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Category: Property Law
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Can I be forced to vary my lease based on an agreement made

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Can I be forced to vary my lease based on an agreement made based on information that has changed?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No paperwork to vary the lease has been started
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: London
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not sure
Hello, this is MarcInLaw and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today and I will be happy to advise you to the extent possible on this platform. I will review your question and I will be back with my answer shortly. You will get notified when my answer is ready therefore there is no need to wait online.
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Can you please let me know what agreement is forcing you to vary the lease?

Without this additional information I am unable to answer your questions. Can you please come back to me regarding my request?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hello, sorry for not responding immediately.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
When my neighbour and myself bought the freehold of the property where we are both leaseholders, we did not know the values of the service charge split indicated in our lease agreements. We therefore informed the 3rd leaseholder that the fee would be split according to habitable floorspace. We also made an agreement whereby I bought the cellar space.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
When the 3rd leaseholder sold her flat, the new owner bought a share of the freehold, and my neighbour now claims that the agreement for the cellar is null and void, but he still expects us to use a spilt of the service charges that favours him.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
We did not vary the leases, and the original agreement was made because "we do not not the rateable values" specified in the lease. We have since found the rateable values as it just took an email to the previous freeholders.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
34;did not know the rateable values"
Thanks for this. Was the agreement between you and the other neighbour in writing?
The solution proposed by the new neighbour doesn't seem fair. You could disagree with him in writing and state your reasons for doing so.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
There are emails about it, but it was between freeholders. As there are now an additional freeholder and new leaseholder, the emails did not involve all parties who would need to agree.
I understand.
There is an argument that as the new leaseholder wasn't a party to the arrangement then he /she doesn't not need or recognise this in law.
But you could enter into negotiations with all the parties involved and propose a new solution and get a lawyer involved to make sure it is binding?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
if the original agreement was made because we did not have all the information, would finding out that information not also invalidate it?
It could invalidate it if your were acting under a mistake.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Our leases are very old, and state that all charges to be paid by the leaseholders are split according to "rateable value", but these values are not specified. We were told by a solicitor that we could vary this if all freeholders and leaseholders agreed, and chose "habitable floorspace", which is itself problematic as there is no clear definition of what that means. We simply informed the 3rd leaseholder that we were doing and because she didn't fight it, it was considered that she agreed. However, an email to the council who previously owned the building gave us the values.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Had we known the values at the time, there would have been no reason to vary the split.
This sounds sesnesbile to me. Try to explain this to the other parties and if you reach an agreement- write it down and make sure you define the terms!
I hope this helps somehow. Feel free to come back with any follow up questions and when the situation develops. I am happy to help.
MarcInLaw and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** that covers it.