Communal garden rights

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Try2Bnice
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Communal garden rights

Post by Try2Bnice » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:22 pm

Hi

Thank you for accepting my request to join.

My apologies if this has been covered previously, which I am sure it would of...

So..I live in a converted victorian house in a conservation area, I have a secure tenancy of 30 years and the right to buy, we have a communal garden which is for use by all residents of the house, I have also suffered from a debilitating illness for the same period of time, which causes me to be housebound for 90% of the time, I do not have immediate access and for a short period recently my friends mother who lives in the basement was allowing me through to start to enjoy the garden, which was starting to help give me some well being to my life, as a thank you my contribution to the garden transformed the space closer to her property and turned it from a tip to a lovely area, I removed lots of hoarded rubbish and dug all the garden in with compost, planted spinach, tomatoes, pruned fruit trees, painted the leaseholders back wall and fitted wine crates at my expense for storage, and fitted a waterproof course under the fire escape that the leaseholders above extended without permission, (I will try to upload some pics)...Now, new leaseholders moved in 5 years ago and 3.5 years ago built a purpose built summer house on foundations with electricity supply, this was done while I was away for the weekend, this section of the garden is mine if I had access and my freehold share if I wish to buy, they have divided the whole garden in half, I obtained the land registry and the red boundary is around my flat alone, I also have theirs which has no boundary, only around the property, they confirmed that they were not sold any land, I was informed by the council that I should request access as is my right to enjoy the space as set out in the deeds, I have been battling with the council ever since, I have been abused by these leaseholders in ways of malicious allegations, reporting me for working whilst receiving benefits, had cat food thrown through my kitchen window, my electricity supply turned off and on while listening to music during the day, and the last straw was the police, 12 of them turning up with the crime enforcement team from the council in regards to me playing the saxophone during 1pm-5pm..with my windows shut, I have played for 40 years so not just learning, every weekend it is nice I am stuck in my flat while they are sunning themselves in my share of the garden whilst looking up at me smirking, I have advised them to stop looking in my windows, I have reported all of this to the council, police and even written to the mayor of my area, nothing has been done...even when we were woken up at 2.30am in the morning with loud music over 100db and was told to go F*** myself when I knocked to ask them to be a bit more considerate.

The freehold belongs to the local authority...they are passing me around like an unwanted animal...what can I do please...


Thank you

Collaborate
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Re: Communal garden rights

Post by Collaborate » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:51 pm

Your post is a little unclear, but if I omit what I think is the legally irrelevant stuff, I can distil your question in to this:

1. You rent a flat that comes with a right to enjoy a communal garden.
2. Some of the other leaseholders have built a summerhouse on the communal garden.
3. They are being unpleasant towards you.

It would have to be the landlord taking action against the unlawful building of the summer house. On the other hand if you have the means to exercise your option to buy now you could take action yourself after buying the lease.

As for them being unpleasant, you may want to try to speak to whoever at your local council who deals with neighbour disputes. I suspect some form of mediation is needed, as you will have to try and find a way to coexist after this unpleasantness is done away with.

Try2Bnice
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Re: Communal garden rights

Post by Try2Bnice » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:30 pm

Thank you for the quick response, sorry if my post was unclear, yes I rent from local authority and the new leaseholders have divided the garden with railway sleepers and built a summer house without landlord permission, who now say it has passed the 4 years?...as I understand there is no adverse possession in this case, the local authority have been brushing me aside for the last 4 years.

The new leaseholders could of simply been nice, as I was to them, the female partner is a junior attorney who thinks she owns the house, and can throw parties at ungodly hours in a converted house with little sound proofing.

I also have a copy of the deeds they were given from a previous leaseholder and the garden is shaded out, the female partner did approach me with a make believe piece of paper in her hand saying, " oh it looks like you have the top part of the garden", to which I replied, "You can use it until I gain access, not have it." however this still does not give them the right to divide and build on it, they have also manipulated the other leaseholder, (My friends mother) who will not allow me out there now.

I have written numerous emails to the council, leasehold teams, housing management, housing officer, and the local mayor but NOTHING has been forthcoming.

I did enquire as to purchasing and the council say that I would then have to seek legal action against them?..really?..this is council owned land.

I hope this sheds more light on the subject

Thanks
M.

cleo5
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Re: Communal garden rights

Post by cleo5 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:41 pm

I can understand your frustration but think you need to consult a solicitor in this matter, preferably one who is knowledgeable in land, housing law.
The RICS will be able to help you find the right solicitor to help and you will get a free half hour phone consultation.

The first mistake you made was offering the couple use of your part of the garden. "Give them an inch and they will take an ell".

If you are in a position to buy your appartment then the garden area that is yours would be defined and the matter settled surely.

4 years is not long enough for the couple to try for adverse posession.

