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HJR said: Posted on: 04/06/2012 00:00

I bought a leasehold 2 bed flat in a purpose built block of 10 flats in 2010. There was nothing in the lease that prevents subletting although it states that only family units can occupy. I took this to mean I couldn't let the bedrooms out separately - fine with me as it is a quality development suited to single professionals or a couple. Initially a family member is living I the flat, but eventually I want to rent it out as part of my portfolio.

There is a residents association, of which I am a member, that has chosen to 'self manage' the block. When I attended the AGM I was told that although they approved of my family member living in the flat, I would not be able to rent it out as several years ago the residents association had agreed that they would not permit 'renting' and it was minuted and was therefore a rule. I pointed out that the head lease did not disallow subletting and that minutes of meetings were not made available to me prior to purchase. Now I find that at the latest meeting, which I could not attend, they have decided to take legal advice with a view to amending the head lease so that subletting is not permitted. This raises several questions which I hope you can advise me on;
1) Would any change be enforcable retrospectively?
2) Can the association spend 'sinking fund' money on legal advice?
3) In my view such a change would affect the saleability of the flats and therefore devalue the property. Could I seek compensation?

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