Buyer's solicitor has said our garden shed/office is in breach of lease..

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    Buyer's solicitor has said our garden shed/office is in breach of lease..

    Hi there,

    I'm really hoping someone can help with options!

    We are trying to sell our freehold flat quickly (before April stamp duty increase) and also to secure a house (our offer was accepted November 2020).

    Our buyers solicitor has highlighted our garden shed (using as an office) is in breach of our lease.

    - The council are our freeholder
    - We removed an old shed and built a bigger one against our boundary wall (we have a high wall with one neighbour - they were happy for us to do so
    - Over time I insulated it, put in heating and power, sky light...
    - Completed in April 2014 (nearly 7 years old)

    I've been told the 4 yr rule means no planning is required, but I'm worried the freeholder (council) may not give retrospective permission as its a "lean to" on a boundary wall.

    I'd love to get some options and advice, if anyone has any, thanks in advance !

    #2
    I would imagine the buyers solicitor is after you to pay for an indemnity policy, which would not be expensive. Alternatively you simply remove it.

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      #3
      If you ask the council for consent they will likely charge a big fee then value it for business rates. Discretion always the better part of valour for unauthorised alterations....

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you! Unfortunately the buyer is only keen if he can work from the shed (assuming lockdown issues forcing work from home) - so removing it isn't an option.

        I don't understand how the Indemnity Policy works - if the council ever tried to enforce removal of the shed, how does the Indemnity help? I assume they would attempt to charge for retrospective permission (hopefully not rates too!) and that is what is insured against?

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          #5
          Surely your guidance should come from your solicitor, rather than some dubious individuals on an internet forum!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by dpmc00 View Post
            Thank you! Unfortunately the buyer is only keen if he can work from the shed (assuming lockdown issues forcing work from home) - so removing it isn't an option.

            I don't understand how the Indemnity Policy works - if the council ever tried to enforce removal of the shed, how does the Indemnity help? I assume they would attempt to charge for retrospective permission (hopefully not rates too!) and that is what is insured against?
            Joy of Leasehold I'm afraid, I can't see anyone could or would issue an indemnity against freeholder requesting it's removal but first I would check your lease to be sure that consent is required.
            Once it's been there 12 years they can't take enforcement action for the breach of lease. Are you sure it wasn't completed in 2008 ?
            ​​​​

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              #7
              Buy some gardening tools and hang them up on the wall . Fit a label on the shed door showing " Garden Shed ".

              Comment

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