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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7062
Experience:  Solicitor
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I own a first floor, one bedroom maisonette which is

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I own a first floor, one bedroom maisonette which is leasehold (151 years remaining)It also includes the loft space. I am planning on converting the loft space into an extra bedroom and en-suite.I have approached the freeholder who has agreed to grant consent, subject to planning permission, building controls, submission of architect plans, cost of legal fees and surveyor costs etc. We have complied with all of these requests. However, the FH has also requested a fee of £5,000 simply for granting the consent - do we have the right to challenge this, and am I expected to pay this? The situation at the moment is that despite meeting all of the other conditions, the FH will not grant consent until the £5k is paid.My lease states: "Not to carry out structural alterations or additions to the demised premises nor without the consent in writing of the Lessor which shall not be unreasonably withheld to erect any other buildings whether temporary or permanent."I would be grateful if you could offer some advice on where we stand legally and how best to progress.Thank you in advance.Kind regards, Nicola

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

Does the lease say he can charge for this please?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Jamie,Not as far as I can see. There is a paragraph which states:"To pay all expenses (including Solicitors and Surveyors fees) incurred by the Lessor incidental to the preparation and service of a notice under Section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925 not withstanding forfeiture is avoided otherwise than by relief granted by the Court"I'm not sure if this is relevant. I can send you over a copy of the lease if necessary?

I can review the whole lease but it would be an extra cost? Or I can give advice based on what you have told me?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
If you could advise on what I have told you that would be great, and if I need something more detailed I can let you know?

Sure. If the landlord agrees in principle, that should be enough. It says consent not to be unreasonably withheld and he has done just that.

But he wants to charge a fee. He can't do that as the lease does not allow it. He is entitled to have the pay any of his legal costs, but no more.

The lease does not say it is conditional upon a fee. Only his consent, he has given it.

So he can not charge you, the lease does not allow it,

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
to clarify - am I now legally entitled to start works with immediate effect, given that we have met with all other conditions from the FH?Is there a legal document to grant consent, or are the emails stating their Agreement in Principle and conditions between myself and the FH enough?Also, how is best to approach them to confirm that we are not obliged to pay the £5k fee but as we have met all other requirements, we intend to start building works?

If you have consent in writing then yes. But you need to negotiate the fee. Just say it's not in the contract and therefore not liable to pay.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Kind when you say negotiate the fee, that implies to me that I still need to pay something? Surely if it's not in the lease then they cannot insist on a fee, just their legitimate costs?

Indeed, only his legal costs for doing the work

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
That does, thank you very much.
If I think of anything else I'll come back to you.

All the best. If this answers your question could I invite you to rate my answer, 5 stars the happy face before you go today, otherwise the site doesn’t pay me for the time spent with you. Thanks in advance!

Jamie-Law and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Of course, 5 stars coming up!

Appreciate it!