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2 flats ,forecourt designated "common parts" ,concerned neighbours trying to establish sole useage .(31 Posts)
Does that make any sense ?
We live in a house divided into 2 flats with a concrete forecourt . The groundfloor flat often/sometimes park on the forecourt . Thet have a SUV and park it diagonally ( easiest to access from road ) taking up whole area .We very rarely park ( maybe 3 times a year ) .
I have explained that the forecourt is shared when I've discussed putting a bike shed on the forecourt . We are joint freeholders and the plans with the lease show the forecourt ,entrance hall and exterior side passage as "common parts " .
I don't think they really believe me or maybe don't want to .Anyway I'm just a bit concerned that they'll establish some legal claim for the ground floor flat to have exclusive parking rights .We live in London and the pressure on parking increases daily .
Am I worrying unnecessarily ? Should I get a solicitor to write politely but formally ? Could I save the expense and write myself ?
Even if they are common parts you won't be able to put a bike shed on the parking space as you sll have equal access to it. Send them a copy of the deeds to prove they are common parts.
The bike shed won't be going on or restricting the parking area .Or blocking access to it .I am very mindful of how parking is a priority for them and I want to live in peace with my neighbours ,not upset them by putting up a shed which would stop them parking .
They have a copy of the lease which shows the common parts .
My concern is that at some point ( possibly if selling ) they will try and establish an exclusive right to park .
Do you mean by parking there so much? That won't override the lease terms.
Is there room for two cars? Why do you rarely park there?
Are they allowed to use it for parking under the lease? If so I'm not sure what you're worried about. They're using it in accordance with the lease, and that definitely will not give them exclusive rights or ownership over it in future.
The lease makes no reference to what can be done on the common parts ,it just has the areas shaded yellow and marked as common parts .
There would be room to put 2 cars on there but my neighbours have a very large SUV . I don't park there because there isn't a dropped kerb in front of our forecourt . The house next door does have a dropped curb which provides partial access but still involves driving across some pavement ( which has the potential to damage the pavement and services underneath ) and also results in parking diagonally across the drive .
Apart from above I don't like vehicles on this forecourt and it is easy (90% of the time ) to park in the road .
Ok if there's no restriction on using the forecourt to park, then obviously they can do that.
Using the common parts in accordance with the terms of the lease does not mean that they acquire ownership of those parts.
Some lawyers offer a free thirty minute consultation to see whether you have any realistic case - it may just put your mind at rest if you see somebody who can confirm to you that this is fine, but I really wouldn't worry.
Lawyers generally want paid for their advice.
Free legal consultations are one of the great myths of MN.
Some lawyers offer initial consultations to establish whether or not its worth taking a case, opening a file etc. If there's simply no case and no issue they will say so! Certainly I offered those kind of meetings back when I was working.
And yes I agree some people on MN seem to be under the impression that all lawyers have to offer free initial advice (which is absolutely not true). OP will have to ask local lawyers if they can offer an initial chat.
If there isn't a drop curb then technically you don't have permission from council to drive over the curb on to your land. That's why they make people pay for it to be dropped and stops damage to the curb.
spottheduck you're right some lawyers do offer an intial free consultation .
I was involved in helping a friend and although it took me several phone calls I did find a very good ,very helpful laywer for her who gave free advice.
In my own case I'm just raising the issue here first .
Perhaps you could come to a compromise and say that, while the space is communal (show them a copy of the lease), you would be willing to rent them use of your share of the forecourt for a nominal amount in return for their agreeing to have a bike shelter on it as well? That would establish that you have rights over the forecourt too and mean that they wouldn't be able to establish any sort of claim on it through continued non-paid use and also give you the outcome you want which is bike storage.
put a load of heavy free standing plant pots on your 'half'.
Or table and chairs.
Maybe a bbq?
Or a clothes line?
Or a big sign saying "I know i don't use the space and your parking doesn't inconvenience me - but it's MINE and i'm NOT sharing!"
They can't claim adverse possession over your half just because they part a few cm over the boundary.
I think you're being very petty, but if it means that much to you then simply just claim your 'half'.
If there's no dropped kerb then they shouldn't be parking there and without a dropped kerb I don't see how they could say it was a parking space if they came to sell. Or at least that's my understanding wrt driving over the pavement to park.
There was a case in the paper about someone doing this and the council came and erected bolards on the pavement to prevent them.
Report them to the council for illegally driving over the pavement where there is no dropped kerb.
Any common parts are owned by the freeholder, with the leaseholders having a non-exclusive right to use them according to the terms of the lease. Provided they are using the common parts in accordance with the lease there is nothing you can do. If they are breaching the terms of the lease you need to take it up with the freeholder.
Yes - I would also check with the free-holder regarding putting up a shed. It may well not be permitted and/or you need express permission for any structures/alterations
Sorry I've just realised that I've not been clear - the freehold is split between the 2 flats ,we are joint freeholders .
There's no argument over the bike shed and I have never asked them not to park on the forecourt .I don't like it visually and I don't think they should do it without a dropped kerb and it often makes access to the bins and our garden very difficult ,but I don't think it's worth making a fuss about unless it somehow means that they gain an exclusive right to park there .
Do people really think I'm being very petty and mean ?
It's slightly petty if you haven't spoken to them about it and it doesn't really affect your bike storage. The fact that the leases state that the area is shared - and presumably this is on record at the LR - means that they would have difficulty establishing exclusive use. However, if it really bothers you, I would occasionally park my car there to show that it isn't "theirs".
What is slightly petty ?
I'm not trying to stop them parking . It just crossed my mind that there might be some law ( similar to Adverse Possession ) that I wasn't aware of that might come into play if my neighbours frequently used the whole of the forecourt to park . So I thought I'd ask on here .
Is that petty ?
I don't think you're being petty, but you have been told by several posters now that there's no way them using the common parts means they will obtain ownership of those parts. Hopefully that's put your mind at rest that there's no problem here.
In London parking can be very difficult ,our local authority may decide to control parking ,plus people often like to have their expensive car as close to their window as they can .
At the moment both flats could be put on the market with both having the potential ( a full dropped kerb would be needed IMO ) .If our flat lost this potential it would decrease it's value and make it a less appealing purchase .
Although I don't like it ,think it damages the infrastructure ( neighbours on other side had to pay for damage to water services caused by driving across unreinforced pavement ) and makes it difficult for us to get to the rubbish bins and to open the gate down the side of the house I have done NOTHING to prevent neighbours downstairs parking .
But I'm concerned that they might gain the right to exclusively park there and we loose any right and that this may become important in the future .
Why is that petty ?
you have been told by several posters now that there's no way them using the common parts means they will obtain ownership of those parts
I wasn't asking about ownership I was asking about use .
You've made mention of the "terms of the lease" but there are no terms .
So your concern is that they could get an exclusive right to use this forecourt for parking? that's not possible. The lease says they can use it, and does not restrict how frequently they use it or forbid parking. Therefore their use is allowed under the terms of the lease. They cannot claim that you have lost your right to lose the space just because they use it more.
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