Compensation for rooftop development

by Readers Question

10:55 AM, 4th November 2015
About 5 years ago

Compensation for rooftop development

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Compensation for rooftop development

I am the owner of a flat in a block of 10 flats each with a leasehold interest. The freeholder has obtained planning permission to construct a rooftop development of two penthouse apartments. penthouse

The current tenants did object but without success. Are they entitled to some form of compensation for disruption, disturbance etc.?

If so how do we go about this.

many thanks

Teresa


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Comments

Neil Patterson

10:56 AM, 4th November 2015
About 5 years ago

Hi Teresa,

I don't know myself but you could try the Leasehold Advisory Service see >> http://www.lease-advice.org/

14:09 PM, 4th November 2015
About 5 years ago

Read your lease. You should have rights over the common areas and if any of these areas need to be used for the new flats then you will have substantial negotiation rights.

A property I have in a block was recently altered to add more flats and we engaged an expert leasehold solicitor to represent us. It was tough work but we have won a number of material advantages.

Tony Atkins

14:41 PM, 4th November 2015
About 5 years ago

Check your leasehold agreement and the terms of your management company's Articles of Association. However these normally regulate the behaviour of leaseholders between themselves, not the freeholder, so you may have no luck.

Local residents are not normally entitled to compensation for noise, disruption and so on: redevelopment goes on all the time, so to dole out compensation to everyone who complains about the slightest noise or disruption would be ruinously expensive and complex to administer and adjudicate. There should however be controls on the hours of operation specified in the conditions of the planning permission.

My advice would be to avoid confrontation if possible and negotiate a settlement and a route of communication at an early stage. The freeholder or builder will probably want to keep you happy, just so she has one less thing to worry about during construction, so hopefully you can all work out some compromises. It would be diplomatic if you don't give the appearance of being largely interested in a cash payment, as there's a point where the developer will lose patience and dig in his heels, just as you would do if you felt he was riding roughshod over your concerns.

Check the Party Wall Act too, which probably protects leaseholders, and/or consult a solicitor with experience of the Party Wall Act in relation to leaseholders. The leaseholders should all - especially the top floor ones - be entitled to have a survey done of the condition of their properties before the work begins, and any damage beyond very basic hairline cracks in the plaster will have to be assessed by an independent surveyor and perhaps rectified by the freeholder. The extra weight of the new structure, plus impact damage from power tools etc, could have a significant effect on the existing structure, so you need to establish a baseline before construction begins.

S.E. Landlord

17:27 PM, 4th November 2015
About 5 years ago

My understanding is the roof of the top floor flat would be subject to a party wall agreement, a surveyor specialising in this area would be able to advise further.

If new flats are being placed on the roof it may improve the appearance of the block and in doing so add value to all flats. It may also be possible to negotiate improvements to communal areas as part of the new build,

You will need to look at how service charges are calculated as I would expect this to change to take account of the new flats.

Whilst seeking compensation may not be the right way to go, you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of your flat and consideration needs to be given to this by the freeholder and builders.

John Frith

13:41 PM, 9th November 2015
About 5 years ago

It may be too late now, but if enough leaseholders are interested, have you considered trying to buy the freehold?

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/buy-freehold-right-to-manage

Jon D

13:27 PM, 30th September 2020
About 2 months ago

This is an interesting thread, particularly because of new legislation summer 2020 (The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 632)).
Now freeholders can build without permission. So in addition to the great tips above, I spoke to Leasehold Advice last week who told me -
- Your lease likely has a clause "to enjoy peaceable tenure without interruption" or similar. They indicate that you can claim compensation for breach of contract here. If you move out and rent it, the claim could be the monthly rental value for the duarion of the works.
- The common areas including amenities like car park and refuse stores etc are subject to the existing lease. If this is repair only they cannot add new spaces or bin stores etc etc without 100% agreement from leaseholders or as the chap above suggests - a negotiation.
Planning can still object under the new law, based on "appearance and/or amenities". If you can argue the amenities cannot be expanded due to lease restrictions or space etc, planning could still reject the application.
Any more tips welcome - this is a hot topic even bigger than the cladding scandal.

Jon D

13:01 PM, 10th October 2020
About 2 months ago


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