Tyneside flat scheme

A scheme of development by which leases of certain flats in Tyneside are granted.

At first glance, a building comprising Tyneside flats resembles a single fronted terraced house but behind the facade there are two and sometimes three flats, one above the other. Each flat has a separate front and back door, and backyards with no internal communication between the households. Tyneside flats were built in the late 1800s as low-cost housing for the growing workforce.

Under a Tyneside flat scheme, each flat tenant is made the landlord of the other. By way of illustration, if there are two flats, on the grant of a lease of the ground floor flat to the ground floor flat tenant, the freehold for the upper floor flat is conveyed to the ground floor flat tenant. Similarly, on the grant of the lease of the upper floor flat to the upper floor flat tenant, the freehold for the ground floor flat is also conveyed to the upper floor flat tenant.

This type of arrangement is used in other parts of the country apart from Tyneside and is commonly used with maisonettes.

The scheme is also referred to as the criss-cross scheme and a crossover lease arrangement.

Each tenant enjoys privity of estate with the other and can enforce the other's covenants directly without recourse to an external landlord. The scheme depends on the flat lease always being transferred with, and to the same person as, the freehold reversion of the other flat. If there is a mortgage, both should be mortgaged to the lender.

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