Permission to Extend into Loft - does it benefit new LH?

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    Permission to Extend into Loft - does it benefit new LH?

    I own a top floor flat and the loft space is included in the demise.

    The lease does not require the LH to obtain permission from the FH to carry out alterations. However, since the roof itself belongs to the FH permission should be obtained before installing dormer or velux windows in the said roof.

    This is why the previous leaseholder obtained written permission from the previous landlord to build a loft extension (although the work was never carried out). The document names Mr Previous Landlord and Mr Previous Leaseholder.

    Would I be able to rely on that document to carry out the loft extension, or do I have to apply (and probably pay through the nose) to the new FH?

    After all, the lease document carries the previous FH's and previous LH's names, but it is binding on the new FH and the new LH, so why shouldn't the same apply to the permission to extend?

    #2
    Well no as its not your roof to alter and ask permission to work on!

    You have to in effect seek their permssion to buy that bit of the roof- and they are not obliged to- and put in a window and make it clear who takes responsbility for the roof and a note of its condition when altered lest you find someone saying " we only need a new roof because of your window- your roof monkeys broke it"

    While helpful, as the earlier consent was personal you cannot rely on it, sorry.

    Dont forget that the lease may specify its use as a roof void and therefore if strictly worded the change to the area from say storage to living quarters, might need consent to alter the lease and its use.

    As it will increase the value of the flat considerably that bit of roof, and/or that consent, in which you want to put a window might be very expensive .

    As scaffold will be up overhauling the roof can be inexpensive and soothe the passage.

    Dont forget that when done you have to alter the lease plan and description, adjust service charge %s for the new larger area and alter the building insurance declarad value accordingly.
    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
      You should consult a solicitor with copy of both the freehold and leasehold titles ( shows names of past owners) to see if the document is valid.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
        While helpful, as the earlier consent was personal you cannot rely on it, sorry.
        That's what I feared, but it was worth asking the question.

        Personally I have never bothered with the loft conversion because, as an investor, I have calculated that it would cost me as much as the deposit on another property (if not more) so I've always spent the money on buying other properties. But of course an owner-occupier may see things differently, especially as the flat is in a very sought-after area.

        The flat has 2 bedrooms at present but there is enough space in the loft for one or even two more bedrooms and an en-suite. Additionally, the loft space is included in the demise without any stated restrictions as to what can be done with it - although of course as previously stated I am fully aware that the roof itself belongs to the FH.

        In any event, I can only assume that if I wanted to sell the flat, ownership of the loft space should increase its value quite a bit - but by how much? Is there a way to calculate this?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
          While helpful, as the earlier consent was personal you cannot rely on it, sorry.
          Whilst possibly the case not necessarily the case. It depends on how the consent was worded.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
            Whilst possibly the case not necessarily the case. It depends on how the consent was worded.
            Well, I've delved into the file and found that all there is an email (not a letter) from the then freeholder to the original buyer's (then original leaseholder's) solicitor.

            It goes like this:

            Loft space..yes it was clearly stated in [Estate Agent's name']s notification of the sale that "subject to loft space being included in the lease and the freeholder granting permission to extend into loft space subject to any necessary local authority consents"

            In verbal conversations nothing has changed from there...but I do refer to your clients intentions in letters of [dates] which show her intentions are changeable [he says that because the original buyer subsequently referred to construction of a balcony as well].

            [Seller's solicitor's name']s email of [date] also clearly sets out our understanding of what changes were proposed by your client in the loft space.

            It was always understood to make "habitable rooms" in the loft space..and you also agree that such changes should not affect the integrity of the building structure..which particularly means affecting my downstairs flat.

            The point I made about not agreeing to reinforcements applies to reinforcements in the ceilings of my downstairs flat......(say to strengthen the floors etc)as that would affect the integrity of the whole building structure.

            Habitable rooms is what has been agreed to by both parties and nothing has changed on that point.

            I must take into contideration the tenants downstairs who could also object to such major structural changes in their part of the building...and any loss of privacy etc..

            I trust this clarifies the position.

            Yours sincerely,

            [Original FH's name]

            Apart from that stated above I have never had any objections to creating habitable rooms in the loft space

            [Original FH's name]
            [Original FH's address]

            Comment


              #7
              It looks like a case of the whole thing not having been properly addressed when the lease was granted. Since you are not the original lessee and what you have quoted is all a bit vague, I think you are probably stuck with what the lease says.

              Comment


                #8
                What I have quoted is all I've got.

                I think the solicitor acting for the buyer was negligent, but could he be sued if it all happened over 6 years ago?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Not by you.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Yes, by me.

                    I was the original buyer, and then sold the flat to my company.

                    But the solicitor's negligence took place over 6 years ago.

                    In any case, I would also be curious to know by how much the value of the flat is increased by the loft space being part of the demise. Is there a formula to calculate this?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If you personally no longer own the property then you have no reason to sue!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Reading the extract I would even not consider that a consent but an exchange between the parties at the time which was inconclusive.

                        I agree with LCs point in that I was hasty to say you could not repy on it, however it is the rare exception that a consent of this type is assignable- its daft to draft it so.

                        My earlier point was that it is helpful in that the FH was open to a proposal but had reservations, understandably over the impact on him everyone, and in particular on structural alterations for loading.

                        It is therefore helpful in that if the FH is the same that your first step prior to applying is have a chartered building surveyor or engineer look at the proposal and settle on waht works are likley to be required.

                        In many of these cases the works require crippling or replacing ceiling joists into load bearing floor joists and tying in the external walls and party walls especially if purlins and supports and posts have to be removed, and not having to transfer loads into a subframe in the structure.
                        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


                          #13
                          No, LHA, as I said there is a new FH now.

                          In any event, I personally can't be bothered with the conversion because to me it's an investment giving a very poor return.

                          At this point I would be more interested in calculating by how much I could increase the sale price given that the loft space is included in the demise.

                          As I have been wondering, is there a formula I can use?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well P you have to go back to the earlier post and see if that demise does extend into the roof void and if the area is restrictd in its use.

                            Again its a question of whether the FH will even sell you a bit of roof in which to place a window, again depending on the lease, and bt if which will determine if you have a storage area or something that can be converted.

                            There is no formula it is the increase in value that the new accomadatin would add, less the costs of the work which are unknown without investigation, and the price of the bit of roof you need as well, possibly, for a change of the use of the loft, as set out in the lease, from storage to rooms, which for both, the FH can demand as they see fit.
                            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


                              #15
                              As I have already stated above, the demise DOES include the roof void and there is no restriction to its use stated in the lease.

                              As there is a lot of space up there an owner-occupier may find it quite valuable and I would want to capitalise on that. I could say the space is suitable for a loft conversion "subject to all relevant permissions being obtained" - which of course would include both the local authority and the freeholder.

                              Surely, the fact that the roof void IS included in the demise must make the flat more valuable than if it was not.

                              Comment

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