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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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I'm about to purchase a property and wish to use it as a

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I'm about to purchase a property and wish to use it as a holiday let. unfortunately, just before we were ready to exchange we noticed a clause in the lease that prevented this use.
We contacted the freeholder to ask for permission, but he refused.
There are three flats in the property, each of which are owned by a different leaseholder. They each have around 950 years to run on the lease, and the ground rent is just £12 per year.
As the freeholder only enjoys £36 per year in rent and has no prospect of making any money on a lease extension, it's difficult to know why he would refuse such permission.
As he has no significant financial or other interest in the property, is his refusal to allow this change of clause unreasonable, and is there any way to challenge this?

Hello. Can you please set out the wording of the lease clause in question please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It reads:
The Tenant covenants with the Landlord:
3.12 to use the Premises for the purpose of a private residence in the occupation of one family only

Many thanks. I'm afraid there's not much you can do about this as covenants in leases will generally always be enforceable. There doesn't seem to be any conditionality to the Covenant and such covenants do prevent use for holiday lets. You could possibly have the Covenant modified or even released if the lease is over 25 years old and has over 40 years left to run, but this means going to a Properly Tribunal to decide. You'd have to argue that the Covenant is no longer of any benefit but I think you'd struggle if the other flats are private residences. I'm afraid it seems you may not be able to proceed. Sorry!

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