Alterations to leasehold property denied in line with lease schedule - Help please!

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    Alterations to leasehold property denied in line with lease schedule - Help please!

    Hi All,

    First post having been reviewing all the helpful pieces of advice listed on here for some time. Apologies if this is posted in the wrong place!

    I am hoping one of you leasehold experts can cast some light on my options with the following - I have recently purchased my first property (Victorian house converted into 6 leasehold flats) and the kitchen is tiny, I am hoping to knock through a doorway in the wall between the kitchen and the lounge, thus being able to block up the existing kitchen doorway and have an L shape kitchen and ultimately utilise the space far better. The wall in question appears to be load bearing and I have had a structural engineer assess and produce calculations. SE suggested that a standard doorway is acceptable and as it is an existing timber frame, a c24 grade timber lentil would be sufficient support.

    My problem herein lies with the management company for the property. I emailed across drawings and calculations and requested permission from the freeholder to commence said works.

    The response I have is " We have reviewed the lease and attach a copy of Clause 4 of the Sixth Schedule from which you will note you cannot do what you propose".

    Clause 4 FYI reads;-

    "Not to build or set up or suffer to be built set up or maintained on the Flat any erection structure or building other than or in addition to the Flat as the same now exists nor to make any alteration in the plan or elevation of the Flat or in any party or other wall or division not make or maintain or suffer to be made or maintained any addition thereto either in height or projection nor place or attach or maintain any structure on or to any part of the flat or make of suffer to be made any material change or addition whatsoever in or to the use of the Flat."

    My understanding is limited, but it looks to me like a prohibitive clause in which the FH does not have to provide consent.

    Is there anything I can do?

    Many Thanks!

    That is an absolute prohibition. Statute only assists if alterations are prohibited without consent.

    Was this pointed out to you by your conveyancer when you bought?


      Many thanks for your response Lawcruncher - So essentially there is nothing I can do...

      As a side note (from your experience), would a freeholder be receptive to a premium offered for consent overriding the lease they enforce?

      ie if I offered up £500 for the privilege?



        They may be. You can only ask.


          If the freeholder consents he would be in breach of the terms of the lease and could face legal action from the other leaseholders


            Not necessarily. That would only be the case if he has covenanted with the other leaseholders to enforce that covenant.


              Thanks both... How would I establish whether he has covenanted with the other leaseholders to enforce that covenant?


                There may be a clause in your lease stating that the terms of all leases are similar. I suspect that the freeholder would not wish to face legal action from other leaseholders or set a precedent whereby other leaseholders could make alterations,


                  I suspect freeholder's objection will vanish without trace if you offer enough cash.


                    Thanks all for your replies, much obliged.

                    I have an alternative configuration for the kitchen which will keep to the floorplan and avoid lining the freeholders pocket a penny further!


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