Freeholder problems

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L
Lady Landlady
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I own 2 flats within a block of 24 and, following a verbal enquiry, the Lessor wishes to charge 2,400 for a licence to change the windows. The lessees wish to replace the rotten wooden window frames & cills with uPVC. Because of security on the ground floor, we will have to add vent windows but, otherwise the style and colour will remain as close as possible to the original.

The Lease states
"The Tenant hereby covenants separately with the Lessor the Managers and with the tenant of any other flat included in the Development ... not without the Licence in writing of the Lessor to make or suffer to be made any addition to or alteration in the demised premises ..."

"The Lessor hereby covenants with the Tenant and with the Managers ... without prejudice to the scope of the covenants on the part of the Lessor and the Tenant hereinbefore contained the Managers hereby covenant with the Lessor and with the Tenant as a separate covenant as follows:- To keep in good repair and condition the structure foundations roofs structural floors main walls load bearing or structural beams and the external and main structural parts gutters drain pipes and exterior (excluding the window frames included in any specific demise) ..."

As the Lease make no provision for the upkeep of the windows - and the window frames are specifically excluded from the Managers' remit - may I assume that the Lessees can change the windows (keeping as close as possible to the existing colour and style) without recourse to the Lessor?

I have read a case where retrospective permission from a Lessor cost the Lessee an exorbitant amount so wish to tread carefully.

However, the Lessor has a bad track record. One Lessee is charged a fee every time there is a change of tenant in his property - even though this is not mentioned in the Lease and, when I purchased my flats, they tried to do the same to me. I am therefore wary of paying them 2,400 when it may not be necessary and should appreciate any advice you can give.

Regards,
Anni

15/01/2009 00:00

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