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Does deck need to be in flats plan?

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  • Does deck need to be in flats plan?

    Hi all,

    How do I confirm if a deck (to be build) needs to be in a cross lease flats plan? It will be above 1m if that makes any difference. All necessary council/building consents will be obtained. The S&P 5.3 (2) says "The words "alterations to the external dimensions of any leased structure" shall only mean alterations which are attached to the leased structure and are enclosed. So would that mean a conservatory will need to be in the title but not a deck?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I would ring you're Insurance company and tell them what you want to do. Ask if they will insure the deck if it's not on the flats plan. If they insure the deck I wouldn't bother updating the flats plan yet.

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    • #3
      I'm a bit rusty but No is the answer to your question. Provided the deck is within the exclusive area it is no different to putting down paving. You'll probably need a building consent though.

      As for a conservatory, if one is added to a cross-lease flat but there is no direct access from it into the flat - you don't need a new plan. Go figure. Pretty uncommon but it does happen.

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      • #4
        Hi bpkeng.

        I've been through a similar process. We bought a cross-leased property and considered replacing the old paved area with a low deck (under 1m).

        It was difficult to get a straight answer on whether the flats plan would need to be updated. Council and my own solicitor simply said that the flats plan MAY need to be updated. Considering that the costs associated with surveying and updating the plan would end up costing more than the deck, we decided to flag it and lay down new paving instead.

        CMT81 makes a very good point about insurance. As long as it's covered by insurance and it's signed off by council (since it's over 1m), you probably only need to worry about updating the flats plan prior to selling. Even then, there's nothing that says you can't sell a property with a defective title, it may just mean the new buyer takes the cost of updating the title off the agreed sales price.

        of course, I'm no lawyer, so I'd get some proper advice from your own lawyer and the council before proceeding. That's if you can get a straight answer

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        • #5
          Thanks all for the responses. There is a conservatory attached and enclosed currently and I think it's not in the flats plan (just a bit hard to make out on the small drawing without measurements). I was trying to weigh costs of either correcting the flats plan vs converting it to a deck, thereby fixing a defective title and creating an outdoor flow at the same time. Which would add value to the house, assuming the costs (e.g $7k) were in the same ballpark for either option?

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          • #6
            Not sure if it needs to be added to the flats plan but if the deck is over 1m of the ground you will need a permit to comply. Discussing with the neighbour and a letter of agreement could be handy, communication can be a great thing.

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            • #7
              Just to reiterate the basics - the flat outline on the flat-plan is an essential part of the title. You can get the dimensions from a blownup copy of the flatplan which your solicitor can obtain for you. Alternatively the Council will hold a copy too.

              Any structure added to the flat - and (as best I recall) accessible from inside the flat is a breach of the title. It effectively alters the outline. But a garden shed in the exclusive area is fine.

              A surveyor who has dealt with flatplans (not so common these days) will know. Councils don't care - not their problem.

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