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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3840
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I own a one bedroom flat which is one of 16 in a purpose built,

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I own a one bedroom flat which is one of 16 in a purpose built, privately owned block. In 2004 I had my old single glazed windows replaced with doubled glazed ones. Of the 4 windows and 1 door I had replaced, 2 windows did not exactly mirror the design of the old ones. In one, the opening section is slightly larger and in the other there is now 2 opening sections where previously there was only one. The windows were installed by a reputable company and was accompanied by a FENSA certificate which stated the windows met the legislations set out by the government at the time and that my local council had been notified of the installation.
The property management company of the block I live in has recently written to me stating that it has come to their attention that I have replaced my windows (9 years after the fact!) and that I hadn't applied for planning permission from the local council because the management company would have been informed if I had. They say I needed planning permission because the new windows were not exactly the same as the old ones.
However, as earlier stated, the council was informed of the installation by FENSA.
At that time I was unaware I needed planning permission and thought the fact that the council had been notified made everything legal.
Could you please advise? Did I need planning permission and if I did what am I legally obliged to do now?

Thank you.

There are two issues here:
1. Unless there is a restriction in your lease against this they cannot take any action against you;
2. It is not the property management company's job to enforce planning restrictions. This can only be done by the council who have the power to serve enforcement notices.

I would write to the management company and say you appreciate their concern but you understand this to be an issue with you and the council and therefore see no reason to discuss it with them any further.

I would note that as there has been no wilful concealment of this, the fact that 9 years have elapsed means that the council would be barred from taking enforcement action anyway. I believe the time limit is actually four years for this type of building work.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. I completely agree that the management company have exceeded their authority in asking about planning permission. However is the 4 year rule right? I have read on some websites that in certain circumstances 10 years apply


Thank you.

My understanding of the legislation (which is open to interpretation) is that the ten year limit applies to where you have changed the use of dwelling or piece of land. If you are carrying out building works that do not change the use known as "operational development" the time limit is 4 years.

I would avoid getting into an argument with the council about planning if you can.

Note I have also assumed the building is not grade listed or anything?

Kind regards

Alex J. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Again thank you for your reply .You are right, the building is not listed or anything, so your advice is gratefully received .


Kind regards




Many thanks for your feedback.

I wish you the best of luck.

Kind regards