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F E Smith
F E Smith, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 9655
Experience:  30 years General Practice. All aspects of Property Law
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Does email serve as proof of requesting consent to a

Customer Question

Does email serve as proof of requesting consent to a building alteration (between two freeholders)?
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: Surrey, United Kingdom
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: I have yes. But she was not helpful and I have been given a refund!
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I live in a maisonette with 2 flat. I live in the downstairs flat. the upstairs flat owner made a building alteration. he informed me by email but didn't actually state that he was seeking my consent. Ok, thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Email can be legally acceptable although in most leases it actually dictates how notice must be served. You need to look at that section of the lease to see what it mentions because very often, email is excluded. If email is excluded then this is not notice.

Email is not excluded or there is no mention, it would be satisfactory notice if there was a history of email communication between you or if you confirm that you had the email.

If it is excluded in the lease, then even if you have it, it is not served.

However regardless of whether you are deemed to have had the notice or not, there is a difference between notice being given and consent and it depends whether the lease says that a person must give notice or the freeholder must consent. They are 2 different requirements and there could be one or there could be the other or there could be both. It would be necessary to study the lease.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The deed says 'not make any alterations without approval in writing of the Lessor to the plan and specifications thereof and to make alterations in accordance with plans and specification. The Lessees shall at their own expense al all respects obtain all licenses approval of plans permissions and other things necessary for carrying out of such alterations and comply wth the bye-laws and regulations and other matters prescribed by any competent authority either generally or in respect of the specific works involved in such alterations.Does in writing mean email? Because he sent me an email saying that he was doing the alteration and he sent me a picture of the alteration. I said I was ok with it on email reply. But his email did not specifically say 'seeking consent'. And I did not realise that he needed to seek permission from me for making the building alteration. He implied that he was making the change and all I had to do was say if I was ok with the colour of the building alteration.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.

I see that you have been waiting quite a while for a response. From what you have written email is a perfectly acceptable way of complying with the 'in writing' requirement. As such the email is sufficient - it does not need to formally say 'seeking consent'. Happy to discuss but please rate positive.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I own a freehold with one other person. That person made changes to his part of the property. He advised me of the changes via an email. I did not realise he was seeking my consent via that email to make a building alteration. I want to know if I have any rights and what I need to state in a letter to him to say that I have not granted him consent for that alteration.His building alteration was to change a window to french doors and railing. I am concerned about the noise and intrusion of privacy. I am worried that maybe I dont have any rights since I said I was ok with it on his email. I did not realise that he was seeking consent or should have asked me for consent. Its only since I read my deed of covenant that I realised that he needs to ask me for consent.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

At clause 8 on page 4, he is not allowed to make alterations without consent of the Lessor which is the landlord/freeholder which is the two of you.

On page 5, clause 4.1 he is not allowed to do anything which might be a nuisance.

If he sent you something which said he was doing it, and you went back and said that it was okay then, there is an implied consent.

It depends whether your response would be deemed and see to be an acknowledgement of what he was doing and in acquiescence rather than simply an acknowledgement of the email.

However, if your concerns are in respect of noise and nuisance, they are covered under the normal terms of the lease.

Can I clarify anything else for you?