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Shared loft spaces in terrace

(82 Posts)
1foot2feet Mon 30-Dec-19 00:30:48

Posting for traffic.
Turns out my loft space is shared with every other house on the terrace, there's no wall at all between the lofts. There's now a mouse infestation in our loft spaces.
Anyway, is this legal/against regulations?Can't find anything definitive online. I rent, so can't do anything about it myself so would need to go through my landlord but don't want to bring it up if there's nothing saying you can't have shared loft spaces, also I'm pretty sure it invalidates my house insurance!

OP’s posts: |
ALLMYSmellySocks Mon 30-Dec-19 00:32:49

I'm not sure about legality although it's definitely very odd -hopefully you don't all have access to each other's actual houses via the loft?

We have a normal segregated loft and when we had a mouse infestation the exterminator said that the mice can easily run from one loft to the next anyway. It's a hassle and means if they get into one house on the row they'll get to them all.

1foot2feet Mon 30-Dec-19 01:04:56

@ALLMYSmellySocks yes, I could climb into my loft, walk a bit and open my neighbours loft hatch and I'd be in their hallway confused

OP’s posts: |
bionicnemonic Mon 30-Dec-19 01:07:35

I think that there should be a fire break between them

snowball28 Mon 30-Dec-19 01:09:54

Urgh my sisters old house was like this, used to freak me right out. I’m almost certain they had it blocked off or something could you look into that?

xJodiex Mon 30-Dec-19 01:12:07

Sounds illegal. Contact Shelter.

ToBreatheAgain Mon 30-Dec-19 01:13:18

You should be able to put a bolt on the outside of your loft access so at least it's locked. Obviously talk to the realestate or landlord first. No idea re legalities, but not a situation I'd be comfortable with.

katewhinesalot Mon 30-Dec-19 01:13:52

My first house was like that. I had a bolt fitted to the hatch so that no-one could come down...

LucyAutumn Mon 30-Dec-19 01:15:04

It's a fire hazard, there should be something in place to stop fires spreading easily from house to house via the shared loft.

MrsJoshNavidi Mon 30-Dec-19 01:30:40

Lots of old terraced houses share loft space. If your worried, put a bolt on the hatch door.

Re mice, can you have a word with a few neighbours to ask if they'll share the cost of Rentokill or similar?

tillytrotter1 Mon 30-Dec-19 01:31:22

Older houses used to be like that, a Corrie storyline used the fact but in newer houses they're illegal because of the fire risk.

Blackbear19 Mon 30-Dec-19 01:37:53

There won't be any thing illegal about it. Houses are built to the regulations at the time of planning. I'm assuming that the house is an old house and met the standards at the time it was put into planning.

Regulations do change but for practical reasons once planning / building warrant has been granted buildings don't need to conform to any further changes to the regs.

KellyHall Mon 30-Dec-19 01:38:57

I've lived in an old property the same. Get a strong bolt on your loft and get in touch with your landlord about the mice.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Mon 30-Dec-19 01:50:38

This premise was the basis of a scene in the extremely underrated British film Shooting Fish.

The scammers would take the new loft insulation and lay it in the householder's loft, before showing the satisfied householder, who then paid them the agreed price. They would then get the neighbour to agree to having their loft insulated and just move the same insulation across to the next house - they did this for the whole row, before (IIRC) removing the 'old' stuff (actually the new stuff that they'd just laid and been paid for) from the last house via the hatch and stairs and then scarpering.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Mon 30-Dec-19 01:53:51

We live in one of two 200-year-old semis and half of the space between is walled (where the chimney breast is), whilst the other has a 'dwarf wall' over which you could easily climb and gain access to next door.

We get on very well indeed with our neighbour, but might look into doing something to block/secure it should she ever sell, depending on who moved in.

Popc0rn Mon 30-Dec-19 02:01:55

Shared loft spaces are very common in older terrace houses, so doubt it's illegal.

cybergran Mon 30-Dec-19 02:03:41

I would be more worried about hidden camera's than mice or someone coming in through the loft hatch...

have you checked your ceilings for small holes? especially the bathroom... someone could be watching you shock

DecemberSnow Mon 30-Dec-19 02:03:42

Lots of old terraced houses are like this.

You can lock your loft from the inside of your house.

safariboot Mon 30-Dec-19 02:15:05

Yeah, shared lofts are not unheard of. You may want to check it's OK with your contents insurance. Like a PP said, a lock or bolt on the hatch largely addresses the security issue.

If you're on good terms with your neighbours I'd say try and get everyone to muck in setting mousetraps in their lofts.

I seem to remember a shared loft space was a minor plot point in The Magician's Nephew.

PumpkinP Mon 30-Dec-19 02:25:51

Gosh this would freak me out shock

BillHadersNewWife Mon 30-Dec-19 02:28:57

Eek at the thought of cameras! I bloody hate the idea of this! I can't even store your Christmas decs up there!

RagingBall Mon 30-Dec-19 02:37:22

We had a house like this - a condition of the mortgage was to brick up access to the other spaces because of the fire risk.

Loved Shooting Fish - didn't they leave the insulation in the loft of the one neighbour who said she couldn't afford it?

TimeForPlentyIn2020 Mon 30-Dec-19 02:48:37

They had this in the Magician’s Nephew, the first of the Narnia books.

alexdgr8 Mon 30-Dec-19 02:49:03

I would contact Environmental Health, housing section, at the local council, since it's rented, to check for any local regs.
I remember about 35 yrs ago my brother was about to buy an otherwise excellent house, until it was discovered that it had this, then it was impossible to get a mortgage, even though my father, a builder undertook to block it off completely, so the sale fell through.
perhaps they managed to sell it to a cash buyer, as a buy-to-let...

JamieVardysHavingAParty Mon 30-Dec-19 03:04:52

Sorry, no advice, I just came on here to see if this was a thread about The Magician's Nephew.

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