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wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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Lease managers requesting £750 to approve balcony decking being

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Lease managers requesting £750 to approve balcony decking being replaced
We have just purchased a property for which the surveyor highlighted the decking as being unsafe and needs replacing. The management handbook states "The maintenance of the decking and wooden handrails (balustrades) are the responsibility of the owner.". The lease states "Not to make any alterations to the exterior of the property or to the external appearance of the property without the written consent of the landlord".
They are stating the replacement of like for like timber decking constitutes an alteration and therefore their own surveyor fees of £750.
Can we argue this is not an alteration or change in appearance.
What is our position if we make the change and they come after us.
Hello. If you are replacing / renewing what is already there, then I would completely agree that this is not an alteration. Indeed, you are in fact merely trying to comply with the terms of your lease. I suggest you ask the management company to explain exactly why a like for like replacement constitutes an alteration requiring consent. In my view they are trying it on! If you make the changes and they pursue you, they would being very foolish - they couldn't demonstrate any loss or breach of lease, in reality. Best, WB
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your kind response.In line with my question, would you suggest we keep quiet and make the change, and then deal with any challenges, or would you suggest that we respond upfront and state as like for like we will be proceeding.
As per my answer above, I think you should ask them to explain their position. I doubt they can explain how a like for like replacement is an "alteration" in any sense of the word. Tell them you are merely complying with the terms of your lease, and do not need consent. Suggest you will do the work within [x] days, it does not require their consent and if they continue to insist it does you will seek a declaration from the court that it does not, and you will seek costs against them. I doubt you'll hear anything from them! Please leave a rating. Best, WB
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Simple, clean, response to questions.