Residential flat schemes—‘cat’s cradle’ scheme
Residential flat schemes—‘cat’s cradle’ scheme

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Residential flat schemes—‘cat’s cradle’ scheme
  • Buildings with three flats
  • Repairs
  • Insurance
  • Enforcement of covenants
  • Right of First Refusal
  • Collective right to enfranchise

Buildings with three flats

Although the ‘criss-cross’ scheme is well-suited to buildings with just two flats, matters become more complicated if a building contains three flats. One scheme which may arise in relation to such buildings is the so-called ‘cat’s cradle’, which is a variant of the ‘criss-cross’ scheme.

Under the ‘cat’s cradle’ scheme, matters are arranged in such a way that each flat tenant enjoys a relationship of landlord and tenant with the occupants of each of the other two flats in the building. This is achieved by making each flat tenant the landlord of one of those occupants whilst the other occupant of the other flat is his landlord.

Consequently, where three flat tenants (A, B and C) occupy a three-storey building which has a self-contained flat on each floor, the arrangement can be as follows:

  1. A, the tenant of the bottom flat, owns the freehold of the top flat; his landlord is B, the tenant of the middle flat

  2. B, the tenant of the middle flat, owns the freehold of the bottom flat (and so is A’s landlord); his landlord is C, the tenant of the top flat

  3. C, the tenant of the top flat, owns the freehold of the middle