Communal repairs are those repairs carried out to areas of your building or estate which you share access rights to with other residents.
Your lease or transfer document will show you which areas are communal for your property.
The plans generally show the boundary lines of your building and/or estate, and show some areas shaded, coloured or cross-hatched on the plans, with others showing no infill at all. As a general rule, the shaded, coloured or cross-hatched areas are the communal areas to which the different schedules of the lease agreement give you access.
Communal repairs can also be classified as those that we must carry out to the buildings and outside areas but not within individual flats. The lease agreement also allows you to be charged for a share of the costs of maintaining and managing these areas.
Communal repairs that may be carried out
- footpath or pavement repairs
- boundary fences and walls
- security or entrance gates
- hallways, landings, stairs
- general lighting (where it is provided) other than street lighting
- repairs to communal heating and hot water systems
- entry phones
- repairs to the outside structure of the building
- drainage systems, cabling and pipe works such as mains electricity or gas supply, as long as they serve more than just your property.
Repairs that are not classed as communal
As a leaseholder it is generally your responsibility to carry out repairs to the premises demised to you. Your lease plans will show you the extent of the demise of your property, which generally means the boundaries of the outside walls, floors and ceilings of your property.
Each flat has its separate demise. If the flat is sold, any works within those walls are considered the responsibility of the leaseholder or freeholder. If it is a tenanted property, they are the responsibility of the Council as the landlord. Any repairs carried out in these areas are not rechargeable to leaseholders.
For pipe works and systems, a general rule is that the point where each service separates towards your property alone marks the boundary between a communal system and one serving individual properties, and so communal repairs and those you must carry out yourself.
What happens if I carry out communal repairs myself?
You do have the responsibility of carrying out some repairs within your property. However, you must not carry out any communal repairs. If you do, you may invalidate any insurance cover to the building, and the work may have to be re-done by Council contractors. If this is the case, you may face paying the costs of that work yourself.
Carrying out communal work is a breach of the lease agreement, which could lead to further legal complications. If you are not sure about carrying out a repair, please contact us for advice.