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Does the 'Committee' have any real power?

(9 Posts)
mamateur Tue 07-May-13 15:12:46

We live in a very nice road that has sole access to some really lovely gardens. We all pay an annual amount towards upkeep.

We moved in a year ago (we are renting but on a long contract) and have often heard mention of the 'committee'. For example, we were going to have DS birthday party in the gardens, mentioned it to a neighbour who said, oh, I'm sure it'll be fine but you'll need to run it by the committee. They have gardening days and their own allocated flower beds that are all amazingly beautiful. The back of the gardens have big bushes that are perfect for dens and some big trees that could be climbed.

We want to put up a swing (wood, not little tykes grin) but we have been told the committee will never agree to it.

There are now about 4 families on the road, all with children the same age and they all play together so well and frankly the garden is pretty much empty if they're not there.

What authority can they have? Surely everyone on the street, who pays, should have a say?

I would really love feedback on how this sort of thing works.

I have asked to be notified of the next committee meeting as they've never even let me know when they're held.

Freddiemisagreatshag Tue 07-May-13 15:14:05

You need to get your hands on the Constitution or whatever they call it - basically the rules and regs of what The Committee is for, and what they can and cannot do.

titchy Tue 07-May-13 21:54:02

Your landlord should be notified of meetings rather than you - he co-owns it. Seems reasonable for owners of land to determine what is built there.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 08-May-13 13:49:15

It is very much the property owners who are notified of meetings and as a tenant you are quite likely to not be eligible to even attend a meeting let alone have a vote.
Regarding the swing this is likely to implications for public liability for the committee as if another child has an accident on the swing in their garden they could be liable.
I used to own a flat with similar gardens their constitution was that they were for quiet reflection so really discouraged children playing in them.
I would suggest chatting to your landlord before doing anything else.

peachypips Wed 08-May-13 13:50:58

Join the committee... grin

titchy Wed 08-May-13 14:31:26

She won't be able to join the committee - she's a tenant of the house not a leaseholder of the gardens.

The Committee is the land owner and has as much right or power as a house owner has over their garden for example the right to refuse access.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 08-May-13 15:28:12

Oh yes in answer to your initial question yes the committee has real power up to and including banning non-property owning individuals from the gardens.
The garden that I had use of only property owners could have a key it was prohibited to give keys to tenants. Each has it's own set of rules and can re-evaluate and change it's rules.

mamateur Wed 08-May-13 15:39:20

Oh no that's really bad news!

We are tenants but have the full permission of the landlord. We are on a 3 year lease.

I hadn't thought about the liability aspect. Really? sad

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 08-May-13 16:15:46

Yes liability is a problem as they will have to have insurance and it may only cover them for certain activities and childrens play equipment and parties maybe excluded from the insurance.
You should also bear in mind you may have permission from the landlord, but has he obtained permission from the committee to allow you a third party access. Be aware you could be opening a can of worms creating ripples.
A communal street/ square garden is very, very different from a private garden.

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