I am worried about carbon monoxide leakage into the bedroom as hatches are not 100% sealed. I would like to make the best decision for my potential buyer and my neighbour’s tenant as this is a vital question of health and safety.
I have explained to my neighbour that the boxed-in flue is a hazard which is exaggerated with open hatches.
He has threatened to serve notice and take me to court and hold me accountable for his loss of earnings (rent). He has tenants moving in on the 11th of November which he has informed me about on 01/11/17.
He has told me that under the terms of our lease I have to allow him to carry out these works.
He has also threatened that under the terms of our lease, he can gain access to my flat to carry out this work whether I consent or not.
We had this discussion on the 1st of November 2017 and he wants a contractor to put in inspection hatches on the 10th of November. I don’t think that is a reasonable time frame.He has left me a message at 11 pm on 02/11/17 saying exactly these words – “Hi Kit, we served formal notice on you today requiring access to your flat a week tomorrow (Friday 10th).”
There is information on the Gas Safe website, which suggests that it is not the only option. However, my neighbour has dismissed other ideas.
I spoke to a Technical consultant from Gas safe who told me that I have no legal obligation to allow the installation and that the safest and best practice for my neighbour would be for him to re-position his boiler.
https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/gas-safety-in-the-home/get-your-appliances-checked/flues-in-voids/flues-in-voids-faqs/I sent my neighbour a link on 02/11/17 to where he can buy the alternative carbon monoxide alarm system which is approved by Health and Safety board and by Gas Safe.
However, he has replied that, “we will be installing hatches”.
My advice to my neighbour has been:
Whist the inspection hatches allow the integrity of the flue to be inspected, they do not mean that the risk has been eliminated.
This legislation came into force as boxed-in / concealed flues were considered a hazard.
The solution he is proposing, thus, does not address this risk as the flue will still remain boxed-in and therefore does not guarantee safety.
This is why, the current legislation does not allow for any boxed-in / concealed flues and when he installs a new boiler (his boiler is currently 8 years old), the boiler will have to be re-positioned.
His reply has been that he is required to do it, to comply with health and safety standards.
Can you please offer me some advice?
I do not want to be taken to court but at the same time I want to make the right decision for my potential buyer and I do not want this to jeopardise the sale of my flat.
If this situation arose before a court, how would it be perceived and judged?Would he have a case for suing me for loss of earnings?
Especially, given he has only informed me on the 1st that they were getting tenants in.Am I legally obliged to allow him to install the hatches?Is he legally in the right to coerce his neighbour to install inspection hatches in the neighbour’s property?Can you please also advise on the time frame within which he is forcing me to make a decision?
Is a week’s notice acceptable to demand that I allow him to carry out these works in my flat?
I feel I am being coerced into making a decision without being given an appropriate amount of time to consider all the options.
Many thanks for your time and consideration.If you need any further information from me, please do let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind Regards
Kit
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
11/3/2017
Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7,450
Experience: Solicitor
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Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

So he won’t buy carbon monoxide detectors?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you for replying to me. No, he has said and I quote, "we will be installing inspection hatches"
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Hello! Will you be able to provide me with some advice please?

How does he propose to install if you won’t let him?! They can’t break in!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
He has left me a message at 11 pm on 02/11/17 saying exactly these words – “Hi Kit, we served formal notice on you today requiring access to your flat a week tomorrow (Friday 10th).”
The notice requires that I give them the keys on the day or be present for when their engineer arrives.He has also threatened that he does not need my consent to gain access to the flat.
If he is unable to install the hatches on the 10th his tenant cannot move in on the 11th and he will sue me for loss of earnings.

Ok, your consent is needed. He cant just come in. You can seek an injunction to stop him.

You need to complete form N208:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n208-eng.pdf

And N16a:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n16a-eng.pdf

The Court would list it for hearing and decide whether or not grant the order.

But bearing in mind, its your property, they cant just walk in.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

If not, I would appreciate a 5 star rating for my answer. Thanks!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Hi! Thanks for the reply. But it does not answer any of the questions that I raised, crucially. who is legally right.I do not want to be taken to court but at the same time I want to make the right decision for my potential buyer and I do not want this to jeopardise the sale of my flat.
If this situation arose before a court, how would it be perceived and judged?Would he have a case for suing me for loss of earnings?
Especially, given he has only informed me on the 1st that they were getting tenants in.Am I legally obliged to allow him to install the hatches?Is he legally in the right to coerce his neighbour to install inspection hatches in the neighbour’s property?Can you please also advise on the time frame within which he is forcing me to make a decision?
I feel I am being coerced into making a decision without being given an appropriate amount of time to consider all the options.

No he would not.

There must be alternatives, which he should pursue.

The worst he can get is a Court order allow entry. There is no claim for loss of earnings.

He cant force you to have inspection hatches in your own property!
I am sure there are other options.

Does that clarify?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
even though it is a criss-cross lease and he is the freeholder / landlord?

Yes. There must be other options.

Even if the flu is re-routed.

Does that clarify?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I've attached 2 pages from my lease which is what he is using to threaten me to take action. Can you please review the items 2-5 and 4-10 and please advice whether he has a case for demanding installation of inspection hatches?

Yes. The answer is no - he wants to CHANGE your property.

If it was the case of in-out but doing no alterations, it is not a problem.

But in this case he wants to alter it - not acceptable.

Does that clarify?

Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7,450
Experience: Solicitor
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Jamie-Law and 87 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
That's great!! Thank you for your help.
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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