Licence to Alter - is this an easy process?

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    Licence to Alter - is this an easy process?

    Hi

    I own a ground floor one bed flat in a converted Victorian terrace. I want to have the chimney breast in the kitchen taken out to create more space. I understand that this is structural work and will need the consent of the freeholder and a Licence to Alter.

    I have two questions:

    1. Is there any prescribed format for the Licence to Alter, and if so will I need the assistance of a solicitor? I would like to avoid additional fees for a piece of work that's very straight forward.

    2. The removal of the chimney will require an RSJ inserted into the roof to help support the weight of the upper floors. The lease says that I own the celling, but that the supporting joists above are owned by the flat above (another lease-holder). I assume I'll need their permission as well for the work since it will involve work on their joists, but will they need something as formal as a Licence to Alter, or will a simple letter confirming their consent be enough? I don't have any contractual obligations to them like I do with the freeholder.


    Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions.

    #2
    Given the complexity fo teh work youa re ging to need a formal licen to alter and in repct of both flats a deed ofvariation.

    As the joist will be removed and altered to tie into the Steel, as well as your property, the steel will protrude into their property*, and alter their timbers,then the leases of each flat msut reflect that.

    If in future works are required there would be a doubt over who is responsible and that would be of concern to yourselves in later years, or off putting to a potential buyer.

    The other matter is that the chimney may not be in your demise and may be reserved to the freehold title with only responsible for the lining and


    Bear in mid that the flat above and the freeholder are not obliged in his case to grant consent. It is their property that you would altering.

    You may find that if the chimney is in your demise that a bulkhead might be simpler, supporting the base of the chimney where it terminates under your ceiling. Not as pretty I know but Victorian houses weren't designed to be open plan with clean lines

    You will also have to serve a Party Wall Notice. Find a local chartered Building Surveyor who can design oversee and calculate the required steel and will know a local solicitor who can draft these licences.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by bdh198 View Post
      I would like to avoid additional fees for a piece of work that's very straight forward.
      Straight forward yes, but as explained, the walls and chiminy will not
      in all probability, be yours to alter.

      The freeholder is entitled to get a surveyors report, and employ one
      himself to look at the plans you submit to the freeholder.
      This cost is passed on to you.

      After you have paid any freeholder surveyors and maybe solicitors
      costs fees due, the freeholder can still say,

      Not your building, permission refused.

      so talk to the freeholder on the phone or in person before spending
      any money, to gauge the situation.

      R.a.M.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you for the comments.

        I think I need to speak to the freeholder and get his thoughts on my proposal before going any further.

        Comment


          #5
          I'd strongly suggest you get a copy of your lease beforehand so that you both have all the info to hand.
          Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by bdh198 View Post
            Thank you for the comments.

            I think I need to speak to the freeholder and get his thoughts on my proposal before going any further.
            You may need to repair and cap the chimney to prevent rain water entry causing damage to internal decoarations.

            Comment

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