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Communal Area at Housing Association.

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  • Communal Area at Housing Association.

    I moved to a Housing Association Retirement Flat about 18 months ago. In front of my flat there is a small paved area which has always been used by the resident of that particular flat as a garden area and an area for a table and chairs. I done work on the area at my cost to make the garden as I wanted it. A neighbour has told me he considers the area to be a communal area and is going to clear some of this area and erect a storage shed on it as he has nowhere else to put one. Is he allowed to do this and does the law of precedent come into this. I would be grateful for any views or advice.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    You'd need to check the position on ownership with HM Land Registry, and any documents you were given when you took occupancy. It ought to set out what is and isn't communal but, if it is communal, building a shed on there is a no-no.

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    • #3
      Thanks CLL1 for your thoughts on this, there is nothing specific in my Tenancy Agreement about what is actually communal, it refers to the grassed gardens as communal areas. This is however a small triangular paved area outside my door and has been treated as the garden area for my flat since 1976 when the development was built. This is the first time any resident has claimed it is a communal area. The resident in question has their own garden area outside their own flat and I would contend if they want to erect a shed they should erect it on that particular area.

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      • #4
        I suggest you take this up with your landlord. It seems odd that your neighbour wants to erect his shed on your patch, rather than his own, and hopefully the HA will tell him off.

        OTOH staying on good terms with your neighbours is also valuable.

        i suspect that strictly speaking the whole of the land is communal, and you have no right to cultivate your bit and he has no right to a shed. However, hopefully the HA will be reasonably sensible.

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        • #5
          You need to contact the HA concerned and ask them to clarify if the part you are referring to is communal. If you believe the storage shed could be problematic for you, then raise your concerns with the HA. Also enquire if permission would be required before placing such an item there in the first place.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 2222 View Post
            I suggest you take this up with your landlord. It seems odd that your neighbour wants to erect his shed on your patch, rather than his own, and hopefully the HA will tell him off.

            OTOH staying on good terms with your neighbours is also valuable.

            i suspect that strictly speaking the whole of the land is communal, and you have no right to cultivate your bit and he has no right to a shed. However, hopefully the HA will be reasonably sensible.
            It is a retirement development I live on. When I moved to the flat about 2 years ago the manager told me the flat "had a nice little private garden area". The Tenancy agreement makes no mention of a garden area. It has always been assumed that because the patio area is at my back door and has my kitchen wall and a fence as it's boundary the area goes with the flat. Unfortunately these new neighbours are a jealous couple and are always complaining that everyone else has better than they have. They previously told me on a couple of occasions that they should have been given my flat and they were not joking.

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            • #7
              Is the same manager still there?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 2222 View Post
                Is the same manager still there?
                Yes she is.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Loring View Post

                  Yes she is.
                  Approach the manager and ask her what she defines as a nice little private garden area. Might make a difference.

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                  • #10
                    I have spoken to the manager, she told me that I needed permission to put my new garden table & chairs and my storage box on the area outside my back door as it is a communal area. I made the written request and she has approved that I can put those items on the small patio area, that completely fills the area. However her answer states that the Housing Association are not responsible for any damage of loss to my storage box and the box is totally my responsibility. However she has also stated that as the area is communal, other residents are permitted to come and use my table and chairs if they wish.
                    I asked her to confirm if other residents were allowed to used my storage box as well and she has replied No that is yours but they can use your table and chairs. I do not believe her response is consistent. Anyone got any ideas on how my storage box is mine and no one is allowed to use it and the table and chairs are mine but any resident can use them. I have to add the manager is not very experienced and tends to make up her own rules as required.

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                    • #11
                      I guess what your manager is saying is that the whole area is communal, and if you place your table and chairs there, then you are placing it in a communal area for all to use. I would guess that the manager has commented differently on a storage box because others would see it as an intrusion to use it. Communal areas are for the enjoyment of everyone. Perhaps you could speak to your neighbours and try and get a positive outlook for all.

                      where the comment is made about you are responsible for anything you place in the communal area, that is correct.

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                      • #12
                        Would a storage box normally be locked, perhaps?

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the views and suggestions. The storage box would be usually locked, it could also be possible to chain the table and chairs together when I am not using them., it would secure them just like the storage box. There is only 1 problem neighbour the one who wants to build a shed on the small patio area (it is a triangular paved area, sides of about 8-9 ft). It is the same neighbour who has told me on a few occasions that I should not have been given the flat I live in, they contend that they should have been given my flat even though I was top of the waiting list, they have said they want the garden and now they want to build a shed in it. I will go ahead and put my new table and chairs and storage box on the area for which I have written permission. The previous tenant of my flat lived there from 1976 till 2017 and never had any issues with any of the neighbours.over this small paved area at the back door of the flat and no one ever came in and used his table and chairs or wanted to build a shed on it during that period. The issues have only arisen since the new neighbour moved in in August 2017.

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                          • #14
                            Have you explained this to the manager? And asked for help?

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                            • #15
                              Have you spoken to your manager and pointed out what your neighbour is saying to you?. This could be dealt with by them and very often can be resolved. Don’t let it escalate, housing officers deal with this sort of thing every day.
                              Last edited by Setmefree3; 17th January 2019, 09:09:AM.

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