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Nov, 2014

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  1. #1

    Angry Landlord keeping half of garden and only parking space

    I was a letting agent for years until a couple of years ago and did my arla 1 - however my friends have just rented a 2 bed flat above a shop which is being converted into a gallery therefore the flat was refurbished before tthey moved in too. The flat comes with a large garden, garage at the bottom of the garden and their own private parking space. The letting agent confirmed that they had the garden, the garage and parking space but when they moved in the landlord (who manages the property) mentioned she would like to put some sculptures in the garden and bearing in mind her doors go onto the initial patio be able to use some of the garden during business hours.
    My friend agreed to this, although nothing was ever put in her tenancy agreement to exclude any of the garden etc, but now the landlord has stated that the tenants can have half of the garden - which is the bottom half (excluding the top patio) and that she will be using the parking space exclusively.
    They are understandably upset about this, I've said the landlord doesn't have a leg to stand on as the AST is standard, no clauses or reference to the actual property other than the address, there was also no inventory done on the property or check in when they moved in!
    Could people let me know their views on this and if I'm in the right in advising them to argue their point across, they are paying a premium price now for half a garden, no parking and a 2 bed flat above a shop!

  2. #2
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    The first thing to establish is what the land registry has recorded as the extent of the property. Click on 'find a property' at the top of the page https://www.landregistry.gov.uk, the fee is £4 and the service isn't available on Sundays!!!!!

  3. #3

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    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply. Are you suggesting that the garden may be registered with the gallery downstairs rather than the flat above even though the property was advertised with a garden and a picture was included in the particulars?

  4. #4
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    Yes, that is what I am suggesting. The key thing is not what was advertised, it is what is specified in the contract. It is perfectly possible for the 2 to legitimately differ (although I think the word legitimately may be a bit optimistic in this case). If the contract says "Flat 2, 123 High St", then that is what has been let. The easiest and most accurate way to acertain what 'Flat 2' comprises of is via the land registry.

  5. #5

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    Okay I will advise them to do that then. Personally I would be asking for a reduction in the rent or would want a refund inc moving fees and move elsewhere - this wasn't in the contract, ie a stipulation or a non stipulation of parking and garden. The landlord owns both the shop and the flat, effectively what was agreed on initially prior to moving was that the garden and parking would be included as stated by the agent and shown around by.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayJohnson View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply. Are you suggesting that the garden may be registered with the gallery downstairs rather than the flat above even though the property was advertised with a garden and a picture was included in the particulars?
    The garden and/or parking space will be demised to a particular flat, or possibly neither (and belong to the freeholder).

    The title plan on the land registry will show what goes with the address of your friend's flat. If the garden/parking is included, he has exclusive possession of those areas, and can tell the LL to keep off. If they're not included, but the property was advertised with them included, then your friend may have a misrepresentation claim - he is, as you say, paying a rent which reflects these additional amenities.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for all of the advice - I think this could potentially be a grey area as after some digging I found that the land registry now has 2 properties under the same address - one is freehold and the other leasehold, it seems that they haven't been separated into flat and shop postcode wise either so it's going to be a bit difficult title registry wise seeing as she owns both.

  8. #8
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    Call the Land Registry on Monday. There are sometimes glitches in the system which make it hard to find what you're looking for, but they are very helpful on the phone.

  9. #9
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    The flat comes with a large garden, garage at the bottom of the garden and their own private parking space.

    If that's what it says in the rental agreement, or what it says in the
    advert, or you were promised verbly, then that's what you are entitled
    to.

    If the advert / a.s.t does not say what you are renting, then you are
    stuffed.
    Don't waste your money on land registry, as landlord can CHOOSE
    to include a garage / parking space, or not, as it is theirs to rent
    or not, as part of the accommodation .

    The land registry may say that 3 whole streets belong to the
    landlord, but that does not entitle you to access every house in
    that street.

    What were you promised, and what are you not getting.
    And put that to the agent, and confront them with falsifying
    descriptions to "obtain money by deception".

    But, if you want to be evicted the end of your tenancy, then
    take it further.

    R.a.M.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ram View Post
    Don't waste your money on land registry, as landlord can CHOOSE
    to include a garage / parking space, or not, as it is theirs to rent
    or not, as part of the accommodation .
    Yes, If the AST specifies it, this AST doesn't.

    The land registry may say that 3 whole streets belong to the
    landlord, but that does not entitle you to access every house in
    that street.
    The land registry will say who owns flat 2, 123 High Street, and what area of land etc Flat 2 comprises of. If you pay for a report of the neighbouring properties, it may say he owns them too, but thit is not relevant here. The only extra report that may be worth getting is the one for the shop below to see what area is demised to that to see if there is a conflict.


    R.a.M.s final quote, whilst abruptly put, is a valid one. Winding up the landlord is likely to result in the tenancy agreement not being renewed on expiry. This may not be an issue to the tenant, but they should be made aware before they start rattling sabres.

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