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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25682
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Loft

Customer Question

Attachment: 2014-04-13_190855_permission_from_landlord_to_alter.pdf

I would like to ask advice about the following situation. Questions: 1. Is written one page letter to redevelop top floor/ install new dormer window given prior to Completion by the Original Landlord, binding on the New Landlord (me)? 2. Is the fact that planning application to Council has been submitted a few days before the Tenant received letter informing about the change of Landlord significant ie can it be argued that the Tenant has the right to go ahead with works given that an architect was engaged and plans already drawn on the basis of consent from the Original Landlord prior to change of Landlords? 3. If I want to take position that the Lease has been breached by Tenant starting building works and taking Airspace (but without taking the matter to court or tribinual) what should I do? Should I write the Tenant a letter and stop charging ground rent? (I am trying to force the Tenant to negotiate – potentially waiting for when Tennant decides to sell the property and need to have new floorplans approved and inserted into the lease). Situation: The Leaseholder acquired the flat in July 2013 under 100year+ leasehold agreement. The Landlord of the building has changed in November 2013. The Original Landlord who owned the Flat before July 2013 agreed in writing prior to Completion about the loft redevelopment/ dormer window. (I attach this letter). This is not captured in the Leasehold Agreement (ie Airspace is not mentioned at all) and the New Landlord was not informed about existence of this agreement. The Leaseholder is trying to expand their property by changing the roof shape and occupying Airspace above property. The Lease does not explicitly specify ownership of Airspace. I , as New Landlord am trying to force Tenant into compensating New Landlord for the loss of Airspace.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am fine to wait as long as we get a high quality, detailed response. Thank you and regards.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi


 


are you still looking for an expert?

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I apologise as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you like for us to close your question at this time?

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please continue looking. Thank you

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Please understand it is rare for us not to be able to find the right Professional to assist our customers. We can close this question and return your good faith deposit to the original funding source on request.

Please let me know how you wish to proceed and again I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

I hope you will give JustAnswer a try again in the future,
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Please continue searching. Thank you

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Please understand it is rare for us not to be able to find the right Professional to assist our customers. We can close this question and return your good faith deposit to the original funding source on request.

Please let me know how you wish to proceed and again I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

I hope you will give JustAnswer a try again in the future,
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please continue looking. Thank you

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
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.

I am sorry you have been waiting for a reply to the above for a time. May I assist you with the same?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Joshua


 


I look forward to your response and thank you for looking into it.


 


Regards

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

  1. May I ask if the previous landlord was asked whether any notices or correspodence have ben received or sent to any of the tenants and if so did they fil to disclose the above consent please?
  2. Did and the previous landlord comply with the right of first refusal requirements to first offer the freehold to the tenants or is the building exempt for some reason?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. The building consists of flat (that is developing the loft) and commercial unit on the ground floor. No notices have been served to commercial tenant re works upstairs.


2. Does not apply.


 


Thank you

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
Thanks. I assume RFR does not apply because more than 50% of the building is commercial from what you say.

Did the previous landlord from who you purchased not disclose the fact that permission had been given? Was the previous landlord asked anything in respect by your solicitor?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the property was bought through an auction. there was no mention of permission given. Just to reiterate a somewhat broad and vague written letter was given to the owner of the leasehold flat prior to completion of the leasehold flat sale.


 


thank you and regards

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
Thanks. I think there is potentially some difficulty here. If the attached letter was written by the previous landlord or an agent acting on its behalf then it will be binding upon any future landlord so far as it stands providing at the time it was written the writer wasthe landlord of the building. It would not authorise the tenant to carry out work beyond that provided for in the letter but the letter is as you say rather broad in its scope.

The tenant will still be respondible for complying with the Party Wall Act and submitting a PW notice to the adjoining tenant for approval before he commences work though this would be fore the adjoining owner to pursue rather than you as landlord.

If you wish to pursue a breach of covenant claim against the tenant though I can only see this would be possible if his works went beyond that authorised by the attached letter, then you could serve the tenant with a notice of breach of covenant and wanr that you may either seek an injunction against the tenant in the County Court to order that works cease using form N16A and/or an determination in the Tribuanl for breach of covenant together with damages. There is no need to stop collecting ground rent as this does not alter the above position.

If you can identify a misrepresentation from the previous landlord in failing to disclose the consent in response to any standard pre auction enquires that were made available in the auction pack then there may be a case for misrepresentation against the seller however if no disclosures were made this would not be possible.

Failing the above, the next best approach would be to consider looking for deviations from the consented works in respect of the tenants planning application plans to see if you can attack the position on that basis.

Is there anything above I can claify for you?

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