Flat double glazing consent

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    Flat double glazing consent

    Hello all,

    This is my first post here. I've seen a lot of similar questions in this area, but of course it is always lease specific so I hope you don't mind me asking.

    I've recently moved into a ground floor leasehold flat, in a block of 12. Our kitchen window is single-glazed and has a wooden frame. It is the only window like this in the block, as all the others are uPVC double glazed. I'm not exactly sure how this came about, but of course we would like to replace our window with matching uPVC double glazing. The wooden frame is also beginning to fall apart - I don't know if that is relevant and turns it to a refurbishment rather than replacement question?

    But anyhow, our freehold management company want £410 in assessment and administration fees to consider consent for this. I have a quote for the window of around £630, so these consent fees would increase the cost by 60% and seems excessive to me? Are they allowed to charge so much?

    Turning to the lease, I believe the following terms are of relevance. There is no direct mention of windows in the entire lease.

    the Lessors hereby demise unto the Lessee ALL THAT the ground floor flat (hereinafter called "the Flat") known as [...] forming part of the building (hereinafter called "the Building") known as [...] aforesaid which ground floor flat is shown and coloured pink on the plan annexed hereto the Flat includes the external walls the reinforced concrete floors below and plastered ceilings above the external walls

    DEMISE (2004 lease extension):
    The description of "the Flat in the Lease shall be amended so that, on the first page of the Lease, the words ""The Flat" includes the external walls, the reinforced concrete
    floors below and plastered ceilings above the external walls" shall be deleted and shall be replaced by the words "including the internal wall and ceiling surfaces together with the concrete floors below but excluding any part of the structure of the building".
    Will from time to time and at all times during the said term well and substantially repair cleanse maintain amend support uphold and keep the Flat and all new buildings which may at any time during the said term be erected on and all additions made to the Flat and the fixtures pipes wires drains and other services therein exclusively used or enjoyed by the owner or occupier thereof for the time being

    During the said term to pay to the Lessors within twenty-eight days of such demand being made a one/twelfth part of the total cost paid expended or to be incurred by the Lessors (after crediting the Lessee with such contributions as may then be credited to his account in the "Maintenance Fund") in connection with:-
    (a) the painting of the outside wood and ironwork and other outside parts of the Building
    (b) of maintaining making repairing supporting rebuilding and cleansing the exterior of the Flat and the Building of which the Flat forms part including the foundations roof walls timbers and communal ground paths ways sewers drains pipes watercourses water apparatus gutters party walls party structure fences easements and appurtenances belonging thereto used or capable of being used by the Lessees in common with the Lessors or the tenants or occupiers of the Building

    Not at any time during the said term without the licence in writing of the Lessors, first obtained to make any alterations in or additions to the plan or elevation of the Flat or in any of the party walls or the principle or load bearing walls or fences or timbers thereof nor construct any gateway or opening in any of the fences bounding the Building nor shall, the Lessee do or fail to do any act deed or thing which would adversely affect the support repair maintenance cleanliness or enjoyment of the flats in the Building
    Except insofar as the Lessee shall be liable under the covenants on his part hereinbefore contained and subject to the payment of the Lessee of the sum or sums of money payable by the Lessee as provided in Clause 2(11) hereof at all times during the said term to repair and keep and cause to be kept in good repair and condition and maintained the Building of which the Flat forms part and the roof walls timbers foundations dividing floors tank in the tank room walls fences roads way passageways pathways gardens drains sewers pipes and watercourses gutterways water apparatus and electric or other service which shall belong to or serve to be used for the flat and the said building and similarly to paint all outside woodwork and ironwork and other outside parts of the Flat and or Building which ought to-be painted with two coats of proper oil colours in a proper and workmanlike manner in every three years of the said term

    So to summarise:
    • Do I need consent to replace this window?
    • If the frame is beginning to rot and hasn't been painted in years, does this change things?
    • Is the freeholder fee for consent fair? And if not, can I contest this?

    Many thanks!

    Yes, you would need consent if any external changes are required.

    No, it doesn't change anything, only that the management co. is not maintaining the property

    This is the problem with many leaseholders, fees which are out of their control and the Management co./ Freeholder can charge.


      1. It is now a legal requirement for any cracked single glazing to be replaced by double glazing ( below is copied from britanniawindows website) :

      "Although it’s not completely illegal to have single-glazed windows in the UK, since April 2002, building regulations have applied to all replacement glazing to improve energy efficiency. This means that if you’re thinking of replacing your glazing, you have to prove that you’ve conformed to the specific double-glazing regulations set out by the government."

      2. The wording in your lease does not mention windows and does not require you to pay for licence before repair of rotten window frames.

      3. So don't pay £410 fee to freeholder for replacing your rotten window frame. Take a photo of the rotten frame to keep as evidence for replacement before you proceed.


        The problem with our industry is people like your freeholder. Thats a lot of money for a simple licence to change the windows


          Who paid for the other windows to be replaced.

          Who says you have to pay for the windows at all. I think unless the lease says otherwise, they are part of the building.

          Either way your freeholder is a crook


            Worst case scenario just replace it with a double glazed wooden one. That would not be an extension or an addition.

            What other "outside wood" is there now apart from the window? The lease would seem to oblige them to take care of outside wood.


