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Followingonfromourwebsitespecial featurein thelast issueof Flat Living, in futureeditionswewillbehighlightingarticlesnewtoourwebsiteandavailable to issuesthatcouldaffect youandyour fellowflatowners

Dealing with

neighbourdisputes trinityestates considerstheissues thrownupbydifficultneighbours

the timber yard appartment What happens if your

landlord goes bust DuncanBrowntakesalookatwhatflatowners candoiftheworsthappensandtheyare left withoutanyonetodealwith theday-to-day tasksof runningtheir block

“BricksandMortar!Nothing is as secure as an investment in property! Safe as Houses!” Such sagewordsofadvice

have beendrummed into us by family,friends,estateagents and financial advisers, formany years, buthaveyou ever asked yourself just howsafe are you? If you’re afreeholder, you’ll

be used to arrangingyourown insuranceandmaintenance, and if you’re a leaseholder, you’ll be used to the freeholder (your ‘landlord’), usuallythrough apropertymanagement company, doingitfor you. But what happens if your landlord goes bust?Who arranges the maintenance – and more importantlythe buildings insurance–whenthathappens? Have you ever thought about what happens to the freehold? Thiswasexactly thesituation

facedbyleaseholders recently in thecaseofThe Timber Yard, abuilding in London with flats locatedonits upperfloors.The freehold to thebuildingwas

Flat Living Issue 16

ownedbyCityLofts (Drysdale Street)Ltd,which experienced financial difficultiesandwas dissolved. Theeffect of ‘City Lofts’being dissolvedwas that itsassets, includingthe freehold to TheTimberYard, passed to the Crownunder theancient and complexEnglish legalprinciple of “BonaVacantia” (meaning literally‘good vacancy’). Mr Savicand hisfellow

leaseholders were obviously extremelyworried at this turn of events,which threatened to leave themin limbo. MrSavicapplied to theLVT

to formerly appointamanager andreceiverwhowouldbeable to collectthe servicechargers fromtheflatowners at the Timber Yard, andarrange for thebuilding to be insured andproperlymaintainedand repaired.●

Tofindoutmoreandreadthis article in full,goto:www. what-happens-if-your- landlord-goes-bust-

weallknowof someonewho has at sometimeexperienced problemswithaneighbour. Be itaboundarydispute,orloud musiclateintothe night. These arenotunfamiliar issues. At theirworst,problemswith neighbours canlastfor yearsand provetobethe bitterest fought legal battles out there.

Whyis this? Inmost cases it is duetoa number of elements that contribute to forma“perfect storm”. Partiescan provemore

sensitiveindomestic disputes. Thesmallest of issuescan becomemagnifiedwhenthey encroach on ourhomelives.This is usuallywhy theymake for such popularnewsstories and TVprogramming.Themajority of neighbourdisputesarise in blocks of flats. Increasingly diverselifestyles compounded by increasedpopulationdensities bringincompatibilities toahead. Boundary disputes andhigh hedges usuallyresultinsome measureofcompromise; flat blocks inherently requiremore tolerance andmore consideration. Disputes oftencomedownto

one party’sword against another. It is easy to assumewhen

wecomplain thatwewill be recognisedasthe reasonable party. Butthe landlord or the localauthority is facedwithtwo

sideseacharguing that theother is the party at fault.

it canhappen

toanyone In a high profile case earlier this year, residents living below a £4.7 million flat in Belgravia incurred £140,000 of legalcosts in a failed attempt to compel theirneighbours to carpet newly installedwooden floors. They complained that thesound of heelsclickingonthe £100,000 oakflooring wasanunfair nuisance caused by breaches in the lease. Interestingly, in dismissing their case, Lord JusticeWard stated, ‘Not all neighbours arefrom hell.They may simply occupy the land of bigotry. Theremay be no escape fromhell, but the boundaries of bigotry can, with tact, be changed. Give and take is often better than all or nothing”●

Tofindoutwhat TrinityEstates advisesyoutodoifyoufind yourself inasimilar situation, advice/492-dealing-with- neighbour-disputes toread anddownloadthefull article

alittleconsideration goes a long way


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