Desperately need help. License to alter

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Desperately need help. License to alter

    I am leaseholder and co- freehold of a ground floor victorian conversion flat.

    Planning permission approved in June 2020 Wandsworth planning 2020/2049
    I have structural engineer drawings, architect drawings.
    Party walls agreed with both neighbours either side without issue. Upstairs neighbour who has share of freehold with me wanted his own surveyor and party wall concluded with him.

    I agreed as joint freeholder to use his surveyor to do the license to alter, which we started in Jan 2021. After months of paperwork demands and additional drawings modifying build to essentially suit the upstairs neighbour the chartered surveyor who works at Brookes Vincent and Partners has written a license to alter report.

    The conditions prior to granting license are for temporary works design and structural calculations, which my structural engineer says he can do but needs to sit down with my builder etc etc - another week delayed and more stress.

    It then has to go to the solicitor where I suspect there will be further requests for paperwork.

    So, as it was an easy build…… and having had an awful experience with a design and build company in 2014 ( same project which I pulled out of at this same stage), I am doing the prep work myself. I have an amazing builder who I have known since 2014 project but he is a builder, not a designer/not used to doing license to alters with this amount of paperwork, and I desperately need help with this last stage and throughout the build from someone who has done this kind of thing before as I need guidance as to what to do next.

    Essentially someone with surveying experience who I can hand this over to, who will get the paperwork that is needed, submit it to the freeholder surveyor and joint solicitors and deal with all the ins and outs that I am struggling with. As I suspect that this will continue throughout the build and when it is completed. Should I also get as leaseholder my own solicitor. What could have been straightforward has become confusing and challenging. The other freeholder communicates only through the joint surveyor who does not address me as the coffee holder but as the lessee.

    I have now changed my plan for changing this flat into my extended home, to just getting the work done and selling it as it’s been such a difficult process. In my humble opinion, the surveyor appears to be working not for us as freeholders but for the upstairs neighbour.

    Who is the best person to help as I can see this dragging on and on.

    Did you started from Jan 2020 or Jan 2021 ( only 2 months ? ).

    Are you named on the freehold title with other leaseholder as joint title holder ? Are you paying the joint surveyor's bill ? Ask the surveyor to confirm that he is under instruction from you as "joint freeholder ",

    and Ask surveyor to address you as "joint freeholder" because you are paying his bill.

    It seems to me the joint surveyor is confused and thinks he is instructed by the "upstairs leaseholder" only.


      Planning permission was granted June 2020.
      chartered surveyor for joint freeholders did site visit Oct 2020, I submitted initial paperwork to him Jan 2021.
      i am named as joint freeholder
      I am paying the joint surveyors bill.
      I have addresses this confusion and he states that his commitment is to the building despite primarily addressing issues related to the upstairs freeholder.
      just seen I wrote coffee holder ( that’s freeholder!!)
      I just think I need someone with a professional standing to stand up for me as leaseholder and guide me through this.


        In addition, I as leaseholder have received the joint surveyors invoice with the report, agreed fee if £800 plus vat, but I was under the impression that the joint surveyor worked through the build with site visits and signed off the license to alter at the end? Is that normal to get an invoice now rather than at the end? . Should I clarify what his role is going forward ?



          LICENCE, please in the UK, not license, when a noun


            Thanks for notification on spelling of licence. Could you also perhaps contribute to my question ??


              I emailed the joint chartered surveyor who wrote the licence to clarify his ongoing duties and he replied

              My instruction was to report on the proposed application to alter in order that the Landlord could consider its obligation not to unreasonably withhold consent. The recommendations that I made within my report are unambiguous and of a minor nature and I do therefore not consider it my role to review further information, although I would be pleased to do so if instructed accordingly.

              Does this mean that we as joint freeholders need to instruct him to complete things with the licence when work is completed?


                If the surveyor has given you the report ( which gives landlord consent for you to proceed with your alteration works ) why do you want to employ the surveyor again ?


                  I was under the impression ( am please correct if I am wrong) that the job of the surveyor doing the licence to alter was to visit site during the build to check it and also confirm at the end that everything is in accordance to what was expected. If not him, then who does that? Thanks.


                    You should visit the planning section of your local council and ask if the council's building inspector should check your site foundations and after completion of the extension.


                      thanks but what is the role of the chartered surveyor doing the licence to alter? Is it not to see it through to end of build?


