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20 November 2019

Our fire exit is blocked. What can we do?

A reader of The Times owns a leasehold flat along with seven other leaseholders. Their fire exit is on the ground floor and despite the land adjacent belonging to the freeholder, their lease gives them access rights over this. However, the freeholder has recently gained planning permission to build on this strip of land, thereby making the fire exit unusable.

Simon Painter, partner and head of property litigation at BDB Pitmans, discusses the lease terms that they need to consider and the steps they should take next. He explains:

‘It appears that access rights were granted over the neighbouring land and so the freeholder could be liable for interfering with those rights. Interference with a fire escape could also be a breach of fire regulations’.

The full article is available to subscribers of The Times, here.

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