Alterations to leasehold properties

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We all like to make our house a home. However, if you own a leasehold property then things work a little differently from a freehold property.

If you own, either a leasehold house or flat, and you want to either put in a new boiler, update the kitchen or bathroom, and, in particular, if you wish to make any structural alterations then you must, in the first instance, obtain written consent from the freeholder or their managing agents.

You should also remember that all fixtures and fittings in the flat, i.e. kitchen cabinets, bath, sinks, showers, w.c., belong to the freeholder and not yourself and hence the need for consents. The freeholder will, no doubt, make a charge for giving any consents and you should enquire about the fee payable before embarking on the alterations so that you can budget for these accordingly. If you wish to make structural alterations, once you have obtained consent from the freeholder you must also obtain any building regulation consents or planning permissions required by the local authority. Again this will incur a further fee and you should check with your local planning department as to the costs involved.

If you are unsure whether any alterations that you wish to carry out require the freeholder’s consent then it is always prudent to check with the freeholder or the managing agent before you commence them to make sure so that you do not breach any of the covenants contained in the lease.

If you have any questions or queries relating to this article please contact Barbara Brown-Campbell at the Bognor Regis office of Owen Kenny Partnership on 01243 864865 or Janette Luker at our Chichester office on 01243 532777.