I don’t want a row when I pump up the vol­ume

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Ask The Expert -

QMY FLAT needs sound­proof­ing be­cause I en­joy play­ing mu­sic quite loudly and don’t want to cheese off my neigh­bours in the flat up­stairs. I am not sure who owns the space be­tween my flat and theirs.

Can I just do the work, as it will ben­e­fit them es­pe­cially as I do not ex­pect them to pay to­wards the cost?

ACHECK your lease, of course, as it should de­fine the ex­tent of the demised premises, ie your flat and the ex­tent of the parts of the build­ing that are re­tained by your land­lord. Long leases of res­i­den­tial prop­erty of­ten pro­vide that the whole build­ing is re­tained by the land­lord apart from the premises demised to the var­i­ous

QWE ARE think­ing of buy­ing a free­hold house on a pri­vate es­tate but have been told by the es­tate agent that an “es­tate charge” is payable. He doesn’t know how much it is and though we have heard of ser­vice charges for lease­hold flats we have never heard of an es­tate charge. What is it — and what is it for?

APROPERTY own­ers on pri­vately owned es­tates are usu­ally re­quired to make a con­tri­bu­tion to­wards the up­keep of com­mu­nal ar­eas. This is gen­er­ally known as an es­tate charge and is levied to help fund ser­vices, re­pairs and main­te­nance on the es­tate, and means that all the prop­erty own­ers share the cost.

The es­tate charge is not used to pay for the re­pair and main­te­nance of in­di­vid­ual prop­er­ties but is used to fund ser­vices that ben­e­fit the whole es­tate, such as street light­ing, the land­scap­ing of gar­dens and the up­keep of the pri­vate roads. lessees. The lease will also usu­ally de­fine in some de­tail the main struc­ture of the build­ing, and that gen­er­ally does in­clude the ar­eas be­low the floors and above the ceil­ings.

Your lease is also likely to state that prior writ­ten con­sent of the land­lord, or a li­cence, is needed for al­ter­ations. If this is so, make the nec­es­sary ap­pli­ca­tion to your land­lord for con­sent to in­stall the sound­proof­ing. Gen­er­ally such an ap­pli­ca­tion in­volves the lessee pro­vid­ing the land­lord with full de­tails of the in­tended works, de­tails of ma­te­ri­als to be used, plans and draw­ings and pos­si­bly a sur­veyor’s re­port.

Find out your land­lord’s re­quire­ments and also tell your neigh­bour about your in­ten­tions. If your flat is in a listed build­ing, listed build­ing con­sent may be needed. IF YOU have a ques­tion for Fiona McNulty, please email legal­so­lu­tions@ standard.co.uk We re­gret that ques­tions can­not be an­swered in­di­vid­u­ally, but we will try to fea­ture them here. Fiona McNulty is a so­lic­i­tor spe­cial­is­ing in res­i­den­tial prop­erty. Some­times all the prop­erty own­ers on a pri­vate es­tate pay the same charge but the fig­ure can vary, too. For in­stance, es­tate charges can be cal­cu­lated ac­cord­ing to the num­ber of rooms a prop­erty has, or its floor area. The charges can also in­clude a man­age­ment fee for the es­tate.

The ti­tle deeds for the prop­erty you aim to buy should con­firm the amount of the es­tate charge payable, the date upon which pay­ment is due, to whom the pay­ment should be made and what ser­vices the charge cov­ers.

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