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Stuart J
Stuart J, Property Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 23762
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I live in an apartment and there are 16 apartments. We own

Customer Question

I live in an apartment and there are 16 apartments. We own the freehold and each apartment has 1 share each.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Apologies I pressed return to carry on. My question is: Can the covenants be change by the committee on their own or does each share holder have a say in the matter? Another question is: if the committee want to change something that is not under a covenant, do they have to have a majority vote, all 16 residents voting on the matter or can the committee just go ahead and make the changes? Thank you in anticipation of you response. We live in Lee on the Solent England.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None, want to know legally where we stand.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No thank you
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 20 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!
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I would require an answer by this Friday as I have an AGM with residents.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 19 days ago.

I have been asked to look at this for you.

It depends what the covenants are and each of the individual flat owners can agree to change the covenants on their own property provided the changes do not affect anybody else.

However it is in total control of the leaseholder, nothing to do with the committee.  The majority vote doesn’t matter.

If you can tell me what kind of changes you are looking at, I can probably expand my answer for you.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
We own the leasehold and freehold. We have a set of covenants, which affects all of the residents but the committee are trying to change some of the covenants without the say so of all the residents. Can they do that? We all have an equal share.
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
No thank you an email will do as this is meant to be a free service.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 19 days ago.

Thank you.  I’m afraid this is not a free service but it depends whether you have signed up for a subscription or free trial.  You would need to speak to customer services about which plan you are on.

With regard to your question, in a nutshell, no, unless each individual leaseholder consents then the covenants cannot be changed.  Each individual leaseholder can consent to the changes but if one out of the 16 refuses, then 15 will change if they all agree but the 1 will stay the same.  Nothing can be imposed upon leaseholder unless that leaseholder agrees.