Areas of Law / Property

We’ve applied for planning permission to build a three-bedroomed extension. However we’ve had a letter from the freeholder saying we need his consent before the work is carried out. We wondered whether that was true? Can he stop us having the extension built? We pay £5 a year ground rent.

It depends what the lease says. If it requires you to obtain the landlord’s consent before making alterations to the property you shouldn’t go ahead without it. However the landlord cannot withhold his consent “unreasonably”. He can charge you for any expenses he incurs as a result of the work you’re planning, such as surveyor’s or solicitor’s fees and any others covered by the lease itself, but he can’t charge you for giving his consent. If you have difficulty with this see a solicitor.

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