Lease on Property

publication date: Oct 25, 2011
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Lease on Property

Leaseholder Advice

We regularly answer consumer property questions for free via our Property Forum.

Here's a 'snippet' of just one of the many property questions we have recently answered:-

Q -
 I have renovated my leasehold flat to a good standard over the last two years which the freeholder has approved, however I accidentally contravened the terms of the lease by slightly altering two windows. They are not overlooked and originally didn't correspond to an adjacent flat. I have agreed in full co-operation with the freeholder to replace these windows with ordinary glass. I also requested to change the rest of the flat to double glazing. He has agreed to all this in principle but has caused delays and insisted I provide various evidence - which I have always done. He has finally granted retrospective permission for the bathroom window changes bit only upon receipt of a £750 fine which he claims is a reduction fro £1,500. Is this legal? SEE THE FULL QUESTION HERE

A - The answer to your question depends to an extent on why the freeholder wants to charge you £750 for the retrospective consent. Under the provisions of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 any administration charge imposed under a lease must be 'reasonable.' If the sum of £750 is the freeholder's own fee (rather than re-imbursing any cost that he has already incurred with someone else - (which might be recoverable under the enforcement provisions in your lease) then this sum needs to be a reasonable amount. If the freeholder has spent a lot of administrative time on this application then perhaps some of this could be justified, but in short there is nothing in law that allows the freeholder to charge a 'fine' or penalty payment for breach of the lease terms and certainly not for any amount of money.  FULL ANSWER CONTINUES HERE!


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