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Jeremy Aldermartin
Jeremy Aldermartin, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 8011
Experience:  Dual qualified Solicitor and Attorney
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I need advice with a standing issue that now has put our

Customer Question

Hello, I need advice with a long standing issue that now has put our lives on hold. We purchased a leasehold Victorian flat conversion in 2013. We knew It need refurbishment so started upon this journey along with starting a family. The owner above was an elderly woman who we become very good friends with and helped her when ever possible. In 2016 Sutton council served us with a section 20 order to replace the roof and windows. The cost for this was extortionate. So upon advice we moved for a freehold enfranchisement and I managers the sale of the freehold on their behalf and purchased the share of freehold 50/50. We agreed that the roof, pointing and windows will be replaced and I would conduct research to find the best quotes and we split the costs. This is when the trouble started. Her family refused to spend any money as they were unsure how long she was going to live. I moved on and replaced the windows - I shared a quote for her windows upon her request but her family refused to pay. A year or so on and I called a meeting with her and her son (who had taken power of attorney) to come up with solutions as the roof was getting worse and the lime bees had attached the pointing and it was becoming dangerous. The continued to say the work/quotes I was obtaining were too expensive. So I requested they obtain their own quotes and we regroup in two weeks. Still no movement, speaking again to a friend they said I could offer to but the share of freehold or the small plot of garden that she didn’t use to cover the costs of these essential repairs. Again this was refused. We met again and the owner read us a statement telling us that they would not be paying for any works and wanted us to make an offer to purchase her flat. This was a surprise to us but agreed I would look into it. After borrowing allot of money I secured a buy to let mortgage and made them an offer, the first was declined so raised it slightly (knowing all the additional costs involved as their flat had not been touch in 40yrs). This offer was accepted. I instructed my solicitor and she made contact with theirs. After two months of silence I received a call from the owner saying she had changed her mind and was staying. I lost thousands and now had multiple mortgages. During the following winter months two large slates feel from
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I’ve tried to be civil and speak to them again as there’s been more issues. Essentially we moved to use the money I had borrowed to build an extension as our two bedroom flat was becoming too small. They objected and delayed the project. We now have approval but I wanted to know the legal rights to proceed. Do we need their approval to build an extension once we have planning permission?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: No not yet.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: We want to know our rights as we have put our heart and soles into this property and had nothing but trouble from them. We’re now weighing up selling up and moving if we cannot proceed with the extension.
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 13 days ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 12 days ago.

Hi thank you for your message, please note that I will look to provide an accurate but nevertheless speedy reply to your inquiry. That said, whilst I endeavour to provide a fast response, responses may not be immediate as this is a question and answer service not an instant chat service.

Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 12 days ago.

I am sorry to hear all the difficulty you have been having, I appreciate you own 50% of the freehold but have you checked the lease to see what terms are there in relation to altering the property?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi Jeremy, no I have not fully read through the lease. I will dig it out and read through it. I’ll come back to you once I’ve read through. Thank you David
Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 11 days ago.

I understand, well as a preliminary bit of advice it is likely that it stipulates you need permission of the freeholder to make alterations to the structure of the flat. If so then whilst you own half the freehold you would need her permission still because she is the co-freeholder. I trust this assists you in understanding your position however, should you have any supplementary inquiries, do not hesitate to ask and I will look to clarify or expand on my previous response.

Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 11 days ago.

I thank you for visiting the website and for the opportunity to assist you with your inquiry. If you have further questions, inquiries or queries let me know post haste and I will attempt to answer them. Otherwise I bid you a good day