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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2456
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I've just come to sell my flat of 10 years (I've always

Customer Question

I've just come to sell my flat of 10 years (I've always known it as a 2 bedroom), and as part of the process have had to extend the lease.
It now transpires that the previous tenants converted one of the bedrooms into two rooms without having sought relevant permission about 17 years ago, and this has been flagged up in the lease extension discussions.
Further to complicate things the Freeholder in place now was not the Freeholder at the time the alterations were carried out.
Am I totally exposed here and liable for whatever the new freeholder chooses to seek as fees for retrospective consent (or to have to return the flat to a one bedroom property), or is there anything statute of limitations style or otherwise that means the length of time or change in Leaseholder and Freeholder that was there at the time the transgression took place covers me from being 'had over a barrel' so to speak?
Thank you for anyone that can answer on this.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
In cursory research I've seen statements about 'Laches' or ongoing acceptance of ground rent being of significance, but this is all way over my head.
Expert:  Joshua replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

I apologise that you have been waiting for some time for a response to the above. I have been asked to look at this for you and would be happy to help. Could you kindly advise if you still require assistance with the above?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Expert:  Joshua replied 4 months ago.

Many thanks. Do you have access to a copy of your lease? If you do could you confirm the exact wording of the provision that restricts your rights to modify your flat without consent of the landlord?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I've attached the except from the lease.I'm particularly interested in the Section 8 of the Limitation Act 1980 which I understand to be:"A claim against the tenant for breach of the covenant against alterations will become statute barred under section 8 of the Limitation Act 1980, 12 years after the offending alteration was carried out by the tenant. (In the case of a lease not contained in a deed the limitation period would be only six years from the date of the alteration pursuant to section 5 of the 1980 Act"
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi. Does this give you the information you need?