Q&As

A property title contains a covenant in a transfer from 1981 that says there can only be a one storey extension at a property. If the owner digs down and forms a basement, is that a storey, or is it only above ground?

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Produced in partnership with Kate Andrews of Hamlins
Published on LexisPSL on 23/08/2017

The following Property Q&A Produced in partnership with Kate Andrews of Hamlins provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A property title contains a covenant in a transfer from 1981 that says there can only be a one storey extension at a property. If the owner digs down and forms a basement, is that a storey, or is it only above ground?
  • Legal definition
  • Standard dictionary definition
  • Conclusion and practical points

For the purposes of this Q&A, it is assumed there is no definition within the transfer or any related document and there is no support/assistance derived from the transfer, which would provide a clear definition of ‘storey’ or any assistance as to its meaning. The exact wording of the covenant would be the first starting point alongside any definitions contained within the transfer.

Furthermore, whether a storey is seen to be only above ground will need to be considered in view of the transfer and the subject matter of the transfer, the document needing to be read as a whole document.

Legal definition

In the absence of a common definition of ‘storey’, a definition relating to basements of House(s) in Multiple Occupation (HMO) can be found in article 3(3)(a) of the Licensing of Houses

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