              My reading of the lease terms that you have quoted suggests the following:

              1. The window is unlikely to be within your demise as external parts and the structure of the building are excluded. This would mean that you have no right to replace the window at all, so would need permission to do so.
              2. If the window frame is beyond reasonable repair as a result of the frame rotting, it will be the freeholder's responsibility to replace it under their maintenance obligations (especially as the fact that the frame is rotting at all will be due to their failure to paint the external wood in accordance with what it says in the lease.

              Although I haven't checked, building regulations will quite likely say something along the lines that Gordon999 has suggested, and require any replacement of the window to be with double glazing.
              If I was intros position, I would be looking to confirm whose responsibility maintenance of the window frames is, and whether it is economically viable to repair the frame rather than replace it. If repair is not economically viable and it would therefore be better to replace the frames, the replacement will have to comply with building regulations so you will then need to confirm what they are, and whether double glazing is required.

              If maintenance of the window frames was your responsibility, I believe that you would not require any permission to carry out any necessary work, but there would be the potential to argue that the leaseholder shouldn't have let the frame get to the point where replacement was necessary.

              If maintenance of the frames is, as I believe, the responsibility of the freeholder, it would be unreasonable for them to repair rather than replace if this will cost more in the long run, and it will be very hard for them to argue that this is not the case if all other windows are PVC double glazing, especially if there is no other external wood that needs painting.
              If this is the case you have three potential courses of action:
              1. Insist that they meet their maintenance obligations and because replacement is more economical that repair and double glazing is now required by regulations (if this is actually the case), replace the rotting window with double glazing with you contributing the one twelfth of the cost that your lease requires.
              2. Point out to them in terms that leave no room for any doubt, that the frame only needs replacing because of the freeholder's failure to meet their maintenance obligations, and therefore any attempt to charge an admin/authorisation fee of any sort is completely unreasonable when you are effectively offering to arrange work that is now required as a result of their failure to meet their maintenance obligations.
              3. An option I wouldn't recommend: Accept their completely unreasonable charges and any other conditions that they decide that they are going to impose. As AndrewDod has said, your freeholder is a crook.


                Thanks all, lots to ponder.

                I've done some digging through the local authority planning records. It looks like all windows "save for three at the rear of the ground floor" in the block were replaced in 2006, arranged by a previous managing agent (who look to be insolvent now). They also replaced all facia soffits and cladding. The plans are really bad scans of photos, so I can't exactly identify which windows were left and there is no reasoning why. But walking around, to my eye everything is matching uPVC in the whole block. That means our window is the final bit of wood on the building.

                I will go back to the agent for the landlord (not sure if I'm allowed to say, but it's HomeGround). In all honesty, I don't think they would even notice that if the window was changed. But anyhow, I will seek clarity on who is responsible for this window, which from the sounds of things should be them. I will try first to get them make good their failure to maintain the window. But I'm not after a legal fight with a firm who banks with Coutts, so frankly if there is resistance, I am happy to pay to replace the window if there is no consent fee.

                Anyhow, thanks again for all your advice. I'll get back to you in 7-10 days when they decide to reply!


                  Originally posted by EJP24601 View Post
                  Thanks all, lots to ponder.

                  No, do not do that. If you are dealing with a crooked freeholder you need to play it straight from the start. Deviate from the lease (or let them do that) and you are in for a lifetime of pain. Don't pay anything inappropriate just to keep thigs smooth, and seek advice here.

                  You write a straightforward letter

                  Dear sirs

                  The lease is interpreted as implying that windows are maintained and replaced if necessary by the freeholder. Further I note that the windows of other flats were so replaced. Your suggested fee is inappropriate in any case.

                  Kindly maintain the windows per the lease and explain why they have been permitted to decay.

                  Your humble servant etc...


                    Thanks Andrew. I emailed that rather than the naive wishy-washy one I had drafted.

                    I've had a reply as follows:

                    Our administration fee of £110 is payable for the review of your lease together with the review of all documents you are required to provide us with your application.

                    It is a service the landlord provides to assess your lease terms, and your leasehold/freehold title register to check and confirm with you whether any restrictions are preventing you from carrying out the works.

                    This is put in place also to prevent leaseholders from being in breach of their lease, should works be conducted without Landlord's consent and where certain restrictions are in place.

                    However, without conducting the initial assessment we are unable to give you this information as all leases are different.

                    So helpfully, they won't even discuss with me without some cash. What can I do next?


                      I'd just change it for one in the same style as the rest of the building.


                        The "lessee covenants to maintain the flat" is worded in your lease, so do not pay £410 for consent from freeholder.

                        Just go ahead and replace the old window. You may find a more competitive price from another window company , as your flat being on the ground floor, no scaffolding is required.


                          Originally posted by EJP24601 View Post
                          Thanks Andrew. I emailed that rather than the naive wishy-washy one I had drafted.

                          I've had a reply as follows:

                          That is just bull. They can't charge a fee for interpreting what their contract with you says. Just refuse.


                            If you are willing to pay for window replacement, go ahead because you cannot be sued for replacing your own window.

                            You should visit the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership website and conduct a search on the agent and freeholder.


                              Hi all, thanks for your advice. We've (finally!) had the following back from the freeholders lawyers:

                              We have now heard back from the managing agent and they have confirmed that the windows are the responsibility of the leaseholder.

                              As this is the case, If you wish to carry out any work on your windows this may require landlords consent.

                              However, without conducting the initial assessment we are unable to give you this information as all leases are different.
                              It's such nonsense. The managing agent doesn't have the lease. How can we be responsible, but also need consent?

                              I think we're just going to pay for the new window, else we will be going in circles forever!



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