Q: I own a ground-floor flat in an Edwardian semi that has been converted into three flats. Unbeknown to me when I purchased it, the electricity meters for all three flats are in my property. I have requested that the owners of flats two and three arrange for these to be relocated because they are causing much inconvenience, but they refuse unless I pay for it — I have to move furniture in order to access them. Surely I am legally entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of my home? I am the sole director of the freehold management company. What can I do to get them moved?
A: I can understand how inconvenient it must be to have all the meters inside your flat. The legal answer will depend on the terms of your lease. One way to approach the problem would be to deny access to your flat, thereby making it the other leaseholders' problem to resolve. However, your lease might require you to give access to your flat for various purposes. If it does and you agree on how to handle the cost of moving the meters to a communal area, you might find a solution in your capacity as director of the freehold company.
Ed Cracknell in The Sunday Times Home Experts answering a reader's question.
Ed is a partner in the property and housing litigation team. He specialises in all aspects of property litigation and property dispute resolution. His areas of expertise include landlord and tenant disputes, business lease renewals, rent and service charge recovery, possession proceedings, and dilapidations claims.
Ed Cracknell The Sunday Times - 3 January 2021