Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I clarify - would this be an extension to your property or a detached "summerhouse" type building you propose to erect?
Detached summerhouse type building .
Is the garden demised to you in your lease exclusively - ie shown within normally red edging on the lease plan - or do you have rights jointly with others over the garden?
it is exclusively ours
Thanks so for the avoidance of doubt it is demised to you along with your flat as above - as opposed to just having rights to use the same in the lease?
it is demised along with flat.
Thanks. Finally I hope there is typically a provision in a lease "not to alter etc" without consent of the landlord. Do you know if you lease contains a similar provision or does it just say "not to alter" - i.e. no reference to obtaining consent from the landlord?
I have spoken to the managing agent who says that the garden room would come under other alterations within my leasehold and would need permission so would incur a fee.
Thanks. Quite. Have you had the opportunity to look at the lease personally for the above wording?
I had originally considered adding a conservatory however they were going to charge me £4,000 for permission. This would be an alternative and I wondered what would be deemed a reasonable amount as I felt the conservatory permission was unreasonable.
No my estate agent has as I am in the process of buying the flat and I need the extra space.
Thank you. The first step I might suggest would be to obtain a copy of your lease and confirm whether there is a restriction on alterations (likely) and ascertain whether it says "not to alter" or "not to alter without landlord consent" (paraphrased). The latter is the more common however there is no absolute rule.
My understanding is that it is the later.
Establishing this is the key. From what you say the land is already demised to you so there is no question of paying the landlord for the rights to the land. All that is required is obtaining consent for the alterations. This is where the above wording is key. If it simply says "not to alter" then the landlord can simply refuse permission and it would be up to you both to negotiate a figure for permission. However if the provision is "not to alter without landlords consent" which is the more common scenario then the position is much different to your benefit as follows.
If this is the case then all the landlord can do is charge a reasonable admin fee in granting consent the landlord is not entitled to charge a premium or make a profit respect of any administration fees he seeks to charge on the the lease connection with granting consent under a provision of the lease. In addition statute implies a term into the lease in these circumstances that consent must not unreasonably be withheld.
A leasehold valuation tribunal has the jurisdiction to determine whether an administration fee proposed by the landlord is reasonable in the event of disagreement or whether the landlord is entitled to withhold consent.
ideally, you will be able to reach agreement with the landlord as to what is reasonable in the circumstances. Normally nothing more than a reasonable admin fee for dealing with paperwork should be expected though agencies will not uncommonly propose fees of hundreds of pounds in the hope that a tenant will just pay it rather than challenge with the delay that would involve - in many cases their gamble pays off. If proposals effect the structure of the building (not the case I would think here) then there may also be a case for a surveyor to be involved. If you find that agreement cannot be reached, if necessary, you can apply to a leasehold valuation tribunal in order to determine whether the fee proposed by the landlord is reasonable based on the evidence the landlord can bring to demonstrate the same
this is the form you require to make such an application:
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
No that seems clear Many thanks
A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.
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