What is a leasehold property?
Posted on 18th March 2019
This case involved the Lease of a property in London, to Mr & Mrs Gorst, which demised a ground floor flat and cellar beneath. The Gorst family proposed to make changes to the cellar, which was just 5 feet in height, to extend beneath and convert the cellar into a room for their own use. They applied for the appropriate Planning Permission, however, the proposition was opposed by Mr Knight, the freeholder of the property. Mr Knight opposed the proposition on the basis that the Lease to the Gorsts did not include the sub soil to the property, therefore, they could not dig deeper into the ground to effect their plans.
Within the judgement to this case, the legal maxim ‘cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos’ was referred to. To you, this may seem like nonsense, however, to your solicitors in Preston, this forms an important part of English Law. The phrase is Latin for ‘whoever's is the soil, it is theirs all the way to Heaven and all the way to Hell’. This wording was referred to within the judgement, however, not in the way you may imagine. The Judge concluded that the Lease between Mr Knight and the Gorsts, had been expressly agreed. Within the same, there was no description or reference that the Lease would include the land beneath the cellar, therefore, found in favour of the opposition by Mr Knight. The Gorsts were unable to carry out their plans to renovate the dark and compact cellar as there was no intention made, within the Lease, for the demised premises to include the subsoil beneath the property.
When purchasing a leasehold property you must, therefore, be careful with the wording and stipulations made within the Lease. MG Legal have specialist solicitors in Preston who will be able to advise you on this and ensure you are protected. If there may be a possibility you would wish to dig down into the soil beneath the property, for example for renovation works, you must check the terms of the Lease itself to find out exactly what is included within the leased premises.
At MG Legal, our solicitors in Preston deal with leasehold property on a daily basis and are on hand to ensure there is no avenue left unanswered. Contact us today for more information, or in relation to any other conveyancing query, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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