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Making Alterations to a Leasehold Property

Making alterations to a residential leasehold property is no more a simple task. Many landlords ask for alteration fees from the leaseholders. With Leasehold Valuation Experts, know about what steps should be taken in such cases.  

The common questions which are asked by the leaseholders about home repair and improvement are,

  • Can you make alterations to a leasehold property?
  • What fees can a landlord charge to the leaseholder? and does the landlord grant permission to do so?
  • Can the owner claim for a premium, which increases the value of the leasehold property?
  • Can you build an extension on a leasehold property?

Are you facing the same issues as a leaseholder or dealing with any other leasehold problems? Our Leasehold Valuation team can help you out with such leasehold issues.

Leasehold Property Alterations

Are you looking to make structural changes to your leasehold property? Then what should be checked on,

  1. Check your Lease Agreement: Some landlords may grant you permission in the lease only for making such changes and alterations and some may not grant permission.
  2. Discuss with the Freeholder/Managing Agent: They will analyze if the changing arrangement of a leasehold flat will cause any impact on the layout of the flat or will also affect the cost(increasing or decreasing) of the leasehold property.

If these two do not work, you need to negotiate for the additional charges of the alteration adding to the premium. Besides, you need to check the lease agreement completely so get confirmed about it. Whereas, it may happen that you don’t have the legal right to make such changes and improvements as you don’t fully own the house.

Even if landlords permit you to make alterations, They may restrict you with conditions to be followed. Some may ask you to revert the alterations to the original at the end of the lease or at the time when you leave the flat in the future.

You must obtain legal advice from an expert or experienced chartered surveyor in the town. You must require permission for the following alteration and improvement tasks on the leasehold property: building regulations, structural alterations, electricity, pipes leakage repair or gas line work, drilling walls, constructing a new kitchen or bathroom.

The permission for proposed alterations will depend on how large the renovation or the alteration work is. For massive remodelings, the landlord may provide a license for alterations keeping in mind the effect of the alteration on the residential property. Even after leaving the property, it is crucial to know that the lease is planned to preserve the benefit of all the individuals and not harm the flat structure, do not disturb others residing beside the flat, and more.

Costs of Alterations:

With the alteration cost, you may also have to pay the extra charge to the landlord. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1927, Section 19 states that the alterations license or consent permission is not to be irrationally denied, the right of the landlord to claim for the charges of a moderate amount such be legal. Be conscious of the charges which landlords make. This may include administration charges, legal fees, hiring of technicians/engineers, granting a license, and reinstatement clause. 

The landlord may charge you more than the reasonable cost to make an abundant profit. In October 2017 Department for Communities and Local Government affirmed that the leaseholders may suffer unfair costs while making alterations to the leasehold property. The Conveyancing Association has concluded that 75 percent of leaseholders are giving unreasonable regulatory payments as a part of a rule and that plots to correct are inadequate.

In April 2018 Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government stated that the government and authorities will look into it and will ask about the fees that are more than the leasehold service charges, which can affect both the leaseholders and freeholders and examine under what conditions they are explained. If they are reasonable or illogical. 

A leaseholder has the right to examine the unreasonable charges if required at the First Tier Tribunal or Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. But before applying to the tribunal the leaseholder should know about the application as well as the law associated with it. This is a compact and time-consuming process. Therefore, it is suggested to have a healthy conversation with a landlord and resolve it.

As you know about the laws and your rights towards the alteration you must deal with it in the right manner. If you have any questions or queries regarding the law and regulation of leasehold property alteration then you can contact one of our chartered surveyors without any hesitation.

Can a premium be imposed as a condition of granting permission?

The statement depends on whether the changes are just to the leaseholders ‘demised premises’ or whether they involve modifying, or casting into, the portion of the building that belongs to the landlord. 

The demised premises are the premises included in the lease agreement. The demise premises do not cover the structural or exterior walls. It includes interior walls, interior roofs, or ceilings. Such elements are described precisely in the lease agreement in detail.

If the alteration has been executed to the demised premises then a reasonable premium would be charged by the landlord. And if the permission is refused to this then the leaseholders can ask for advice and help from the court or the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. 

Alteration to the landowner`s retained property

The part which is not included in the demised property is the retained property and is a freehold or landlord property. The alteration to the retained property will be not granted permission to the leaseholder by the landlord. The leasehold and landlord have a long connection. Hence, the leasehold may want to alter the retained property while the landlord may grant consent but would ask for the premium without any limitation. 

If you are looking for renovations or alterations, Leasehold Valuation Experts can help you out in making alterations to your leasehold house and more. Call 01753542984 for a 10-minute free consultation for lease queries.

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