Breach of Lease velux window- retrospective permission

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    Breach of Lease velux window- retrospective permission

    I recently bought a flat and asked for permission to install electric central heating ( no flue only pipe work so i wonder now whether I needed permission in the first place. There was a big silence then when i chase a week or so ago I was told there is an illegal Velux window in the bathroom which puts me in breach of contract. The management said they told the previous vendor's solicitor of this breach back in October yet this information was not passed on, they told me this over teh telephone not in writing unfortunately. Now they are asking for £3k for CONSIDERATION of application for retrospective permission. They have said until this time I am not allowed to install electric heating in the flat or the other works I wanted to do i.e replacing fireplace with stove and creating access to loft for insulation. The lease was extended from 56 years to 100 years this was completed at the time of purchase the previous vendor paid out of the funds received for the purchase. I have been given and refused to be given the following by the landlord:

    Proof the window was not there at the time of the 1970s conversion
    how they know it is there
    proof in writing that they let the previous owner know due to data protection


    I have the following questions:
    1. is 3k for consideration of the works ethical given they could turn round and say no afterwards an id be 3k down and still have to find money for the works ( flat is on 5th floor so would need scaffolding to reverse the works)
    2. when they extended the lease did they not accept the flat as it was now not on the previous lease? unfortunately lease plan has not changed
    3. can they stop me installing heating when it does not affect their demise and is too cold to live in the flat at present

    I feel I am being swindled and blackmailed into paying this sum and would appreciate any help to solving this issue.

    #2
    As a starting point go back to the solicitor that handled the sale for you. Ask if the FH supplied a completed LPE1 form, which they should have, section 6 details breaches and disputes.

    If the FH knew about the alleged breach and have since extended the lease and consented to the transfer then they have almost certainly waived the right to enforce the breach using the s146 forfeiture route, other options may apply.. If they did note the breach on the form and your solicitor didn't tell you and issue further enquiries you may have a claim against the solicitor.

    If you have naively asked for permission you didn't need for the heating, the FH may see you as an easy target, if you post the relevant clauses regarding alterations, members will be able to help further on this.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks so much for your reply. All of the paperwork as completed before October so there was no breach that anyone was aware of at the time, I can ask my solicitor but they also have confirmed before that no one made them aware of any breach. I don't even think the previous tenant did it I think its been there way over 20 years if not at the original.

      It appears that they did a survey around October time maybe linked to the lease extension which flagged up the breach, by this time all of the paperwork had been done our end... they told the vendor at the time who didn't pass the information on. Since then the vendor would have paid £150000 for a lease extension which they accepted My issue is I can't prove they knew before as they told me over the phone and now won't back it up, the lease extension certificate was issued despite the breach but I can't prove the knew about the breach. The letter I was sent in January had the old owners name on it they obviously took their time had they acted properly earlier I wouldn't be in this mess. Re the heating the wording is : “Not at any time during the said term to make any alterations in or additions to the Demised Premises or any part thereof or to cut maim or alter or injure any of the walls or timbers thereof or to alter the Landlords fixtures therein without first having made a written application (accompanied by all relevant plans and specifications) in respect thereof to the Lessors and secondly having received the written consent of the Lessors thereto.”
      Is electric heating an alteration when I'm putting pipes underneath floorboards which is my demise ill be attaching radiators and installing a boiler but as electric no flue will be drilled into the wall. I appreciate anyones help on this.

      Comment


        #4
        “The Flat specified in Paragraph 3 of the Particulars as the same is shown edged red on the plan annexed hereto including

        (a) The internal plastered coverings and plaster work of the walls bounding the Flat and the doors and door frames and window frames fitted in such walls (other than the external surfaces of such doors door frames and window frames) and the glass fitted in such window frames and
        (b) The plastered coverings and plaster work of the walls and partitions lying within the Flat and the doors and door frames fitted in such walls and partitions and
        (c) The Plastered coverings and plaster work of the ceilings and surfaces of the floors including the whole of the floorboards and supporting joints (if any) and
        (d) All conduits which are laid in any part of the building and serve exclusively the Flat and
        (e) All fixtures and fittings in or about the flat and not hereafter expressly excluded from this demise.”

        Comment


          #5
          Personally I'd be putting this in the hands of your solicitor to sort. The reason you paid them is to avoid getting into situations like this.

          I also think the FH is chancing their arm.

          Can you find any proof the window existed years ago? You can find old sale particulars via google. Look for old aerial photos etc.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks again for helping. It's in the roof so can't see it from the ground but the neighbours said it definitely was there 15 years ago. As the sale has gone through the solicitor will charge me £220 ph to sort as they say its a new case so didn't want to go down this route if i don't know i have a case if that makes sense but also don't want to drag it out if it means i cant put heating in as im so cold in the flat have had to stay at friends.

            Comment


              #7
              No, you paid solicitor for a service, that service includes carrying out due diligence checks on your behalf before you commit to buying. At the very least they should be explaining why they didn't pick this up during the pre sale enquiries.

              Comment


                #8
                They asked the right questions and were told there was no breach so they say they have done all they can and to be fair i don't think the seller did know of any breach until after we had filled in all of the paperwork its the managements fault for not acting officially earlier

                Comment


                  #9
                  Whether there was a breach or not is immaterial.

                  A lease extension is actually a new lease. Thus you have been leased what was there at the time.

                  Why not install storage heaters? I can't see anyone could object to that.
                  To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have storage heaters for now. Thank you. I do have proof that the window was there before i bought it from the sales pictures - might this help?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yes of course.

                      Keep the storage heaters if I were you. They mostly consume electricity at about 5p a unit, whereas electric central heating is going to be about three times that to run, isn't it?
                      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                        A lease extension is actually a new lease. Thus you have been leased what was there at the time.
                        Are you sure ? I am currently buying a leasehold flat, on condition that defects in the lease are addressed, and the lease is extended. My understanding is that this will be done through a Dead of Variation (or something like that), and the original lease will continue.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by rfph1 View Post
                          Are you sure ?
                          Yes, as far as I know.
                          To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                            Whether there was a breach or not is immaterial.

                            A lease extension is actually a new lease. Thus you have been leased what was there at the time.
                            That's my original point. I think the FH is trying it on saying they discovered the breach during lease extension process, if they did then they shouldn't have agreed extension, by granting extension they waived the breach.

                            The solicitor that handled the sale should be writing to the FH and the sellers solicitor asking questions.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by DNM2012 View Post

                              The solicitor that handled the sale should be writing to the FH and the sellers solicitor asking questions.
                              Hmm. But is there even any point?

                              I mean, presumably o/p's solicitor knew that the new lease would not be affected by any previous breaches, so have they really done wrong by not bringing them to o/p's attention?

                              Edit: For that matter, if the freeholder failed to mention them, does it make any difference?
                              To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                              Comment

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