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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I live in a three storey town house with a garage forming part

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I live in a three storey town house with a garage forming part of the house, however last year I had the garage converted into a bedroom I had drawings done and received consent form Tameside council to complete the conversion.
However I have just received a letter from the freeholders saying I did not ask their permission to do the conversion and they want me to pay just short of a £1000 to have a Deed Variation. I wish to contest this, do I have any grounds to do so or should I pay the property management company.
Regards, ***** *****
Hi Mark,
Thanks for your question.
Does the lease contain a restriction as to alterations? If so, can I please have the wording?
What works were carried out to the garage?
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Additional info.

1. the garage has been converted into a bedroom.

2.wording on the lease. External additions or alterations etc.-not to erect any dwellinghouse on the property in addition to the dwellinghouse not to erect any dwellinghouse erection or other building or buildings or make any external additions or alterations thereto which shall not as to the entirety thereof be in accordance with such plans and elevations as shall have been previously approved by lessor or its surveyor.


Thanks for your reply.
Okay. Is the garage referred to in the definition of the property? If so, how is it referred to?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


This is the paragraph in the lease, User- without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing sub paragraph the garage forming part of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse or the garage ( if any) shall be used exclusively as a private garage for the keeping therein of a private car or cars or motorcycle or cycles and items of domestic or horticultural nature and no trade or business shall be carried on either in or from such garage and the same shall not be used for the storage of goods in connection with or ancillary to any trade or business.


Thanks for your reply.
I will now only be able to reply at 9am tomorrow morning.
I trust this is okay.
Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.
The landlord will dispute what you have done under the user clause that you have quoted in your most recent post. This specifically restricts the use of the garage for garages purpose (one car only). Using it as otherwise than for this purpose is therefore a breach of the lease.
You are lucky in the sense that they would be entitled to not offer you a deed of variation, and simply take proceedings to reinstate the garage to what it was previously. As it stands, they are simply asking for you to execute a deed of variation of lease, which is what a solicitor would have told you that you need prior to carrying out the works if you had seen one in the initial stages.
Ultinately, you will have to execute this declaration of trust with them because (1) they could change their mind and seek to enforce reinstatement until it has been executed and (2) the lease is unmortgagable and probably unsaleable until the deed is executed.
I would proceed in such a way so that you don’t annoy them and perhaps consider attempting some “soft” negotiation on the amount they are proposing to charge but ultimately I would agree to their terms and get the deed of variation completed as soon as possible.
I am sorry that I could not have better news for you but unfortunately there clause as to use of the garage is clear and this is the way that leases work.
My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.
Kind regards,
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