Threats of Possession notice to force me to remove tree/play house
25/10/2009 9:47 am
I was wondering if you can help me or give me some advice, my housing association have sent me another threatening solicitors letter this time seeking possession. This is all because they disagree with the treehouse in my garden a friend made for my daughter, it is build on top of an existing shed, as its base, it is structurally safe and can bear the weight of several adults as my friend has strengthened the shed prior to this.
It is nestled into a background of Leylandi trees and has a cherry tree in front of it, it is in the secluded end of terrace garden and doesn’t overlook anyone or cause any invasion of privacy.
The H/A’s first objection was that I had not asked permission first (the tenancy agreement ‘8’says the tenant has the right to make improvements in the property with the consent of the landlord who shouldn’t unreasonably withhold consent) I apologised as I had not been aware that this was a problem as it was in the garden not the house and not a permanent structure, it was only I childs playhouse after all.
The H/A came to see it and said that it should be removed because it ‘could easily overlook’ was ‘unsafe’ and I hadn’t asked permission.
So I went to see all the neighbours, some were unaware of it, some liked it but none felt it was a problem and all of them signed the petition I made for it to remain which I presented to the H/A along with photos of all views from the treehouse and a friendly letter asking for their understanding and acceptance and offering to talk and compromise, such as I would remove it the moment I moved out or would remove it should it ever cause a problem ect.
The H/A wrote back demanding it be removed within 7 days, I was stunned as it had only just been build and would take a lot of effort to remove as it had to make!
I asked for an appeal which I was told was unsuccessful, though I had not been invited to it, I Pointed out that much bigger structures an sheds were present in other neighbours gardens, but I was told these had been granted permission. The H/A made no attempt to talk to me or compromise in any way before they made a complaint to the council about the treehouse, and a council planning officer visited, he said the laws on wooden structures had changed and would have to check but even he said he didn’t think it was possible the tree house overlooked or was dangerous.
A few weeks later I received a letter from the council, saying it needed planning permission.
Since then Ive had a steady stream of letters from H/A or their solicitors, eventually I asked my H/A why I wasn’t asked to attend the appeal meeting and was told this is only for complaints, and I was entitled to make a formal complaint and in the meantime the solicitors action would be put on hold whilst my complaint was being dealt with.
I wrote a letter of complaint against the H/A because of the way they’d dealt with it, they have caused me a lot of stress almost to point of harassment, I felt they had ‘unreasona
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27/10/2009 12:00 pm
I understand the council are right, and Im willing to go down the route of obtaining planning permission but its the Housing association, that are giving me the trouble, I accept your point that they would worry that lots of people might start building structures in their garden but if they were proved to be safe and had planning permission or no-one objected, what would be the problem?
I am applying for planning permission and my neighbours are not bothered by the tree house, only the Housing association are bothered and it is them who are claiming I am causing nuisance to others and so breeching my tenancy, which isnt correct.
Further more they tryed to add rent arrears as another dirty trick as a ground for possession also despite the fact we had a written agreement that I would pay these back at a set amount each week.
27/10/2009 8:43 am
Yep, the council are right. Simple as.
26/10/2009 10:30 am
I'm afraid if you've erected a structure without planning permission that the council deems would require it, unless you can apply for retrospective planning consent, you'll have to take it down or potentially be the subject of enforcement action from the council.
I can't offer a knowledgeable opinion about the HA actions, although I can understand how even if your treehouse is perfectly safe it would set a dangerous precedent for the rest of their properties if they allowed people to build things in their gardens without knowing about them first.