19 July 2013 by

To BBQ or not to BBQ that is the question!

Summer has finally arrived and it’s the perfect time to dust off the barbeque, or is it?

A flat with an exclusive balcony or roof terrace is an extremely attractive selling point and can significantly increase the value or enhance the rentablilty in the case of a buy-to-let. A major plus point in owning one is that it gives you an outside space to enable you to enjoy the long warm summer evenings, and perhaps have a barbeque.

But before you light up the barbie you should check whether or not you are permitted to do so.

So how do you find this out?

  • Check the terms of your Lease
    • Do you own the balcony or terrace or do you only have an exclusive right to use the space? Most Leases will only grant an exclusive right to use the space as this keeps the balcony or terrace within the freeholder’s ownership. If this is the case there may be more stringent rules to which you have to adhere in comparison to where the balcony forms part of your property.
    • Your Lease is unlikely to deal specifically with the use of a barbeque on a balcony or terrace. It is very likely, however, to contain a general clause stating that you cannot cause a nuisance to the other residents in the building or adjoining properties. Whilst the definition of “nuisance” is a subjective matter, it might be an idea to let your neighbours know that you plan to have a barbeque, and maybe invite them round; the more the merrier!
  • Ensure that the use of a barbeque does not invalidate the insurance for the building. In a block of flats, insurance is usually put in place by the freeholder or management company for the whole building. You may be liable for a large repair bill if any damage is caused and the insurance has been invalidated by your actions.
  • If you rent out your apartment you should ensure that your tenant is aware of any rules and regulations regarding barbeques and the use of the balconies generally (other uses such as hanging out clothes to dry may also be prohibited) as you may be personally liable to the freeholder or management company as a result of the actions of your tenant. A well drafted and comprehensive tenancy agreement to cover a buy-to-let arrangement is highly recommended therefore.

For any advice on residential leases, letting arrangements or on buying and selling your home generally please contact Diana Riedl on 020 7288 4766 or dianariedl@boltburdon.co.uk

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