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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19449
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Hi we have planning permission to build the extension to our

Customer Question

Hi we have planning permission to build the extension to our flat. 3 ppl own the freehold of our property and we have asked them for the consent to proceed. How long do they have to respond? Does the consent need to be drown up by solicitors? What can we do if they ignore the letters?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.
How long have you been waiting for consent?
Have you asked in writing and given them the plans.
What does your lease say about consent and time ro reply, if anything. It usually specifies both. Thanks
Please bear with me today as I am on and offline all day
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

the lease says:


the lessee hereby covenants with the lessor as follows: c) not to make any structural alterations or additions to the Lover Flat whatsoever nor remove any of the Lessor's fixtures without the previous consent in writing from the Lessor.


 


this paragraf is very long and have several points, I have attached the document in full.

Attachment: 2013-07-22_090532_cofen0302_exchange_30032010-172609.pdf

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

We have asked one of the freeholders for the consent in August 2012 and got his reply within 2 weeks and got his reply within a week confirming that he is prepared to give consent to the said works being carried out subject to planning permission etc (which is now obtained) - can we take it as a formal consent?


 


at that time we were not aware that we need consent of all 3 freeholders and now we have asked remaining two on 8th August 2013. We have sent them copies of the plans, structural drawings and copy of the planning permission and still waiting for the reply.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

between August 2012 and now we have engaged party wall surveyor (we didn't know we need all 3 consents). two of the freeholders agreed to the sole surveyor, one is not responding (i know he has received all docs as it was sent via recorded delivery and his signature is there)

Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.

Thanks. Many leases now contain a provision that consent is not to be unreasonable witheld or delayed. Yrs doesnt which means that they can simply ignore you request without being in breach of the lease and then you are faced with court.

You need to approach the freeholders as a body/altogether.

What I would do in short term is write to the one who agrees and ask him to confirm that he answers for all of them. Only accept it in writing.

You can take that as being the consent you need. His letter is sufficient if they decide that you didn’t ask and say that you proceeded without consent and it ends in court with them pursuing you.

Does that answer the question? I am happy to answer specific points.

Can I help further?

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.

We cannot ask them all together as the one who is in agreement asked us to request it from his siblings.

 

We need to have consent from each of them.

 

How long is a reasonable to wait for the response? Shall we chase? When we can go to court?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.
I would write after 14 days giving them another 21 days (to date so that there is doubt over when they must reply by).
On the 22nd day, give them 7 days more after which you will , without notice, apply to court to have the court determine the issue and ask court to award costs against them.

They can contest it on the basis that I outlined earlier as there is no onus on them to reply or consent and you may lose. it depends the view the judge takes.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

thank you, XXXXX XXXXX tell them in the last letter (7 days ) that we will be going to court? Is it important that we employ solicitor or can we go without?


 


can we not assume that lack of answer is a silent agreement?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.
Ther is caselaw on silence (felthouse v Bindley), No silence cannot be deemed acceptance even if you say if I dont hear anything I will assume that you consent.

you can apply to court yourself if you know what you are doing but it might be better to use a solicitor. dont waste solicitors money on letters, just use a solicitor for the proceedings
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

thank you, XXXXX XXXXX helpful.

 

consent - does need to be solicitors drown up document?

 

court - how likely is that they may win in case of no reply

 

is there anything else we could do in order to obtain necessary permission from them?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.
It can be simple letter if they are happy with that. Because of lack of words in lease it isnta good claim.
They might accept money "for their trouble" and consulting say, a surveyor
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19449
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Stuart J and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

thanks you for your help.


 


it seems very unfair that we need to rely on the mood of the freeholder.


 


do you know what would be a reasonable amount to offer for '"heir trouble"?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 11 months ago.
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