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Will we suddenly have to share our garden?

(8 Posts)
NaughtyDolly Mon 28-Jan-13 12:19:07

We moved in two years ago to a flat above a shop. In that time, the shop went bust and has now been empty for more than a year.

The landlord has now put in for change of use and planning permission to turn the shop into another flat. But I am concerned we will have to share our garden with the new flat, which I have to say is a bit of a deal breaker for me.

We moved in because we liked the garden, and we have put patio furniture out there, plus a slide and sandpit for the kids, and my husband's kayak. In the summer we have the kids' birthday parties out there and friends over etc, and I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that in a shared garden.

Just would like to know where we stand, whether we have any right to ask the landlord to keep the garden as exclusively ours or to divide it up somehow so that we can have our own space. Obviously, the place was sold to us as having the garden for us and the maintenance is in our rental agreement. What happens about mowing the lawn in a shared garden? Would we have to share the shed too?

I'd like to speak to the landlord about it, but I'd like to know whether I am being unreasonable in asking about it at all. I really really don't want to move so soon, especially with DS1 having just started school.

Thanks for any help smile

PureQuintessence Mon 28-Jan-13 12:22:40

I have no idea. But, if I were you, I would not speak to the landlord, but wait for him to come and speak to you. I should think he cannot reduce the size of the property you rent without a new contract and an offer of reduction in rent?

How is the access to the garden now? Is there a door from the ground floor and out?

noddyholder Mon 28-Jan-13 12:24:28

Do you own it?

RillaBlythe Mon 28-Jan-13 12:24:41

I know of lots of flats where the garden belongs to the first floor flat. Aak the landlord to keep usage as is.

BobbiFleckmann Mon 28-Jan-13 12:26:07

Read your lease. That's your contract which describes how you can use the property. if it describes the garden as being part of your demise, then it has to be for your excl use / "quiet enjoyment".

NaughtyDolly Mon 28-Jan-13 12:32:08

Thanks for your replies. We don't own it, we rent from the same guy as is building the flat downstairs.

Access to the garden from the downstairs flat would be pretty much she same as ours, the door that currently leads into the shop is right next to the one that leads to the stairs up to our place, and according to the plans, this won't change.

The landlord is very nice and approachable, and we have been good tenants and have never been late with rent so I am hoping this won't upset things!

Elansofar Fri 01-Feb-13 10:22:58

Hi the lease is what you should look at first. It should include a plan or at least a description of what property is included in your agreement. If there is no plan attached to the lease, the description is unclear and you have always assumed all the garden is included in the rental and the landlord has never told you otherwise, then you are right to assume all the garden is part of the deal.
You need to look at the planning application (this can be done online) and see what land your landlord has assumed to be part of a garden for the proposed down stairs flat. If there is no information on this, speak to the relevant planning officer and ask them to confirm whether the application is being considered without the property requiring a garden and see what they are assuming.
Once you have this information arrange to meet your landlord to discuss. If he is assuming that his application includes some of your demised garden then perhaps you need to tell him how pivotal the garden is you your continued occupation and ask him what his plans are. He might want to convert the downstairs place and let it without a garden.
What he certainly wont want is his own tenant objecting to the application. Assuming you are a good tenant and the landlord isnt a pratt, then you should be able to come to some arrangement. Worst case scenario the landlord will want to arrange for the garden to be shared. He could do this by serving notice to quit on you (as per your type of lease / best practise terms) and offereing a new lease with a shared garden. It will then be up to you whether to renew (asking for a rent reduction!) or move. You also need to consider the position your landlord has been in because he has been having too pay full business rates on an empty commercial property for the best part of 2 years...he will want continuity of income so try for a win win. Please also note that he may also need access to the garden for the workmen and there will be some noise / parking issues associated with the workmen so bear this in mind.... good luck

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Fri 01-Feb-13 10:53:05

Remind him a shared garden is generally an unloved garden as no one wants to take responsibility. A ll is lucky if he finds someone who cares for a garden.
He'll probably be happy to leave it as it is

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