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I live in a self contained basement flat in a building of three flats. My flat has its own seperate front and rear doors, completely seperate and unconnected with the two upper flats and both opening onto the street.

My flat is completely unconnected to the top two.


The two upper flats share a common front door, hallway and stairs to their respective flats.

These upper two flats are let out by the owners as holiday apartments.


I have no access to the common areas of these flats and do not share any services with them, however this year the owners of these flats decided to put new carpet on their stairs and have complete new decoration and a new lighting system within their common area.


Is it right that they can use the portion of my service charge to refurbish this area, common to them only, and with no related benefit to me, and in an area non accessible to me.


I would be very pleased for some guidance in this matter

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Hello and welcome to CAG.


I think the guys in our lettings forum will know the answers to this. I'll move your thread there and leave you a link to follow from here.


My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum




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Is there anything in your tenancy agreement that states you will be asked to contribute to these communal areas ?

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If there is a service charge then it is to cover such things. If you pay into a sinking fund to pay for buildings maintenance then I would be up in arms about the misuse of the money. You need to have a good read of the lease and also ask the solicitor who did your conveyancing for you to explain why they didnt draw this to your notice.

If you are renting then basically you are stuffed by agreeing to paying a service charge when one isnt applicable. If this is the case get someone to look at the tenancy agreement to see if it is being adhered to properly.

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Look at your lease, it may be that it requires you to contribute to communal areas even if you don't use them, a common scenario is that owners of ground floor flats have to pay for lifts that they never use..it will all be in the lease.


You say the owners of the flat put in new carpet, by owner you mean the freeholder ?. This maybe allowable, a FH may have obligations under the lease to repair, etc..but generally he cant improve and expect leaseholders to pay.

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