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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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We are a block of flats, owner occupied with share of freehold.

Resolved Question:

We are a block of flats, owner occupied with share of freehold. The lease states that there is no subletting and most of us wish to keep it that way but some owners want to change the lease to allow ‘buy to let’ or owners to rent their property. Do they need a unanimous agreement to change the lease?

Many thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name isXXXXX can assist with this.

tdlawyer :

They will need the consent of the management company in the development to changes rules affecting the estate, which prevent sub-letting. Also, if this restriction on sub-letting is written into the leases themselves, they will also need the permission of the freehold owner who is a party to the lease itself.

tdlawyer :

To get the company to change its rules, you would ultimately need more than 50% of the vote of the members - this would be the final say.

tdlawyer :

The consent doesn't therefore need to be unanimous. It has to be by majority.

Customer:

Thanks for that. As I mentioned before, we all have a share of the freehold and we are also the management company. My point is, I bought my flat with the understanding that there would be no subletting or 'buy to let' as stated in the lease, so can I not stop the change even if the majority of the other owners want to make the change

tdlawyer :

If you own the freehold and you were led to believe that there would be no change to the ability to sub-let, then even if the technical legal right exists to change this, then you might be able to rely on the principle of estoppel, which says that people cannot exercise their strict legal rights where it would be unfair to do so when you have really been led to believe this would not change.

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