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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am refurbishing a flat in Lancaster Gate and the management

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I am refurbishing a flat in Lancaster Gate and the management committee is really aggressive. I purchased the flat in October 1998. They insist that I cannot bring workers into the estate without first presenting to the committee a public liability insurance certificate. My Jamaican decorator who has been working for me for many years is only painting inside my flat. Now they are threatening to take me to court if I lay laminate floorboards although there are quite a few flats who have done exactly that. They insist on me using hardwood floorboards. I am perfectly agreeable to lay the acoustic underlay they recommend. Do they have a right to take me court should I lay laminate floorboards to make me remove them? It is going to cost me twice as much to lay hardwood floorboards which i do not think is the right thing to do for a tenanted flat. I get threatening emails everyday which I find stressful and a harassment.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. May I ask if you have access to a copy of your lease please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There are two leases - a 99 year lease and a 999 year lease. I have a copy of the 99 year lease.

Thank you. What is the 999 year lease? Is this a head lease and you hold a sub lease?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The 99 year lease is the underlease - the one assigned to me from the previous owner but I know I bought the flat because of the 999 year term.

Thank you so the 999 year is what exactly - the head lease? I am right in thinking that you own the 99 year lease not the 999 year lease?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Maybe I am confused. I think there is a 99 year lease (called the headlease) from 30th September 1972 between the Greater London Council and Lancaster Gate Housing Association Limited. Then there is a lease between Lancaster Gate Freehold Limited and the Leasee which is me but I am trying to find the 999 year term in the documents. Sorry.

No problem - leases can get very confusing. I do not quite follow the above because the headlease (if that is what it is) is shorter than the underlease granted to you but I note the other party in your lease is "LG Freehold Ltd" so I assume the freehold has been purchased at some stage and you have a share in the freehold so it may be that the 99 year lease has merged with the freehold or it relates to a different part of the property. In any event I don't think it is relevant to your particular issue here so with your permission I will set this to one side. From what you say the important document is your 999 year lease. With regards ***** ***** requirement for a PLI certificate I cannot see that the management committee can enforce this requirement because you will have a right of access to your flat for you and your contractors and they cannot derrogate from that right. You are entitled to carry out decorative works (not alterations) on your flat normally in a residential lease without consent from the management committee of the landlord. Therefore if you choose to use non insured contractors on your flat for decorative works this is a matter for you. Having said that it is no particular bad thing to ensure that your contractors have PLI on the pretext that the management committee want to see it so this should not be a huge issue in and of itself though I appreciate it is one of many issues which is causing frustration. The flooring is likely to be more of an issue. You will need to check your lease in this respect but most residential leases contain provisions relating to flooring. Normally it will provide to lay a sound absorbing flooring specified in the lease in most rooms in the lease. Some lease will provide that the landlord must approve the flooring type used. You will need to ensure you comply with the provision in your lease or the landlord (the management committee) can issue an application for breach of covenant and require you to replace the flooring in compliance with the covenant in your lease and claim their legal costs of issueing the application. Having said that if there is no provision in your lease relating to flooring then there is no issue but few leases contain no provisions relating to flooring. It is not a defence that some other flats have gotten away with other types of flooring. Depending on the wording of the flooring provision the management company may not be able to insist on hardwood flooring though. They are limited to the provision contained in the lease in this respect so it is important to familiarise yourself with the wording so you understand your rights. If you would like me to review the wording of the lease in this respect please do not hesitate to post the wording from the relevant provision(s). I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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