Buying flat with shared loft space, can I put up a partition

Posted 3rd Jun 2015
Hi I'm trying to find an answer to this and not sure where to ask. I'm buying a flat in a converted house. There are 3 flats, ground and 2 on the first floor. I believe the loft space is shared by all three flats. There is access in the communal area and within the flat I'm buying. So this means that anyone with access to the communal area will have access to the flat. Apparently this is also a fire risk.

So I don't think it's unreasonable to want the roof over my flat to be partitioned off but understand that the ground floor flat owner my not like the idea as they will probably end up with no loft space to use (if they do use it).

So my question is do I have any right over the loft space above the flat? If it is just shared then I suppose I will have to buy that part of the loft space from the other owners? Do I have right to insist on this?

If I pay for a partition wall then it probably makes sense to make the space a bit more usable e.g. install lighting, good flooring, and better access. Would I be able to do any of this? Or in the future would I be allowed to convert it into a proper room?

I'm of course asking the sellers these questions but wondered if there were any laws in place about this or anyone had any experience with something like this.

Community Updates
you have no rights to the loft space unless it was stated as included in the sale of the flat. you could offer to buy it from the freeholder who does own it but you may then be solely in charge of and repairs to the roof. I wouldnt want to store my stuff in a shared space and i would make sure no one is able to open hatch from inside the loft.
I work for a social housing landlord and we get asked this alot about flats we have sold if it's the same (most likely) you can't as you only buy the flat not the loft area. you would need to approach the other owners of freehold or landlord if leasehold to see if they are willing to sell you the loft space.
3 flats but 2 on the first floor
If its shared you taking everything above your flat is half the roof space not the third you should have
Id ask the other people in the flats if anyone uses it to start with
If not , mention you are thinking of putting a partition up if nobody objects and put a loft hatch in your flat
You could insulate your own area
Remember , if the roof leaks over your flat , the others may not wantvto chip in to have it repaired
Its no longer communal
thanks I suppose for safety the first thing I will want to do is add a lock to the loft hatch in the flat. At least that way there is no way into the flat from the loft.

I'll see what the other freeholders say about putting up a partition. I'm guessing it won't be cheap. They may not want to allow it incase I want to convert the loft.

What I have seen with places that do own the loft space, the roof is still shared and any repairs would come out of the communal pot, I would guess this would stand no matter what.

how would you work out what a loft space is worth? obviously its worth quite a bit to a flat that can access it but not so much to a flat than can't.

I can't afford to convert the loft and don't need the space but just seems like such a waste when no one can really use it (who would keep anything worth keeping in a communal area?)
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