Question: Our daughter is in the middle of buying a mews house and one small room on the first floor seems to be above the neighbour’s hall. Is there any cause for concern?
Answer: Presumably the conveyancing process has started, so your daughter’s solicitors should be in receipt of the contract package from the seller’s solicitors and will be investigating the title to the property, carrying out searches and making relevant enquiries.
This small room appears to be a flying freehold and this should be apparent from the title deeds.
Advise your daughter to confirm the position with her solicitors.
They should be checking there are covenants in place requiring the neighbour to provide support and protection for the room and for the seller to provide the same for the neighbour’s hall.
Each owner should be under an obligation to maintain and repair their part of the building and any necessary rights of access should be granted.
The covenants will be positive covenants which do not run with the land. Accordingly, your daughter’s solicitors should arrange for her to enter into a Deed of Covenant with the neighbour who owns the hall, so that they both have the benefit of appropriate covenants.
If your daughter is getting a mortgage, her lender is likely to require indemnity insurance in relation to the flying freehold.
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.
If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email email@example.com or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. Questions cannot be answered individually, but we will try to feature them here. Fiona McNulty is a solicitor specialising in residential property.