Out of control freeholder

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    Out of control freeholder

    We achieved the RTM in our block two years ago, luckily our freeholder (apart from the odd grumble) leaves us to it and the leasholders are happy with our standard of management.

    Either side of our building we have two other purpose built blocks owned by a local freeholder, also managed by the freeholder's own agent. The freeholder has submitted grand planning applications to add more flats to both of these buildings, on top, underneath, to the side, and the leaseholders are up in arms. The penthouses will no longer be penthouses (they will have new flats built on top of them), those on the ground floor will now have flats under them, the bin store is to become a flat, and so on. We at our block will also likely have 12 months of construction vibration if it goes ahead.

    According to them they have not been consulted at all, the managing agent doesn't care and this freeholder has become out of control. Wanting to fill any space to make money.

    Is there anything the leaseholders of these blocks can do to prevent the freeholder doing this?

    The property belongs to the freeholder and leaseholders only have a lease which is only long term rental contract. Your leaseholders need to get together and buy the freehold title using the enfranchisement procedure. A free guide can be downloaded from www.lease-advice.org


      ... but even that won't give them the right to interfere with other freeholds adjoining their property.

      This is what the local authority planning process is there for. I am surprised to see what entitlement some people (such as the OP) think they have from owning a flat.


        Indeed, owning the freehold wont make any difference and to many people it simply is not an option.

        Surely this is all down to planning and can be oppossed on those graounds.
        Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

        I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

        It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

        Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.


          While I agree with mattl a tort of private nuisance exists in addition to planning rights to light and privacy and noise nuisance controls in the public domain.

          Unless the leases prevent development or the areas then the ability to stop them is limited as above and in most cases only provides for compensation for noise and dust and other disruption and limiting works to the extent that it affects quiet enjoyment(nothing to do with noise).

          Those with penthouse flats might have a contractual remedy as I have dealt with a case where the flats were identified in the lease as the penthouse apartments and that stymied development until of course the developer got their chequebook out, and one person bought a new penthouse for a discount and BTL his old flat.

          it is blooming nuisance I know but the sooner you accept it as a reality and fight it on planning and then get the best deal you can on how it affects you and the neighbouring blocks, the better.

          Time for a group meeting and fighting fund and instructing a specialist planning surveyor or planning lawyer. Fees mwah ha ha.
          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.


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