“Some men can live up to their loftiest ideals without ever going higher than a basement.” So said former US President Theodore Roosevelt.
This can be a vexed question in Central London. A lot of properties have basements or vaults under the footpath or roadway, the ownership of which is not immediately clear from the title. It is not uncommon for flat owners looking to buy their property’s freehold to discover their Landlord does not in fact own the basement or vault. The question of how best to deal with this can be complicated.
Another situation where basement and vault ownership is a relevant is where property owners seek to carry out development work to enhance their property. An adapted vault can make a handy addition to the square footage of a basement flat, not to mention a great increase to value. Before any work is undertaken, the title to the property must be carefully reviewed.
We have significant experience in managing issues of this type on behalf of our clients. We can likely suggest a number of solutions to help incorporate basement and vault areas into your existing title.
The recent high court case of Eatherley-v-London Borough of Camden and Another at the end of 2016 has made changes about whether planning permission is required for residential basement developments. Prior to this case it was usual, in certain circumstances, for a developer to rely on Permitted Development Rights* (“PDR”) rather than having to make… Read more »