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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Property Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10224
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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I have a line in my (rather outdated) lease on a flat that

Customer Question

I have a line in my (rather outdated) lease on a flat that says:

"To use and occupy the flat solely and exclusively as a self contained residential flat in one occupation only"

Does that mean I cannot let out the flat to 3 or more sharers? In planning law there is a distinction since 2010 between C3 (essentially family) and C4 (sharers = house in multiple occupation). Under planning the flat is C4, but I wonder if the "one occupation only" means the same as "no multiple households" or "no C4 HMO" for law relating to the leasehold.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

 

Hi there,

 

Thanks for requesting me and for your question.

 

Most modern Leases will stipulate, if applicable, that the property should only be used for occupation by one family, but the wording in your older Lease means the same thing I'm afraid. ie strictly speaking, you can not rent it out to more than 1 family, and hence letting it out to 2 or 3 individuals would be a breach.

 

What I advise in these scenarios is that you approach the Freeholder and seek their views on this issue, as they may be willing to grant you consent to let it out to 2/3 people if that is what you really need to happen. Of course, they may well refuse, and if they do, there is nothing you can do to get them to change their mind.

 

I hope this answers your question, and if so, I would be grateful if you could leave positive feedback.

 

Kind Regards

AL

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks for that, but I thought that "family" can have quite a wide meaning in law. In this context it could also mean "household" and is not restricted to husband and wife w/ kids, but could mean a group sharing facilities see e.g. (Roberts v Howlett [2002] 1 P. & C.R. 19)


 


My solicitor thinks the original phrase was to prevent overcrowding, not to restrict to one household.


 


I can of course approach the FH, but I'd rather sort this out properly so that resale value won't be affected.

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

 

Hi again,

 

Thanks for your reply. I would stand by what I said in my original reply. However, a lot of FH's will grant consent (especially if others are renting out to individuals, so rather than perhaps spending a lot of money on Solicitors, you are best just to go straight to the FH).

 

Kind Regards

AL