Can leaseholders scupper my plans to develop rooftop?

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    #31
    LAD , so the problem here is not a greed freeholder, but a greedy leaseholder who went with development without consent.

    For example, we are now thinking of allowing roof extension and discussing the best way forward

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      #32
      If the top floor flats are reading this post, please try to dig out the initial marketing material for your flat sales. If you were sold penthouses then you are in a strong position to stop this development. I can’t remember the case name, but there was a case where a block was originally advertised with a large garden as a feature, and this prevented the landlord building a new block in the garden I seem to recall. The principle here is the same.

      i have also read another case where the skylights prevented building on the top floor. Look at the initial planning permission and check whether they are shown.

      Planning permission is not a full right to build. It doesn’t not take into account any rights over land. You can get planning on land you don’t even own a scrap of. Also look to see if the lease gives a right to develop, ours gave the freeholder no such right.

      Not a lawyer, but I have faced a similar problem with my block and successfully fought off the development. This happening all over the country. Enfranchise if you can - it is the only way to solve your problems in the long term. The valuation process of the freehold should fully take into account the difficulties of building these new penthouses and if the planning does not include the necessary measures to overcome any rights you already have, it is not worth as much when you get to tribunal.

      There are numerous resources to help you fight this ( this forum and reading all the tribunal cases were my nightly homework, and the slides from lawyers CPD and barrister notes are searchable ) and learn how to enfranchise online. Read the legislation from start to finish and read the case law. You will need a solicitor, and a surveyor, but they generally have to be led through the process from start to finish and so you need to know what to do yourself.

      Now is the time you will get most support from your neighbours to enfranchise. If they are all buy to let investors point out to them that the work will likely make them unable to rent their flats whilst it is carried out. If the work will put you into the EWS1 height range, point that out too.

      Best of luck. Fight. No one else will step in and help you. You need the determination to do this yourself. It is expensive, but your flats sound valuable so you have a head start. Without enfranchising this will be hanging over you for years and your flats have already been devalued as the planning permission is available online and any buyer will include the disruption and legal problems in their offer.

      Apologies for the long post.

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        #33
        Originally posted by lostandfound View Post
        If the top floor flats are of luck. Fight. No one else will step in and help you. You need the determination to do this yourself. It is expensive, but your flats sound valuable so you have a head start. Without enfranchising this will be hanging over you for years and your flats have already been devalued as the planning permission is available online and any buyer will include the disruption and legal problems in their offer.

        Apologies for the long post.
        Sound advice indeed, but sadly enfranchisement is not always the panacea in this cases.
        I know at least one wily freeholder who has blocked that door so do your homework carefully.

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          #34
          Totally agree. Homework and good professional advice is key. We had an expensive false start when another leaseholder instigated the process and we hit a problem. Annoyingly it was an obvious problem which the surveyor should have warned us about at the start. Not a simple process, but our solicitor was really good to work with.

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            #35
            I am freeholder of a block with a rtm company doing the management. Can they stop a rooftop development? It would help the top flats retain heat and help a lift to be installed so they may not object.

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