Problems with access to shared facilities in long leasehold prperty

I currently own a four bedroomed mansion flat on the second floor of a four story block above a high street bank. Both my flat and the flat below me are serviced for water by a mains feed to the kitchen tap for drinking water and by tanks contained in the roof space of the building for bathing and accessible via a trap door into the roof space from the third floor which houses flats 3 and 4. Last year the freeholder's agent applied for and was granted planning permission for a 5th flat on the roof of the building. This flat has now been built and access to the tanks servicing flats 1 and 2 is now concealed behind the entrance to the 5th flat. The common parts of the building are serviced by a management company made up of the 4 owners of the flats and it has been assunmed that any servicing to the tanks wold be a management company issue. As these tanks are no longer accessible what position are the individual tennants and the management company in. What happens if we should have leak say over a holiday period if the new owner of the penthouse flat is away and the managing agents are closed. Any advice/guidance would be very much appreciated. Ian Wallace

Although I have been a Landlor...

Although I have been a Landlord for 22 years with three (3) houses comprising six (6) apartments, I have never had a Tenant request to turn the water heater temperature up. However, I will add this possibility to my lease which contains several waivers that I have learned over the years to include. My advice to all Landlords is to protect yourself with as much documentation as you can. While I make every effort and spare no expense in ensuring the safety of my properties and to be in compliance with property laws, in every lease I include a waiver for walking on wood decking during rain which can be slippery when wet, using porch steps which have a handrail on both sides, accessing the attic (one Tenant stepped off the wood beam and into the sheetrock ceiling!), parking under the tree which may subject Tenant to falling limbs on person and car (hasn't happened yet), accessing the tub/shower (one of which is an antique claw foot tub), using the stove (one of which is gas in one apt), using the heaters and A/C units and any of the furnishings which I provide, etc. However, thankfully, I have been mostly blessed with great Tenants and have only been to court three (3) times and that was to evict Tenants who stopped paying rent and would not vacate, with me prevailing all three times. Two of these Tenants later contacted me and asked me to forgive them which I did. Being a Landlord is not easy but since I am still one after 22 years, I guess it has been the perfect career for me!   

I'm a new owner of a triplex n...

I'm a new owner of a triplex never been a landlord but I am finding out you have to be protected  my home owners is out the roof and just for that reason  I would have the tenant sign a waiver or something that would eliminate you from any liability of injury's I normally i check with legal let me know how yah made out 

Mrs Monopoly brings up a great...

Mrs Monopoly brings up a great point.  I would ask the renter why they want this.  If truly the hot water is just not coming out hot enough and you verify that, then there is no issue.  I would recommend the document as the other contributors suggest.  However, I would verify that the water is not coming out hot, and then I would ask why they want this.  May not get the truth, but at least you would be able to test the scenario and renter.

I agree with Richard. You shou...

I agree with Richard. You should definitly protect yourself and get their request in writting in addition to a signed waiver. Be careful with this renter. Everyone knows how to spin a dial and get hotter water. It's a simple task that takes 30 seconds and if they are paying utilities- a change would have zero impact to you. They are asking for a reason. Question is why? Few people are this orderly- rule following that they would ask this question. I don't like the intent of the question.

Is this really an access probl...

Is this really an access problem (getting to the tanks to maintain them) or a question of cost (who pays to maintain them)? On the access side of things, I am obviously not familiar with how the 5th flat and water tanks set up, but I can't think of many reasons that the 5th floor owners would want to limit the ability of someone to maintain these tanks. A leaking tank would potentially be a bigger issue for them than for you. It might be as simple as making all parties aware of the issue and the potential for maintenance problems and proposing some solutions that can be agreed upon in writing. If 5th floor is not occupied or residents are out of town then the property management company has the ability to enter the premises for emergency maintenance... something like that. As far as cost goes, my hunch is that this would go back to whatever agreement was in place for maintenance and common area costs prior to the building of the 5th floor. Hope that helps. Its a slightly difficult setup to envision without having seen it. 

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