Adding a flat to a small block – HELP!

by Readers Question

9:50 AM, 22nd February 2019
About 2 years ago

Adding a flat to a small block – HELP!

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Adding a flat to a small block – HELP!

I live on the first floor (2 beds flat) with sole access to the loft and there are two one bedroom flats on the ground floor. I also hold the freehold of the property.

I have put an application to convert my 2 bed flat into 2 x 2 bedroom flats. By law we have to inform the leasehold owners of the flats on the ground floor (both leasehold owners are renting out their respective flats) that we have applied for the planning permission. Our current arrangement is 25% each for the ground floor and 50% building insurance cost is shared by me as I occupy all of the first floor. But should there be any problem with roof or anything else in relation to building repairs then costs are shared with 25%, 25% and 50%. There is no management fee.

After they received notice from me, leasehold owners have come back to me and suggested that they should only contribute towards all costs to 16.67% each from original 25%. Also they recommended that terms of the lease for the 4th flat to remain same as for the rest of the flats. To me all three leases are slightly different from each other.

Of course their cost of building insurance will be affected should planning permission is granted. Please can anyone advice if this is a reasonable request from the leasehold owners to change their contribution from 25% to 16.67% or can I stick to the original lease terms and continue with 25% each as it does not prohibit me to develop additional flat as per the leases issued?

I have not replied to the leasehold owners, as I am unaware if the permission will be granted and more importantly why are they suggesting me these things?

Do I have to comply with their demands? What are my options?

Not sure if this is worth mentioning not long ago I have bought the freehold and I have paid a lot of money for it.

Thank you

Mehar


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Comments

Gracie

11:24 AM, 22nd February 2019
About 2 years ago

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. It's currently fair that you're paying for your fair share of area, they aren't trying to take advantage, they've worked it fairly according to the increased area, sounds like the relationship is on a great level, would you want to now make them pay more than what they own & ruin the status quo.

Max

16:53 PM, 23rd February 2019
About 2 years ago

You may have bought the freehold, but it gives you the advantage of being able to develop the property, entirely a separate issue to that regarding fair common payments. As Gracie suggest above, would suggest service charges based on a pro rata M2 basis - it is the most equitable system, used widely in Europe


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