Who needs to consent to carrying out alterations to Leasehold Properties?

If you want to extend your leasehold property or carry out internal alterations and reconfigure the layout of your flat or leasehold house, you must consider your Party Wall, Planning and Building Control obligations; you may also need to obtain consent from your landlord.

It’s important that you take legal advice on the terms of your Lease to check if landlord’s consent is needed for the type of work you plan to carry out.

If it’s required, most leases state that the landlord’s consent is obtained before works commence.

Where owners of leasehold property fail to comply there can be issues on a subsequent sale or remortgage of the property and it also gives the landlord rights to take action. As the landlord owns the freehold to the building they must be notified of alterations to it that could potentially have an effect on the structural support to it.

The process for obtaining landlord’s consent is generally straightforward, particularly where you own a share of freehold. Where a professional landlord or management company is involved, the process can take a little longer and be more comprehensive, involving the submission of plans and payment of a fee.

In most instances the landlord will ask you to pay their legal and surveyor fees as well; this is usually set out in the terms of your Lease.

It’s always advisable, at the same time, to enter into a deed of variation to your Lease in which a plan shows the new layout of the flat or house and replaces the original plan showing its layout in the original Lease. This will avoid queries at the time of a later sale.

Other factors can also be taken into consideration at the same time, including:

  1. Asking your solicitor to review the terms of your Lease for a fixed fee, to see if any other terms could be varied to ensure they are compliant with modern leasehold law;
  2. Considering how many years remain on the Lease term and whether or not to extend the term and pay the landlord a lump sum premium to do so;
  3. Obtaining your lender’s consent to the alterations, adopting a similar procedure to landlord’s consent, in order to comply with your mortgage conditions.

The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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