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WHEN IS A FLAT, NOT A FLAT?

WHEN IS A FLAT, NOT A FLAT?

Steve Smith, 17th April 2017

Everyone knows what a flat is.  Most people will have lived or visited one at some point during their lifetime.    However, flats come in all shapes and sizes and in fact some are not really flats at all!

Think of 1950’s and 60’s style high-rise tower blocks compared to more modern two and three storey low rise flats.    Flats can be located within their own devlopments or can be situated above shops and office premises, particularly in town and city centres.    Flats can be arranged over a single floor or more than one, in the case of Duplex style units.   You can have penthouse flats, located on the top floors of developments, or some in the basement, sometimes known as Garden Flats.   Flats can be either purpose-built or conversions, commonly of older industrial or commercial premises.

For some years, I lived in a converted ground floor flat within a part two storey, part three storey former leather works in Walsall.     My Nephew, who was 6 years old at the time, came to visit and said afterwards that he really liked his uncle’s “flat house”.  While I smiled to myself when I heard this, it was easy to understand his confusion, as the property did look like a house from the roadway.

So, when is a flat, not a flat?    A flat can be defined as a self contained dwelling forming part of a larger development with common entrance halls and staircases.  If, however, the dwelling has its own separate external entrance, then it would in fact be a maisonette.  Of course, the question as to whether it is a flat or a maisonette is largely irrelevant now, since the trend in recent years has been for developers to market all such properties as “Apartments”.

If you have a flat or an apartment (or even a maisonette) in Walsall or the  West Midlands and require advice from leading local Estate Agents and Chartered  Surveyors in respect of selling or renting or extending the term of the lease contact Fraser Wood.


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