Which part of the garden is communal?
Does each appartment have a private bit and use of communal areas?
Why are you unable to access your bit of garden.? And did you not tell them they could not erect any type of building on your part.?



As for the saxaphone playing. Can you not play when neighbours are out? Or what about insulating one room where you could play in peace.

The local Council is obviously being unhelpful in your case so proper legal advice is needed here to find some solution.

Ignore comments or threats or confrontations. .

Failing all else maybe think about moving.

I do not know why folk remain in homes where neighbours are causing them stress if there is the slightest possibility of moving.
Stress damages the immune system and causes so many physical ailments.
Kind regards.

Cleo

Collaborate
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Re: Communal garden rights

Post by Collaborate » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:46 am

Where are you based? Referring to a neighbour as an attorney suggests you are in the US.

Try2Bnice
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Re: Communal garden rights

Post by Try2Bnice » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:28 pm

Hi.

I am in the south east of London, I am house bound due to a debilitating illness that has plagued my life for 30 years..Im not in a position to buy or move, the whole of the rear garden is communal, as stated in the land registry and in the deeds to all the properties owned by the leaseholders, and in my tenancy agreement.

I play my Saxophone during the hours of 1pm-5pm when neighbours are out!..I close my windows much to the dismay of all the other neighbours as they love hearing me play, as said I have been playing for 40 years.

This is the work of the husband of the troublesome leaseholders, he has mentioned it before, as regards to them having to listen to me "Trying to play"...I dont see how he can pass judgement especially with his lack of musical skills.

The council have been ignoring the issues raised for over three years now which I feel is neglect and allowing the abuse of a disabled person to continue,I have constantly asked for access to be able to enjoy my part of the garden, especially for my well being, the garden should of been divided into three according to the housing management team but even they cannot do anything it seems?..I do have a chair and a plant pot out there, this was suggested by the housing management team as a way of having the "Right of belonging"...whatever that means.....

I am in the flat at the top of the house, the original fire escape was removed as it was deemed dangerous but was never reinstated with a modern solution, I was being allowed through my friends mothers who is the leaseholder in the basement but the leaseholders who are causing the trouble have managed to speak to her and cause her to refuse me access now, which is very frustrating as I did a lot of work out there getting rid of her rubbish and turning the messy garden into a nice place to be.

I guess I will just have to put up with this now as it seems no-one really cares anymore, even when I have suicidal tendencies.

Thank you for what help you have given..

Regards

Roblewis
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Re: Communal garden rights

Post by Roblewis » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:45 am

Two issues here

1) If there was a fire escape removed then it must be replaced asap and the freeholder is fully responsible for this. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the enforcing authority

2) There is, in most LA leases, a clause requiring residents not to cause a nuisance to others. I suggest a sharp letter to the Housing dept requiring them to stop the nuisance caused by this resident.

cleo5
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Re: Communal garden rights

Post by cleo5 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:46 pm

Roblewis is right. The fire escape needs replacing. How will you get out in case of fire?
The whole situation needs sorting.
How do you get out to do your shopping . Surely you are entitled to a carer if you are housebound and cannot walk without support of some kind.

You certainly need access to the garden since it is there to be enjoyed by all occupants of the flats.

A garden is a must. It lifts the spirit.

Could you not ask your local MP for help in this matter if the Housing manager refuses.?


I love the saxaphone ; my daughter played the sax.
Ignore any criticism .

This is a sad situation which could be remedied with a little goodwill from your neighbours. Maybe speak again with the friend,s mother and ask her why she changed her mind about giving you access.
You have my sympathy. It is hard enough coping with illness let alone neighbours who deny you your rights.
Keep hopeful as the situation may change .

Try2Bnice
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Communal garden rights

Post by Try2Bnice » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:47 pm

Thanks Cloe.

Im only housebound due to the Agoraphobia, Iam still able bodied, it's more mental health than physical, I agree that a bit of kindness would go a long long way, I help to raise money for terminally ill children even though I am 90% of the time indoors.

My friends mother has resided to the fact that she feels responsible for the rift between myself and the leaseholders when really it is nothing to do with her, I do see her point of view though, I have written to the local authority again, this time I have copied in the Mayors office which has seemed to of gotten people off their seats!

I have asked the housing officer, for legal purposes if they are saying that they are not intending to provide me with:

1. A secondary escape route in the case of a fire.
2. Access to a green space that did have and will have a benefit on my well being.

They said they are speaking with health & Safety, so I await their decision ..The MP is next and then if no resolution is forthcoming then its local newspapers, radio and possibly TV, I think they could do without the embarrassment.

I will invite an officer from the fire brigade to get their view on it, the house is a 120 year old victorian converted house and god forbid a fire breaking out as it will take hold very quickly...yes we have heat detectors but they are in the wrong place, by the time the smoke is detected it will be too late, my stairs will be on fire and I will have no way out.

Thank you for all the help so far, I appreciate it.

Mark.

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