Structural Alterations, Freeholder Consent & Premiums Charged

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    Structural Alterations, Freeholder Consent & Premiums Charged

    We wish to extend our leasehold basement flat into our garden by adding an extra room where:

    a) Non-structural internal walls, facings of structural walls and garden are demised to us.
    b) Structural alterations are prohibited by a fully qualified covenant requiring the landlord’s consent (that shall not be unreasonably withheld).

    Given a) the garden is demised to us and b) the fully qualified covenant pertaining to landlord consent prior to structural alterations to the building, would I be right in assuming that Section 19(2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 prevents the landlord from c) prohibiting the extension capriciously and d) charging a premium for consent in the form of, say, a percentage of any uplift in the value of the property that the extra room adds?

    The pertinent parts of the lease are as follows:

    The Lessor hereby demises unto the Lessee ALL THAT flat the same being shown on the plan annexed hereto and thereon edged red being the Basement Flat of the Building (hereinafter called "the Building") known as <address removed> in <location removed> including the floorboards and ceilings thereof the plasterwork and facings of the structural walls and the whole of any non-structural internal walls thereof and including the water tanks water pipes cisterns gas pipes electric Wires installations and fixtures serving the same exclusively TOGETHER WITH the garden edged green on the said plan and (all which premises are hereinafter called "the Flat") TOGETHER WITH the rights and privileges mentioned in the First Schedule hereto but EXCEPT AND RESERVING unto the Lessor and subject to the rights and privileges mentioned in the Second Schedule hereto TO HOLD the same (except and reserving as aforesaid) unto the Lessee for the term of <term removed> years from the <date removed> YIELDING AND PAYING therefor throughout the said term a ground rent of £50 per annum.
    Not at any time during the said term without the previous consent in writing of the Lessor (whose consent shall not be unreasonably withheld) and except in accordance with plans elevations sections and specifications previously submitted to and approved by the Lessor to erect make or maintain or suffer to be erected made or maintained on the Flat or any part thereof any building structural erection or improvement or in any way annex the Flat or any part thereof to any premises adjoining or make or permit or suffer to be made any material structural change alteration or addition whatsoever in or to the Building now erected or which may be hereafter erected thereon or on any part thereof or in or to the appurtenances thereof or in or to the use of the Flat or any part thereof or cut maim or injure or suffer to be cut maimed or injured any of the walls timbers girders ceilings roof or floors thereof (subject as aforesaid) and if the Lessor shall consent in writing as aforesaid to apply to the local planning authority as defined by the Planning Acts (which is meant in this Lease the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 or any statutory modification or reenactment thereof for the time being in force and all statutory instruments or Orders made under or in pursuance of any Such Act or Acts) for any necessary permission to erect make or maintain such building erection alteration improvement material change or addition and also to give notice of application to the Lessor and all other persons (if any) for the time being interested in the Flat and at all times to indemnify and keep indemnified the Lessor against all proceedings costs expenses claims and demands whatsoever in respect of the said application.

    UPDATE: The Leasehold Advice Service said that as it requires cutting into the landlord's external walls (not demised to us) then the landlord can refuse on any grounds they wish and charge any premium they desire


      I think that the LHA are probably right. However you can ask for consent to see if the landlord raises the point.


        Thanks Lawcruncher , I'll do just that.


          Yes freeholder can ask for a percentage of any uplift in the value of the property that the extra room adds.
          Normally 50 %

          Why ?
          Because if the freeholder, on converting to flats, for example, if conversion inluded an extra room at the back over your garden, the freeholder would have asked more for the lease, so why should a leaseholder who is only leaseing the place make profit from the extension, when the freeholder should realy benefit from a larger flat.

          Note also, that you and you alone will be responsible for all maintenence, and if any drains are under there ( there are on my patio ) you will be responsibe for paying the freeholder to dig up your concrete floor to repair any defects, but don't expect freeholder to relay the concrete.


            Interesting point regarding the freeholder asking more for the lease. We will be eligible for extending the lease only in just under 2 years and as the lease is nearing 80 years, it will need extending not long after we qualify.
            So this raises an interesting question: should we have to pay a premium for the uplift in value, does this also mean that we would also have to pay more for the lease extension given the uplift in value of the property? If this were the case, it feels as if the freeholder is getting to double dip on the profits: once in the form of the premium to grant consent and again in the form of the increase in premium for the lease extension. Is this correct?


              When you extend your lease it will be based on the value of that flat at that time so yes the freeholder will benefit from a higher premium.

              Personally if I wanted to extend a property I would buy a freehold house. The amount you are going to pay for surveyors and freeholders premiums will be eyewatering and on top of building costs may render your project unfeasible.

              Being that you are also going to be messing with the basement and the foundations of the building I imagine the freeholder will be extra cautious and demand a lot in regards to planning and surveying costs.


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