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Jul, 2014

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  1. #1

    Default Freehold "landlord" refusing permission for renovation work - unreasonable?

    Hi there,
    Would really appreciate some advice...
    I own one of 6 flats that were converted from a large detached house. All 6 of us freeholders comprise the managing company/landlord.
    The flat is a very old Victorian one and hasn't been touched for decades. I want to install gas central heating but because the mains gas meter is at ground level, and my flat is on the first floor, the existing pipe work isn't sufficient for my new combi boiler. The gas man has been unable to follow the track of the existing gas pipes (they go underground and disappear into the house somewhere!) and has suggested that I run the new pipes that are needed up the wall at the front of the house and into my flat at floor level.
    When I put this proposal to the other freeholders one of them objected saying it would look too messy.
    I'm now in a situation whereby I can't start the work without a licence from the Landlord. Is the Landlord being unreasonable in withholding their consent? What are my options?

    Thanks in advance for any advice/insights you can offer me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    4,811

    Default

    I think the gas man just wants an easy job.

    There must be other routes you could use. Have you tried using a stud finder to trace the existing pipe yourself? Are there any disused chimneys that could serve as service ducts?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    oop north
    Posts
    4,781

    Default

    Gas pipes, water and electric pipes cables should be confined within
    the building, and not screwed onto the outside.

    I don't think they are unreasonable.
    But your gas pipe must be very small if cant even light a boiler ?

    Is it your gas meter that is on the ground floor ?
    If so, looks like you will have to go through the building into your
    flat with a new pipe, and it costs what it costs to do so.

    Also, are you not using a computer, as your lines of text are only
    3 or 4 words long. (Best to use a computer for the internet )

    Post number 2 gives some good suggestions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Foundation trench for New Shed@ Ham on Rye
    Posts
    14,458

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    While the freeholders could withhold permission, the problem is that as a statutory installer, and the easements in the lease, they can pretty much go and do as they like in terms of installation.

    However as the meter is on the ground floor the pipework to the flat is yours so that does not apply, and you are faced with routing it through as far as is possible existing conduits.

    it might be that the cost and disruption to your neighbours is so great that they reluctantly accept that you are in law and under your lease entitled to a gas supply, and the threat of applying to the county court for their unreasonably withholding consent, that they accept the external pipework, routed as sympathetically as possible.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers. More ramblings atleaseholdpropertymanager.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    343

    Default

    I think you'll find that there may be safety reasons why your new gas pipe should be run outside the building...ie not going through any other flat.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    658

    Default

    But your gas pipe must be very small if cant even light a boiler ?



    Combi boilers need a 22mm pipe and most old pipework is 15mm. I had this problem when I changed to a combi boiler and thought I would have to run it all the way back to the meter in the basement. However when they lifted the floor boards they found the 22mm pipe had been split to 15mm to the boiler and gas hob. I would suggest further investigation below the floorboards. Most plumbers would prefer to feed in a new pipe as it is easier.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks for your replies.

    There is already a 22mm pipe coming into the property. It splits out, and is reduced to 15mm piping before serving the existing gas hob and gas fire.

    The boiler installer has told me however that, in view of distance from the gas mains meter - at ground level - and the number of 90 degree turnsneeded to run the pipe work from the meter into my kitchen, where I want to site boiler, then the pipes will need to start off very large 28mm(?) as otherwise the gas pressure will not be high enough to run the boiler.

    As far as I'm aware there's no reason why a gas pipe can't run on an outside wall. Other properties have this set up too.

    Chimneys exist, but are in use, so can't use those for my gas pipe "run".

    I didn't realise there were special tools that can detect where pipework runs. Will discuss that with gas man.

    I suppose the only thing left for me to do is to locate the existing pipe work - underground and through my neighbours property/ies and replace it with wider bore piping...

    It seems unfair to me that other leaseholders can have gas pipe work outside but I can't since the addition of "my" pipe work would spoil the external appearance.

    If I asked a court to decide on "reasonableness" of Landlord withholding consent, which court would I need to apply to? Presumably I would need to meet costs of both sides. If I "won" the case would the Landlord then be liable for some or any of the court costs incurred by me, including solicitors for the other side (I'm happy to represent myself in court)?

    Sorry about format of email - seems to happen when an iPad is used....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    4,811

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    Forget about courts.

    I would find a less greedy/lazy gasman. Someone may correct me, but I fail to see how something as small as gas molecules can possibly be impeded by bends in a pipe.

  9. #9

    Default

    The gas man has said that the problem is the drop in pressure that occurs the further away from the gas mains supply the boiler is. He likened it to a water hose. He said that the longer the hose pipe is the more the pressure drops as you move away from the tap. He said that the pressure that you neeed to end up with at the boiler is determined by regulations. And that pressure will be effected by distances, gas pipe bore, and number of right angles...

    It that's not correct I'd sure like to know that before I go digging up the ground outside the house and drilling into internal walls to put new, larger bore, gas pipes in there!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    4,811

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    A quick Google directed me to page 29 of this book:

    http://www.gb-gas.co.uk/gb-gas%20Qui...uide2010v2.pdf

    You'll have to do the calculations yourself. It seems to suggest that each bend adds 0.5m to the theoretical length.

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