Freeholder won't give retrospective consent

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    Freeholder won't give retrospective consent

    Hi,
    I was wondering whether I could get some advice on the following subject please?

    I bought a leasehold flat eight years ago. At the time I just got a basic valuation done and no survey. When I purchased the flat, it had a set of french doors already built in the main bedroom. I am now selling my flat and the buyers' surveyor noticed that the french doors aren't original and asked for proof of the freeholder's agreement, which I didn't have.

    My freeholder, who has never seen my flat and charges me £25 ground rent every six months, has said that he won't agree to the french doors.

    My solicitor said that I needed to get indemnity insurance and my freeholder's signed agreement allowing the french doors. My original solicitor who I used 8 years ago said that all I needed was to get indemnity insurance for about £40 and that would have covered the situation. My current solicitor has disagreed, after trying to tell me that they didn't advise me to tell my freeholder and get indemnity insurance. They have since admitted that they told me to do both, but their reason was that as I can contact my freeholder I wouldn't have been able to get the insurance anyway!

    Could you give me any advice please, as I feel it isn't fair that something that happened before I bought the flat can risk my sale and cost me thousands of pounds!

    Thanks,

    #2
    Originally posted by jasoneden View Post
    Hi,
    I was wondering whether I could get some advice on the following subject please?

    I bought a leasehold flat eight years ago. At the time I just got a basic valuation done and no survey. When I purchased the flat, it had a set of french doors already built in the main bedroom. I am now selling my flat and the buyers' surveyor noticed that the french doors aren't original and asked for proof of the freeholder's agreement, which I didn't have.

    My freeholder, who has never seen my flat and charges me £25 ground rent every six months, has said that he won't agree to the french doors.

    My solicitor said that I needed to get indemnity insurance and my freeholder's signed agreement allowing the french doors. My original solicitor who I used 8 years ago said that all I needed was to get indemnity insurance for about £40 and that would have covered the situation. My current solicitor has disagreed, after trying to tell me that they didn't advise me to tell my freeholder and get indemnity insurance. They have since admitted that they told me to do both, but their reason was that as I can contact my freeholder I wouldn't have been able to get the insurance anyway!

    Could you give me any advice please, as I feel it isn't fair that something that happened before I bought the flat can risk my sale and cost me thousands of pounds!

    Thanks,
    I agree that asking for L's consent scuppers getting indemnity insurance.

    How long ago were french doors installed? Depending on covenant wording, enough time elapsing (>12 yrs) may protect you from L, as might clear ground rent receipt.

    If you like, send private message with your tel. no. and I'll call you tomorrow a.m.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      Has your freeholder showed any sign of making you revert to the original condition? If not, there might not be a problem.

      It is my understanding that the person who will be the insured (if that's the way things progress) is the prospective buyer, not you. You're selling and that will be the end of your responsibility.

      At the end of the day, it is up to your prospective buyer to decide whether they want to take on the risk that at some point in the future the freeholder may try to make them reinstate the flat to its original condition. The ball is back in the prospective buyer's court.

      At this point, there is not much else that you can do.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Poppy View Post
        Has your freeholder showed any sign of making you revert to the original condition? If not, there might not be a problem.

        It is my understanding that the person who will be the insured (if that's the way things progress) is the prospective buyer, not you. You're selling and that will be the end of your responsibility.

        At the end of the day, it is up to your prospective buyer to decide whether they want to take on the risk that at some point in the future the freeholder may try to make them reinstate the flat to its original condition. The ball is back in the prospective buyer's court.

        At this point, there is not much else that you can do.
        There are a few other techniques to unblock the problem.
        If anyone needs to know - I have already explained to Jason - refer to Limitation Act 1980(12 yr rule for one-off breach) and s.45(2) of Law of Property Act 1925 (clear ground rent receipt).
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          Evening.

          Could somebody please explain Jeffery's last post.
          I am unfortunatly in a similar position. House being sold, no consent for conservatory and freeholder was contacted 8 years ago so cannot take out indemnity insurance. Wondering if i can use anything Jeffery has stated.
          Thought a way round it was to buy the freehold, have but freeholder in no rush to complete


          Cheers

          Comment


            #6
            Playnotwork,

            If you are leaseholder of a leasehold house,the way out is to buy the freehold title. How many years remaining under your lease ?

            You can download the free guide to buying the freehold title under the 1967 Act from LEASE ( www,lease-advice.org )

            The Guardian or Telegraph newspaper on 21 Dec 2017 reported the Govt plans to terminate leasehold houses . Try google search .

            Comment


              #7
              When you say the freeholder was contacted 8 years ago was that before or after the works were carried out?

              Whatever the answer to that question, has rent been accepted at any time after the landlord got to know about the extension?

              Comment


                #8
                The leaseholder was contacted 8 years ago and consent to build sought. The management company indicated a fee of £1500 pound was payable and surveyors and solicitors fee would be additional or I could purchase the lease for £1800.
                In the lease it does say that any alteration require consent but does not state a fee payable.

                I went down the tribunal route and they found in my favour. No fee payable and no need for alterations listed and if so not at my expense.
                On contacting the management company they insisted that there needs to be formal documentation at my expense and did not provide written consent.
                At this point the builders were booked in and rather foolishly, I had the conservatory built.
                Ground rent paid for the next 8 years and all good.

                This is until I come to sell and conveyancer asks for any problems that could arise when selling the house. I mention the above and they advise to buy freehold.
                Management company contacted, fee agreed, monies paid and now waiting for freehold to arrive.
                House sells, cash buyer but the problem of no consent to build on conservatory pops up.

                Still awaiting freehold and the buyer is moving back from Spain next week and wants to move in. Their solicitor is advising not to purchase without consent.

                Management company contacted regularly but appear to be in no rush and no indication of when the freehold will arrive.
                Worried going to lose sale.
                Any ideas appreciated

                Comment


                  #9
                  Gordon999,

                  long lease 950 Yrs

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Lawcruncher,

                    Rent accepted every 6 months for 8 years

                    Not sure if he knows of the breach ie conservatory being built

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Playnotwork View Post
                      Not sure if he knows of the breach ie conservatory being built
                      When did the landlord or his agent last inspect?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Never inspected.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          We have had no contact for the last eight years. They collect the rent by standing order and dont recieve a reciept. When buying the freehold we never mentioned a breech of contract or asked for retrospective permission. Thought it would be easier to buy the freehold, but it is takibg forever and cannkt tell them why we need the freehold quickly.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Unfortunately that means that they can seek to forfeit your lease. If they knew of the breach, but still accepted payments, they would have waived the breach.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              As i had contact for consent with the freeholder, is it correct that i cannot take out indemnity. If he does not know about the conservatory can i take out indemnity, is there a time between contact and no action for indemnity.
                              Appreciated

                              Comment

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