Buying 'amenity' rooms in blocks

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Tuesday 29 September 2015 11.06am
Have just moved into Nelson Sq estate building, and next to my flat is what looks like an old amenity room (maybe for washer/dryer). It belongs to Southwark I guess. I have keys as the previous owner used it for bicycle and other storage.

Has anyone heard of these rooms being purchased?

And any advice about who would be best person to speak to?

Tuesday 29 September 2015 12.39pm
It may have been used previously as storage josh but I think it's a communal thing, ie. Anyone can use it in the block or on the landing, council estates used to have drying rooms that were basically just a place to hang your washing!
Wednesday 30 September 2015 11.12am
We have a couple of these drying cupboards in our small estate. One neighbour has apparently rented one out for 5/month for a very long time. The other cupboard has been closed off empty for decades. For the past 4 years I have been asking the Council to rent this one out but they first said it was being used (which was completely false) and even when I asked if I could buy it, I got no response at all, despite many emails.
I think they can't be bothered to make the additional revenue... Would be happy to hear if you manage to rent/buy one out.
Wednesday 30 September 2015 4.30pm
I don't think Nelson Square has a TRA anymore, but if it has, you could probably get the council to agree to let the TRA manage the space. However, now you have alerted your neighbours to the fact you have a key, you might have to share the space! Or worse, the council might change the lock.
Wednesday 30 September 2015 5.11pm
My personal view is that these communal amenities shouldn't be sold off. Perhaps rented in the same way as garages - though 5 is very cheap - but definitely not sold off.
Wednesday 30 September 2015 7.51pm
I must add the drying cupboard is actually rather small like 2m deep by 1m large but it would be very helpful to store suitcases and a bike.
Wednesday 30 September 2015 8.03pm
But they are not communal amenities if they remain empty and locked up. Only 5 flats remain rented to council tenants, all others have been sold under right to buy and further down the line to new private owners. I would quite happily rent the cupboard out, it would make sense the council makes a revenue out of it one way or the other instead of leaving it empty.
Wednesday 30 September 2015 8.59pm
If you are a leaseholder right next to a drying room, then it is possible to buy the room - speak to the housing officer or Southwark's home ownership unit. A couple of leaseholders near me bought drying rooms and converted them as extra rooms for their flats, once planning permission was granted. Depending on the size of the room and location, the cost of the purchase could be 20,000 or more though.
Thursday 1 October 2015 4.08pm
Karen, we do have a TRA again in Nelson Square! There's even a website, not very often updated though...

I think the council was planning to make flats out of all the amenity rooms some time ago, and it was discussed at a TRA meeting, but not sure if anything came out of it? One pram shed I think was converted. Have been wondering who is using those rooms in my block, surely they should have been in communal use all this time? But at the time of the discussion about the pram sheds it emerged the Council had no records of who had keys to anything.
Thursday 1 October 2015 7.39pm
In the old flats near East lane, the drying rooms were massive, size of a big room,in fact the council enlarged flats to encompass them .
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