Freeholder excavating below our ground floor flat?

by Readers Question

10:28 AM, 27th January 2020
About 8 months ago

Freeholder excavating below our ground floor flat?

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Freeholder excavating below our ground floor flat?

Dear All, Firstly thank you to the website and its members for all the informative content which has been of enormous help to us throughout the years!

We currently own a ground floor flat on a very long lease. The freeholder of the building has begun excavation and underpinning for the development of a basement flat beneath us. I appreciate they own the soil, however our lease explicitly states that the floor, all supporting joists and boards are demised to us.

Therefore, are they allowed to continue with this development without our consent?

They will be attaching steels to our floor for underpinning and excavation?

Many thanks

Albert


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Comments

Laura Delow

12:13 PM, 27th January 2020
About 8 months ago

Could be wrong but I would have thought that Party Structure Notices (includes ceiling & floor partitions that separate a building or parts thereof) should also be served on the leaseholders that share the structures being altered, especially your flat that is immediately above, and any neighbouring property. The Party Wall (or structure) Act 1996 doesn’t affect planning permission or building regulations approval but is designed to ensure neighbours are correctly notified of any potential works and an agreement is in place as to how and when works are carried out, and would be typically required if excavating for the foundations to a new extension within 3m of a neighbouring or shared structure & underpinning a party wall to facilitate a basement extension. I suggest a read of both the following links https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/523010/Party_Wall_etc__Act_1996_-_Explanatory_Booklet.pdf
And....
https://surveyorsnearme.com/do-i-need-a-party-wall-agreement/

Ken

12:39 PM, 27th January 2020
About 8 months ago

As a freeholder who undertook work to build 6 new flats on top of our existing leasehold properties, I can tell you we definitely needed party wall agreements. I would suggest you contact a property solicitor asap so notice can be served and work stopped until you are in agreement.

blair

16:17 PM, 27th January 2020
About 8 months ago

Party walls won't necessarily mean the works can't go ahead just delayed whilst the award is agreed
I presume you checked that the freeholder has got planning permission - you should have got a PLANNING NOTICE too. The freeholder does have aright to do things often but check your lease 'Quite enjoyment' just means he can't enter or disturb your demise not about noise etc. Bit surprised to read you own the joists etc. I think this has implications. The freeholder can't fix anything to them nor disturb them.
The extra flat will men service charges etc could come down

Ken

16:21 PM, 27th January 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by blair at 27/01/2020 - 16:17
I may be wrong on this but I am pretty sure you do not need planning permission to go down, ie a basement, just conform to building regs

blair

16:29 PM, 27th January 2020
About 8 months ago

planning permission is required if its development "over under or on". I susgest you call the planning department to clarify and see whats proposed asap

amelia ward

10:18 AM, 29th January 2020
About 8 months ago

Our freeholder, the council, is proposing the same but in the airspace directly above us. My concern is the disturbance to our tenants. If the freeholder goes ahead post challenges from residents in the block I will have to offer some incentive to keep our tenants. After all, who wants to live on a building site. My other concern is the ultimate value of our property, will it affect the value post additional flats? How do I determine this ?


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