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Problem in shared freehold property

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  • Problem in shared freehold property

    I thought the Legal section the best for this issue. I'll try to be as brief as possible.

    I live in a converted house. There are five flats all privately owned, we all have long leases that we extended a few years ago at no cost as we are all equal share freeholders. We run the house ourselves, have no outside management company and for the most part in the twelve years I've lived here things have run smoothly and agreeably.

    When I first moved in, all five flats were owner occupied, but as the years have rolled by more of the flats have been rented out and obviously landlords who don't live here have less input in the day to day running of the place and it's left to the ones who remain. Surprisingly though the problem I shall relate is not being caused by a tenant, it's a young son (20ish) who has been installed by his father who bought the flat last year. The father lives abroad.

    Just some more background. Two flats (including myself) are owner occupied, the two other flats are tenanted with no current problems. The two tenanted flats have had no smoking policies attached to the terms of the landlords' AST agreements.

    This has always been a no smoking house and being an old Victorian house smells and noises travel around easily.

    The boy has been a nuisance since he's lived here. Ridiculously loud music ...it doesn't actually sound like music. Incessant internal door banging that sounds like an angry person slamming doors, threats to one of the tenants. In fact the police are aware of this young man, who is indeed from a privileged background, it would appear.

    Ok, so there's the main background, sorry for woffling. This is the main and major issue.

    He chain smokes. He smokes 'til 3am or later in his bedroom directly below mine. In the hot summer months I have to close my window as I am breathing in raw cigarette smoke while trying to sleep.

    But even with windows closed it is seeping up to my flat. Definitely via common hallways which smell like an ashtray (especially outside his front door) and possibly through his ceiling, I'm not sure.

    I awake with a headache, have a bronchial ailment that won't clear up and my bedroom, hallway, bathroom, kitchen, lounge smell like an ashtray that you'd find in a pub the morning after the night before ...yeah, in the old days.

    Here's the rub. He cannot be approached as he is a nut job. His father is ignoring my requests to stop his son smoking internally.

    I have two sympathetic leaseholders, the two who rent out their flats. They will back me up to insist this becomes a no smoking house. They think it's disgusting and a fire and health hazard.

    I have suggested that we draw up an addendum to our leases that this becomes a no smoking house. They are in agreement. So we have three out of five. A majority. The fourth is a wet weekend in Bridlington who can only see this troubled boy as an underdog and doesn't really get the fact that I am slowly being killed through passive smoking.

    Questions :

    1) Can an addendum be written up and attached to our leasess by us or do we need a solicitor ?

    2) Is a majority sufficient to pass an addendum ?

    3) Does it hold any water legally if the kid continues to chain smoke ?

    4) What legal measures can I take and is there any benefit in getting my GP involved ?

    5) Can I sue the leaseholder or indeed our own freehold company. of which I am a director too ?

    Any answers on any of the above would be most helpful, or indeed any other ideas.

    Last edited by Groucho77; 24-07-2015, 08:19 AM.