Who is responsible for what in joint Freehold?

by Readers Question

15:52 PM, 21st February 2017
About 2 years ago

Who is responsible for what in joint Freehold?

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Who is responsible for what in joint Freehold?

I have joint freehold with my downstairs neighbour, I have recently had the roof repaired at great cost to me. responsibility

My neighbour has made me aware of running water under her ground floor kitchen. I sent an engineer to repair the pipe( I had no idea who’s pipe was leaking) the engineers fixed the leak.

The neighbour said the engineer told her it was my pipe leaking and that the sate of the pipes were very bad and not insulated so they may well leak in the future.

Whom is responsible for the underground water and drainage?

Many thanks

Elizabeth



Comments

Neil Patterson

15:58 PM, 21st February 2017
About 2 years ago

Hi Elizabeth

You both own the freehold collectively, but you should also have a lease that sets the rules of occupancy and what you are jointly and individually responsible for. If a freeholders refuses to take responsibility for maintenance that they should then you can sue but this would be very difficult when you live in the same building as someone.

Gary Nock

14:18 PM, 22nd February 2017
About 2 years ago

Elizabeth methinks you might have someone telling you porkies here. If you have a neighbour downstairs then you must own the upstairs. Now how are you responsible for a water leak underneath her kitchen floor? And as Neil says above if you own the freehold collectively then the lease will set out the repairing obligations of the joint freeholders and the lessees. How it normally works in block management is that if the leak is the waterboards side of the water meter it's down to them to repair. If it's the householders side of the meter then it's the householder. If this leak is caused by a supply pipe the bottom properties side of the meter which feeds their property only then its down to them to fix. If its a "communal" pipe that feeds both properties then the cost should be shared. And check the lease on the roof repair responsibility - you may find that is a block or communal responsibility as its the " fabric" of the building and again is shared.

Graeme

14:21 PM, 22nd February 2017
About 2 years ago

I used to live in a flat with a similar scenario.
The lease stated that maintenance was on a 50/50 basis as and when needed.
It would make reasonable sense to have a similar arrangement yourselves if your lease doesn't state specific arrangements.
Your neighbour in the ground floor needs a roof, and you on the first floor need foundations and underground pipes. Roofs generally need repairing more often than foundations and drains, so it would be unfair to expect the first floor flat to be solely responsible for the roof.

If you lived in a house on your own, you are responsible for everything. In a 2 flat/joint freehold scenario, that 1 house has effectively just been divided into 2 parts. But you both need all the components that make the building up. Therefore 50/50 each.

1 word of warning though. You say that you have had the roof repaired at great expense to you. Whenever repairs are needed, especially if more major, you should jointly agree what is being done/costs etc. in advance, otherwise, in theory at least, your fellow freeholder could refuse to pay their share.

Good luck!


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