Housing and independent living
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Chair lift

Hi Debbie I am writing on behalf of an elderly relative who lives in a second floor flat that she owns. She has very little sight or hearing . A few years ago she put a stair lift in and one of the other residents r the chair of the residents association) removed it. She has asked me to find out if she  now that she is officially disabled, rather than just old - whether she could put another one in. I wonder if she should get legal advice , but don't want her to end up embroiled in a law suite.

Replies

  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @MaryP,

    Was the stair lift installed in the communal area of the block of flats?

    Despite your relative owning her flat, it's likely that she owns it on a leasehold basis. The freehold of the property will be owned by another party. The first thing to do is check the leasehold agreement that your relative has. It may state in there somewhere that you cannot alter or adapt communal areas without seeking permission from the freeholder first. If the first stair lift was installed without permission, the freeholder can remove it.

    I would consider writing to the freeholder and asking for permission to install another stair lift. See what response you get from that and go from there. 

    It can all get a little bit complex with issues like these but there is an organisation which can provide some further advice about this and they are the Leasehold Advisory Service
    It might be a good idea to get in touch with them about this before seeing a solicitor. Hopefully you can resolve it directly with the freeholder/management company.

    Let me know how it goes and I hope that you manage to work things out.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • MaryPMaryP Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for this information Debbie. The stairs are communal and the flat has a shared freehold. She has decided that the as other leaseholders will not agree to the lift being installed, she is going to give up. A shame as it means that she is finding it increasingly difficult to manage in the flat she has lived in for 40years, but I am relieved that she is not going to get involved in expensive litigation.

  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Thank you for the update @MaryP. It's definitely a shame that the other leaseholders aren't being very accommodating with this. Who knows when they might need similar help themselves.

    Please do get in touch again if things change in the future. It's such a shame that a middle ground can't be found at the moment. 

    Best wishes
    Debbie
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