                        The surveyor was retained to advise purely in relation to the Application for Licence to alter. Consent appears to have been given, albeit subject to conditions, which is perfectly normal. His role in the matter is therefore at an end. You do probably need a surveyor to take you through the job, and the Chartered Surveyor is saying he is prepared to do but wants paying. On a job like this you should reckon on at least ten per cent of the cost of the actual work to go down the toilet in professional fees, and sometimes more. Fees can be as much as twenty percent in densely populated urban settings. The cost of all the paperwork is one reason why property is so expensive to retro-develop.


                          Thankyou flyingfreehold.
                          The licence to alter report is now with solicitors who is drafting the licence. Conditions stated in the report have been met ( temp works design and drawings, hours of work etc. Do I wait until it is physically signed by both freeholders before any work started as I have read if LTAs being signed at the end of a build. Thankyou.


                            The actual consent to the works would be granted under the licence, everything else is likely to be subject to licence. Until you have the licence in your sweaty palm, you don't have strictly speaking have licence. Sometimes the landlord or his agent or surveyor will say Ok you have the nod, the licence itself is a formality, but don't bank on it. The licence may say that it is granted subject to the work being inspected at each stage by the landlord's surveyor, which may be an overkill, but I cant say as I havent been involved in the negotiations


                            Latest Activity


                            • Breach of leasehold terms with floor that's causing noise; who to enforce?
                              by SharedOwnrshpLeaseholdr
                              My upstair's neighbour's lease requires him to provide "carpets, or such other suitable floor coverings", and it also has a "nuisance" clause. He has had his flat tiled. I am now being driven nuts by noise from above. Every movement results in impact noise transmission, and I'm going...
                              13-05-2021, 21:58 PM
                            • Reply to Unreasonable Withholding of Consent by Freeholder?
                              by Lawcruncher
                              You do not need permission to carry out repairs if you have an obligation to do them.

                              If the lease only prohibits structural alterations you can carry out non-structural alterations. Taking down or putting up non-structural walls is not structural. What exactly does your lease say about...
                              13-05-2021, 21:25 PM
                            • Unreasonable Withholding of Consent by Freeholder?
                              by wabdiddly
                              Dear All,

                              Looking for an opinion and some legal views behind what I can do in the following situation.

                              My top floor flat has rather wonky flooring, which the structural engineer's report described as "in poor condition and needs levelling to provide satisfactory living...
                              13-05-2021, 18:29 PM
                            • Tenants refusing to vacate
                              by Landlord2021
                              Our tenants have been issued with a section 21 back in December. Having had six months notice they are now refusing to vacate the property as their new build house is not ready. We have sold the property subject to contract. Our buyers want to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday. What if anything...
                              13-05-2021, 17:10 PM
                            • Reply to Tenants refusing to vacate
                              by theartfullodger
                              An s21 notice does not end a tenancy nor compel a tenant to leave. The tenant is simply exercising their right, unde s5 of Housing Act 1988 ( Thatcher's ) to remain until court, court order, bailiffs/HCEO. The self-same Act ( Thatcher's ) that permits us landlords to serve s21s.

                              Their agreement...
                              13-05-2021, 19:19 PM
                            • Reply to Tenants refusing to vacate
                              by Jon66
                              Write to them pointing out you are now able to proceed to court and that you intend to do so. That this will incur costs and legal fees, that court judgements of any sort would not reflect well on their mortgage application, that once a possession order has been granted you will incur additional bailiff...
                              13-05-2021, 18:55 PM
                            • Lack of lighting in communal areas
                              by fos333
                              Hi all,

                              Who is responsible if the lack of lighting in the communal area results in injury to the occupiers of the flats?

                              The lights for the two main blocks are controlled by two photocells that can be adjusted, but at 2100 hrs tonight the internal communal lights had still...
                              12-05-2021, 20:26 PM
                            • Reply to Lack of lighting in communal areas
                              by fos333
                              Thanks for the replies.

                              The managing agent instructs the adjustment of the photocells, however, the current directors are ignorant to the issue now as it can't be impacting on them.

                              Further to the communal lighting not coming on early enough is the fact that the managing agent...
                              13-05-2021, 18:44 PM
                            • Evidence of leasehold interest?
                              by Bengt Lagander
                              I have just completed on the purchase of a long Leasehold flat.

                              Separately I am apply for a Court order restoration of the Limited Company that own the freehold which was dissolved on 15 th June 2015 so the application needs to be sent by server to the Court before 15th June 2021. This...
                              13-05-2021, 18:19 PM
                            • Reply to Tenants refusing to vacate
                              by 1600e
                              There is nothing you can do other than see if a hefty lump sum will persuade them....
                              13-05-2021, 18:10 PM