Access for roof space conversion?

Access for roof space conversion?

9:48 AM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago 17

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I have just purchased the roof space of a terraced house. The freeholder has given consent for the development of this space.

However, one of the main issues is that there is no direct access to the roof other than going through one of the existing flats below. We would need to add an external staircase for access.

Does anyone have any experience with such a build?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Esme



Comments

by Ian Narbeth

10:43 AM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago

Esme, you say you have just purchased the roof space of a terraced house. Did you have legal advice? Have you completed and paid the purchase price?

You will I presume have been granted a lease. Your lawyer should have considered with you how access to the property was to be obtained and also how the construction of the new accommodation would be done. Do you have rights over the necessary area to construct the staircase and do you have planning permission for it? I have experience of this but it is not a matter that can be answered by suggestions on a forum.
I suggest in the first instance you go back to the lawyer who acted for you on the purchase.

by Graham Bowcock

10:52 AM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago

If I was the owner of one of the flats where you need access (or their adviser), the answer would be a resounding no. Why would they do it? If they did agree then you'd be into issues of formal contracts, bonds, payments, etc.. I can't see that anyone would simply provide access to you. If they are actually living in the flat, or renting it out, the disruption could be immense.

by Judith Wordsworth

11:02 AM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago

I would have spoken to the local planning department before even considering purchasing the roof/loft space. Just a question why would you want this space if you cannot access from your own property? Or are you hoping to develop a self contained flat? If you have to have external access do you have access or right of access; will the staircase obstruct any windows of other properties; a separate Lease?

by NewYorkie

11:05 AM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago

I have put in a loft conversion in a terraced house, and the upheaval is massive and the amount of floorspace required for the staircase is significant, but at least I owned it all. Even with all the planning consents and Building Control, being a terrace, one of my neighbours complained, which ended up costing me an extra £20k.

Out of curiosity, why did you think this was a sound investment, and how did you intend to proceed? Would you want someone living above you?

by JB

11:36 AM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago

I presume the lease of the flat has been changed?

by Ian Narbeth

11:47 AM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by JB at 01/11/2021 - 11:36
JB you write: "I presume the lease of the flat has been changed?" Did you mean "charged"?
I would not expect it to have been changed or charged. If Esme had professional advice then the questions of access and construction of the unit and the staircase should have been dealt with in the original lease/agreement for lease.
If the lease has been charged the solicitor acting for the lender should have checked these points.

by JB

11:59 AM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 01/11/2021 - 11:47
I was thinking the leasholder of the flat may have use of the loft?

by Ian Narbeth

12:04 PM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by JB at 01/11/2021 - 11:59
Fair point. If Esme had professional advice a question to be checked was whether the other leaseholders had use of the roof space. If so the freeholder would be in breach but the leaseholders could frustrate the development.
As I said in my first post this is not a matter that can be answered by suggestions on a forum.

by Suresh Parikh

15:27 PM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago

Most of the problems have been aired. As a matter of curiosity, do you have registered title?
Have you considered the added expense of a party wall agreement?

by David

18:07 PM, 1st November 2021, About a month ago

Yes, I did this a few years ago. I had to ask the leaseholder of the ground floor flat if we could erect scaffolding in her garden to access the loft and take the scaffolding through her flat. She said no. I had to keep badgering and she eventually agreed provided all the poles etc were taken through my first floor flat. That meant taking them up a narrow set of stairs and out of the back window, which the builders managed but with great difficulty. You will probably need to negotiate the same.

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