License to alter

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    License to alter

    I own a leasehold flat in london and are looking to do some internal modifications which are
    1. relocating what we believe to be non structural walls
    2. creating an opening/door in what we believe possibly might be a structural wall
    3. there are existing window frames on the side of the building that are either fully bricked or partially bricked leaving smaller windows. We desire to reinstate them to their original state

    we have employed an architect to sketch the plans and help with the local authority but where we are confused is the process by which to get consent from the freeholder.
    my lease states “not at any times to injure , cut, any of the walls timbers or roof or ceiling to the flat or alter the plan layout save that the lesse may make non structural alterations to the flat after having obtained consent from the lessor in writing without being unreasonably withheld or delayed.”

    we emailed him three weeks ago and get very vague/ poor responses and generally feel he is just trying to ignore or delay us. We are keen to start work by September . What is the process for obtaining consent given he’s not being very timely? If we email with plans and structural surveyor reports and he doesn’t respond for a month can we crack on?

    also my research is giving me mixed responses as to the windows. Some deem it non structural as they are bricked within an existing frame , and in the lease it states I responsible for the window frame and glass within, but other s suggest that it’s structural. The other quirk is that in order to restore the window , we will need to put up scaffolding on the land demised as my aggressive neighbor downstairs, entrance (not common areas).

    very confused . Any help would be appreciated !

    This is your situation : Your confused because you don't understand the leasehold system.

    You own a lease of a flat and you are the leaseholder which means you are the long term tenant ( as opposed to a monthly paying tenant ) .

    The legal owner of flat is the freeholder and you are wanting to alter his property.

    Your lease states you cannot change the layout of the flat or remove any walls. You can make minor alterations inside your flat subject to getting consent.

    If you want to change the flat substantially, then make an offer to buy the freehold.


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