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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10780
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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Yes please. I am Kerstin. I own a leasehold flat. Ground floor

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Yes please. I am Kerstin. I own a leasehold flat. Ground floor with garden. I have applied for planning permission to Westminster Council to do a side return extension. The terms of my lease say under "Alterations": ...nor without the previous consent in writing of the Lessor or its agents to make any alterations whatsoever to the plan design or elevation of the Demised Premises nor ...". Question 1: Can the Lessor refuse to give consent? Question 2: My guess is that the Lessor may consent but demand money. The Lease states under "Submit Plans": ...shall require to pay the reasonable necessary and proper legal and surveyors fees of the Lessor in connection with any such application and to carry out any work authorised only in accordance with such plans building plans elevations and specifications as the Lessor or its agents approve in writing ... . Can the Lessor demand any figure he likes to get him to give his consent? Thank you. Kerstin

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

As your Lease stipulates that no alterations should be made without consent, as opposed to it merely stipulating "no alterations", 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 in respect of any administration fees he seeks to charge on 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. I

f 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.

Here is the form you require to make such an application:

I hope this helps you and answers your question.

Kind Regards


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Al, thanks for this. Makes me feel better than before! Question: if I agree with the Landlord that he consents and the fee he gets for that then what type of documents to I need them to sign? A licence to alter? Would that include all the Third Party Wall Act Stuff? If you were to help me with all of this, how much would that costs? Do you do fixed fees? Ha! And the Landlord has just died and the solicitor dealing with the estate says it's a complex estate. Kerstin

Hi Kerstin,

Thanks for your reply.

You are correct- your Landlord would need to sign a Licence to Alter. The Party Wall Act relates only to obtaining the consent to the planned works from any neighbouring property owner, if indeed the extension fell within the Act. Your Surveyor can advise you on this, and would be dealt with, once your Landlord has consented.

As a question and answer website, I am afraid I am unable to assist you on a practical basis. If you were to instruct a local Solicitor, he is likely to charge you approximately £500 plus VAT to liaise with your Landlord, provided there

are not too many complications.

As regards ***** *****'s Estate, even if it is complex, this is irrelevant, in that one or more Executors will be dealing with it, and it would be them who would need to sign the Licence to Alter. The fact that the Estate is complex should not delay them being able to grant consent!

I hope this assists you.

Good luck!

Kind Regards


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Al. That was most helpful. Have a good evening.

Many thanks.

If you are happy with my Answer, I would be grateful if you could leave positive feedback.

Kind Regards


Aston Lawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Al,

I just received a further email from Just Answer inviting me to ask a further question. I actually have one: I am a solicitor myself with my own firm and I really don't get how Just Answer works. You gave me a really good answer for £28. Of which you get either £14 or less. So why do you do this? I would understand it if you thought that it would bring you the case but you said you do not take on cases? So are you just doing online stuff for this company? All day long? To generate an income or what is behind it? Kerstin

Hi Kerstin,
Thanks for getting back in touch.
I am a locum Solicitor, so whenever I am not working, I do Just Answer as an extra income flow. The experts on Just Answer are not permitted to tout for business for themselves, and in any event, I like to keep this work separate to my locum work.
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ah, I see. Thanks very much. Kerstin