How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

My leasehold agreements state 'no alteration on gas, sewage,

This answer was rated:

My leasehold agreements state 'no alteration on gas, sewage, or heating apparatus', and 'to keep all floors in the premises covered with carpet or other suitable materials so as to prevent the penetration of sound into other flats'. In order to change floors from carpeted to wooden floor and to fit a new kitchen, I wrote to my freeholder's asking for consents to lay new wooden floor and to alter the sewage and heating apparatus. Initially the freeholder (a private company) replied and request a total of £700 for grating consents for all proposed work. I posted a cheque of £700 and went ahead with the flooring and kitchen (before receiving written consents). After a couple of weeks after the work is completed, the freeholder then wrote and requested £10000 plus solicitor fees, instead of £700, after 're-consideration'. They also requested additional £700 in order to examine and evaluate the type of insulation materials for under the wooden floor. I'd like to know: 1) if there is a rule to regulate the administrative charges freeholder can request? 2) can the freeholder just increase the asking fees like this? 3) if I go for 1st tier tribunal, is there a way to limit the legal costs that my freeholder can request? 4) I don't consider that I need to pay £700 for them to evaluate the insulation materials as the type of materials I used was above the recognised industrial standards and advised by experienced flooring expert, am I correct and how can I dispute? 5) what is the real risk of me here, would I loose my property ownership?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I attach a snapshot of my leasehold agreement describing relevant points
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Did they cash the original £700?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Did you write back and say thanks, ***** ***** the £700?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No I did not. Because they rerurned my cheque, and wrote to me at the same time their 're-consideration'
Ok - so you wrote asking, they said its £700 and you sent the cheque first of all and they returned it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. They then requested £10,000, stating the reason being they have consulted the directors and re considered the fees for granting consents. I then wrote to them asking for revising the fees down as the fees they request seemed unreasonable
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Apologies I am unable to accept your phone call offer. I am slow and forgetful, I would prefer answers in writing so I can refer back to them on a later day.
Ok. They can't do this. Its offer and acceptance by law. This means they made an offer in writing of £700, you wrote back with a cheque for £700 and this is deemed that you accepted it.By law they can NOT now withdraw that offer because it has been accepted by you, your conduct of posting the cheque.Therefore you do not have to pay these extortionate fees. They made a representation, you relied upon it and they cant now change their minds.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If so, how can I write back to them in legal terms, or language? As my questions, if they found out I made the alterations without their explicit and written consents, can they take legal actions against me and what would be my risk?
You need to write back (or get a Solicitor to) saying they were an offer by them, acceptance by you and as such there is a legally binding contract.If you did alternations without consent worst case is they could make you put it back, but they would need a Court order.If they would have consented anyway, there would be no point taking you to Court because a Judge would say, well nothing has been lost.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
However could they make me pay extraordinary legal fees for taking me to court or taking legal actions against me? Does it mean if I do apply for a tribunal, I have good chance of avoiding the £10000 pay? I thought contract is formed when purchasing goods or paying for a service, here I am asking for their consents, would the agreement still qualifies as a contract? Supposedly they are not 'selling' me anything....
No - the Court would assess legal fees and typically the Court would only allow fees which are reasonable and proportionate to the case.A contract is here - you wanted work done, they made an offer for fees which was £700 and consent, you accepted it. That is an offer and acceptance. They sold you consent.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just to clarify, they are the freeholder and they did not carry out the work for me. I only ask for their consents for me to proceed with the work. The £700 or £10000 they ask were only for the purposes of giving out their consents. This was consistent with your understanding, right?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you I will write back to them. For my future reference, how much do you charge for writing such short letter?
Sadly I am not allowed to as I work for the site and cant be instructed. But do let me know how you get on.Does that help?Alex
Ash and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you