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Landlard Consent - After Having Planning and Building Regs

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by hmeah, 17 Apr 2016.

  1. hmeah

    hmeah

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    I got planning and building regulations for a 3 metre rear extension into the garden on my 3 bed masionette from the local authority back in 2014, i started the build in March 2016.

    I also decided to complete internal works like new kitchen bathroom and painting deforating the whole house.

    I received a call from the council enforcement earlier this week saying I am in breach of my lease and need to stop works at once as I do not have landlord concent, I tried to explain that I had planning approval and also building regulations approval who have visited and signed off 2 stages do the build. However the person says they have nothing to do with planning and building regs and will be visiting soon with a surveyor to access and it could be I would need to put back to how it was.

    I've had a few sleepless nights worried about this, I have read up on the council website but not much information.

    Any idea on how I should deal with this and what the concequences could be?
     
  2. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    What council department?

    Who is the landlord?

    What tenancy or lease do you have?
     
  3. hmeah

    hmeah

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    Department was home ownership

    Southwark council are the landlord

    I have a 125 year lease, 100 remaining.

    I have the planning and building regs have visited and signed off dpc and roof for the extension.
     
  4. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    This is relating purely to a potential breach of the lease agreement, and I suspect that it is for the external structural extension work, and nothing to do with the internal kitchen, bathroom and redecorating which would not normally come under your lease agreement.

    Despite planning regulations, building control and leases/home ownership being run from the council, they are all separate entities in terms of permissions and may not communicate to each other.

    Check your lease agreement. Normally there is a condition related to improvements and external structural work. It will either state that none of these can be done, or more likely, that you need the landlord's consent first. This is what the lease team want to inspect.

    If your lease allows you to ask for permission for improvements, but you have not asked, then its only a technical breach and not a big deal. This is because a landlord cannot unreasonably withhold permission for such requests. Now this will rely on your extension not being an eyesore, and not interfering with other residents, or the council's obligations to manage the block - such as access to do their regular maintenance.

    The council officers will need to make an appointment, not just turn up. So you can arrange to have someone with you at that time. Not to argue or get involved, just for support.

    Let them have a look at the extension, and any plans - although they can get the details from their friends in planning and building control. They should not (can not) give you a decision there and then only an opinion. You should wait for any opinion to be backed up in writing with a formal response. You then deal with that.

    If they agree that the work is acceptable, then you just apply for retrospective consent. There may be fees involved to formalise this into the lease.

    If they state that there is a breach and they will not accept a retrospective application, then there is a process for complaint and appealing that. It is not an absolute decision.

    In the meantime, it might be wise to stop the extension work, until you know what is happening.
     
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  5. hmeah

    hmeah

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    Woody, thank you for your input, it is very much welcomed.

    With the extension, I have also done work in the house, I have refitted the kitchen, replaced old boiler to new combi system, replaced bathroom, plastered all the walls in the house and also lowered the ceiling to install led spot lights. I have not changed any structural walls.

    The extension is not an eyesore, theres a neighbour 6 doors away who has a higher and also a lengthier extension, the council did the works for them as they have a disabled child.

    The officer who called me was very aggressive, I will call the council tomorrow morning and see how I can apply for retrospective consent, most of the work is done now in the house just finishing touches.

    In the past when I first moved into the place 10 years ago, i had the bathroom, kitchen and flooring laid in the whole house, i have never had any issues.
     
  6. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You are allowed to do internal work. That's got nothing to do with the lease or the landlord.

    If the council officers come across as aggressive and bullying, when they visit, have a note pad ready,
    first ask their names and positions,
    then ask their line managers names and positions (for your reference)
    Then ask them to confirm why they are there and what they intend to do - if there are two of them, get each to confirm their role and who is leading (mostly address whoever is the lead officer)
    All the time make notes, and with any contentious comments, write it down and who said it, and repeat it back to them "to clarify".

    Don't get into any argument or make any agreement that you are not happy about, as this visit should only be for fact finding.
     
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  7. hmeah

    hmeah

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    Ive got the application to list all the works being done, once i submit this list i will be sent an invoice, once settled the council surveyor will attend to inspect the works, I need to find my lease to see if i am allowed extension ( i just read about this online that since i live in a maisonette, i may not be allowed!), if this is true, i dont understand why my neighbour was able to build into their garden. My lease is in storage which I will get into this week to check. If say the lease mentions I am not allowed, would i be able to contest it due to the fact a neighbour has built one via the council, the main reason for my extension is to allow more living space downstairs to my elderly parents (dad 75 and mum 65) as they are getting old and find it hard to up and down the stairs.

    I wish i knew that i needed permission, i would have sought this as the approval from planning and building regs came through in summer 2014....
     
  8. You've unfortunately managed to get a jobsworth, as anyone else would just ask you if you were aware that you needed permission, and not got aggressive with you - you can ask them to leave, and then contact their line manager to request someone else deals with the matter. The neighbours extension has set a precedent, so there's a good chance it will all sort itself out. Be prepared to do a little groveling, but don't be cowed by them. As Woody said, permission can't reasonably be withheld (especially after the neighbours extension) but there may be costs involved, both on their side, and yours to amend both the lease, and the land registry details.
     
  9. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The neighbour has probably had their extension built under a special scheme for disabled people.

    But normally, the terms of the lease is everything and what it states is what matters.

    Find your lease and see what it says, and take it from there.
     
  10. hmeah

    hmeah

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    I dug out the lease form storage today, the good new is the lease states I need to get landlord approval for structural changes, it doesn't mention anything about not being able to build an extension.
    I will complete the form for landlord approval and pay the ££££ they want once they have sent a performa, then will arrange for their surveyor to visist. I beleive i will also need to change the lease and land registry and they wish for me to pay £200 per annum ground rent rather than the current £10.
     
  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    That's good news. It's probably just a formality now then, so you can get some sleep.
     
  12. Yes,thats good news.

    Instead of paying for bricks and blocks you now have to pay for bits of paper

    But your over the worse now,even if your lease was a problem,there are ways of getting around that,legally.

    good luck and enjoy your extension.
     
  13. hmeah

    hmeah

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    Ive completed the landlord alteration form and handed this in, council called to take payment of 249 pounds today and have arrange a visit for first week of May.

    I have listed all the works I've had done, including changing the layout of kitchen as I've added a oven housing, which is classed as structural changes and also the new rear extension. I'm hoping they are happy with the works which has been done to a quality finish and no more issues arise from their visit.

    Do you happen to know if it would be a council surveyor or a externally apointed surveyor?

    Thanks again all for your help, it has helped me very much and put my minds at ease.
     
  14. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    This.
    I suspect a "large number" of people don't realise that when they "own" something leasehold, they don't actually own the building, but have a lease to use it. The terms under which they use the property are set out in the lease agreement - and that will lay down what is and isn't permitted.
    I know (because I've read it, but it was 14 years ago) the leasehold for my flat specifically says I cannot make any structural alterations without the head landlord's permission - but offhand I can't remember the details as to where this stops. I would expect this to be a fairly standard clause - after all, who would want a tenant knocking holes in their property without the chance to stop them doing something that would cause problems for other leaseholders and/or devalue the property.
    Knocking down walls and adding an extension would certainly, IMO, qualify as structural changes.
     
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