Retrospective licence to alter

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    Retrospective licence to alter

    Hello - please can anyone help!!

    Me and my wife did a single storey rear extension, completed in June and we put the house up for sale. We have a buyer and are due to complete next week.

    The problem is our top floor neighbour - I own 50% of the freehold and she ons the other 50%. She didn't want the extension to go ahead and after paying for both our party wall surveyors we got the go ahead. It was all signed off and we thought the issue finished.

    Now the buyers solictor is asking fr a retrospective licence to alter which we didn't know anything about. Our neighbour is now demanding 'financial settlement' if we want to sell the house. Neither of us knew about this licence and she has only found out once the buyer's solictor has asked for it and now she is trying to blackmail us to get some money.

    Surely the Party Wall Surveyors sould have informed us of this? Can she in fact demand money from us in order to sell our house? If we do hve to financially settle (and by signing the party wall act surely this was implicit agreement on her part) are he party wall surveyors culpable for tis as we feel we should have been informed about this?


    You refer to "house" but surely you mean "flat" because you refer to "our top floor neighbour".

    Party wall issues and freehold/leasehold issues are entirely separate. You presumably have a lease of your flat and it may well say that you need the freeholder's consent for alterations. She is part of the freeholder and if she doesn't consent you haven't got the freeholder's consent.

    In any event your buyers could be put off by the mere fact of her unreasonableness.

    If you co-own the freehold with this person presumably your buyer will want to replace you as a co-owner on the freehold title. How are you going to get the neighbour to sign the TR1 to accomplish this? Unfortunately whilst there can be advantages in "shared freeholds" if all parties get on, if they don't they can be a nightmare.

    As Leaseholdanswers frequently points out, the use of the term can be confusing because people tend to forget that they have leases.

    As a conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful (provided it relates to property in England & Wales) but I accept no liability except to fee-paying clients.


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