I am thinking of buying an apartment with a balcony on a new development in Cardiff Bay with a great view of the waterfront. But it is very open to the elements. Will I be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the balcony?
Lease documents issued for properties like this should define the balcony as a part of the external structure of the building – with the repair and maintenance the responsibility of the landlord and management company.
When buying a flat with a balcony, always ensure the lease specifies that it is a part of the external fabric of the building. The only part of the balcony you should be responsible for maintaining is the upper surface of the floor of the balcony.
One problem is that in many leases the balconies are overlooked and therefore the maintenance responsibility for the balcony may not be specifically mentioned. In such cases you will need a Deed of Variation of the Lease on order to record the maintenance arrangements for the balcony establishing what part of the balcony is the responsibility of the landlord and tenant respectively.
* Emyr Pierce is Managing Director of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org