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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My leasehold agreements state 'no alteration on gas, sewage,

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My leasehold agreements state 'no alteration on gas, sewage, or heating apparatus', and 'to keep all floors in the premises covered with carpet or other suitable materials so as to prevent the penetration of sound into other flats'. In order to change floors from carpeted to wooden floor and to fit a new kitchen, I wrote to my freeholder's asking for consents to lay new wooden floor and to alter the sewage and heating apparatus. Initially the freeholder (a private company) replied and request a total of £700 for grating consents for all proposed work. I posted a cheque of £700 and went ahead with the flooring and kitchen (before receiving written consents). After a couple of weeks after the work is completed, the freeholder then wrote and requested £10000 plus solicitor fees, instead of £700, after 're-consideration'. They also requested additional £700 in order to examine and evaluate the type of insulation materials for under the wooden floor. I'd like to know: 1) if there is a rule to regulate the administrative charges freeholder can request? 2) can the freeholder just increase the asking fees like this? 3) if I go for 1st tier tribunal, is there a way to limit the legal costs that my freeholder can request? 4) I don't consider that I need to pay £700 for them to evaluate the insulation materials as the type of materials I used was above the recognised industrial standards and advised by experienced flooring expert, am I correct and how can I dispute? 5) what is the real risk of me here, would I loose my property ownership?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I attach a snapshot of my leasehold agreement describing relevant points
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Did they cash the original £700?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Did you write back and say thanks, ***** ***** the £700?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I did not. Because they rerurned my cheque, and wrote to me at the same time their 're-consideration'
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok - so you wrote asking, they said its £700 and you sent the cheque first of all and they returned it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. They then requested £10,000, stating the reason being they have consulted the directors and re considered the fees for granting consents. I then wrote to them asking for revising the fees down as the fees they request seemed unreasonable
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Apologies I am unable to accept your phone call offer. I am slow and forgetful, I would prefer answers in writing so I can refer back to them on a later day.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok. They can't do this. Its offer and acceptance by law. This means they made an offer in writing of £700, you wrote back with a cheque for £700 and this is deemed that you accepted it.By law they can NOT now withdraw that offer because it has been accepted by you, your conduct of posting the cheque.Therefore you do not have to pay these extortionate fees. They made a representation, you relied upon it and they cant now change their minds.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If so, how can I write back to them in legal terms, or language? As my questions, if they found out I made the alterations without their explicit and written consents, can they take legal actions against me and what would be my risk?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You need to write back (or get a Solicitor to) saying they were an offer by them, acceptance by you and as such there is a legally binding contract.If you did alternations without consent worst case is they could make you put it back, but they would need a Court order.If they would have consented anyway, there would be no point taking you to Court because a Judge would say, well nothing has been lost.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
However could they make me pay extraordinary legal fees for taking me to court or taking legal actions against me? Does it mean if I do apply for a tribunal, I have good chance of avoiding the £10000 pay? I thought contract is formed when purchasing goods or paying for a service, here I am asking for their consents, would the agreement still qualifies as a contract? Supposedly they are not 'selling' me anything....
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No - the Court would assess legal fees and typically the Court would only allow fees which are reasonable and proportionate to the case.A contract is here - you wanted work done, they made an offer for fees which was £700 and consent, you accepted it. That is an offer and acceptance. They sold you consent.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just to clarify, they are the freeholder and they did not carry out the work for me. I only ask for their consents for me to proceed with the work. The £700 or £10000 they ask were only for the purposes of giving out their consents. This was consistent with your understanding, right?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Correct.Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you I will write back to them. For my future reference, how much do you charge for writing such short letter?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Sadly I am not allowed to as I work for the site and cant be instructed. But do let me know how you get on.Does that help?Alex
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