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Property with flying freehold - RSJ supported or not???

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  • Property with flying freehold - RSJ supported or not???

    Hey people,
    We're looking to buy this property built in 1988 which shares a flying freehold with an adjacent property about 10 metres away, which MAY or may not be held up with RSJs, or with the 4 wooden posts you can see at the bottom - here is a picture:


    Ours is the one on the left.

    Just had a structural survey done on this property, and the surveyor says he cannot determine 100% if the flying freehold is being held up by those thin wooden posts you see (which happen to be rotting on the bottom, and have no steel shoe) or if there are RSJs. I don't have experience in this area, so was wondering if anyone could advise, based on the photo.

    My gut feeling is the
    surveyor is a bit crap/lying, and that there HAS to be RSJs supporting it otherwise the underside of the flying freehold would have bowed by now, and those wooden posts sound hollow - as well as looking thin. But thats just my "uneducated common sense" answer which may be wrong.

    WHAT I'VE TRIED
    I've already tried looking for plans, original structual engineer names etc - but the original property developers have no records anymore of the property, and the city council's building control's microfiches aren't much helper either.

    WHAT THE SELLER SAYS
    The seller says that because h
    e owns only the flying freehold and nothing beneath, that the posts are indeed decorative and have no structural significance.

    He also says that the posts are
    positioned into the top of a 2’6” high, two brick, wide footpath wall and as such are therefore not load bearing. He says that if they were load bearing they would be individually positioned into their own footings deep within the ground, and that the the flying freehold is constructed using RSJs.

    Like I said... I have no experience in this area...so still want more confirmation. So any builders out there with a good eye??

    Thanks in advance everyone,

    Loko
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Property with flying freehold - RSJ supported or not???

    Where is the boundary line on the registered title? Is it different for ground and first floor?
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Property with flying freehold - RSJ supported or not???

      Yes - Nothing beneath the flying freehold belongs to the title. So you got the normal 'house bit' for the ground floor, then a flying freehold poking out the side on the first floor.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Property with flying freehold - RSJ supported or not???

        Crazy way to do the documentation!

        Whoever drew it all up simply needed to make sure that you owned the whole area - ground and first floors with the ground floor passageway being subject to rights of use for others. Then the side wall of the other property becomes a party wall and the theoretical problem goes away.

        Who does own the freehold of the area under the first floor part? Seller should get them to transfer freehold to him.
        RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
        As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Property with flying freehold - RSJ supported or not???

          Thanks Richard. Beneath is communally owned - the house is in a 'court' as you may see.

          But the surveyor said that both were party walls.

          Does it make a difference to what I want to know though? Please explain.

          I still just need to know if there's a way of telling whether those posts are structural or decorative - thought it might have something to do with the ownership.

          Also, what do you mean by the theoretical problem goes away?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Property with flying freehold - RSJ supported or not???

            You say it is communally owned? Who by precisely?

            In most cases people loosely say that a drive or parking forecourt area is shared when usually all the bits of it belong to particular individuals - they just can't do anything with their bit because others have rights of access and use. So firstly check who actually owns the area - you may find that your sellers own it.

            The legal issue about flying freeholds is all about the difficulty of ensuring maintenance of a property that supports yours. Under English law the mere fact that somebody owns a neighbouring freehold property does not mean that they have to maintain their property so as to provide support and protection etc to a property over or under theirs. (This is why flats are generally leasehold.)

            If the area under the first floor is owned by someone else then that means that the wall of the neighbouring property on the far side of the passageway at ground floor level cannot be a party wall and you have a problem (in theory at least) of ensuring it is maintained. If on the other hand you will own that section of passageway - which would be the logical way for the paperwork to be drawn up - then the supports in the middle will belong to you and the whole of the wall on the far side will be shared.

            So that's the legal position. Obviously you do need to know what is physically supporting the first floor over the passageway and really only a surveyor can tell you.

            However do please check with your solicitors exactly where your ownership will extend because the sensible thing to do here would be for you to own the ground and the first floors but the ground floor be subject to rights of access for others.
            RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
            As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

            Comment

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