flat purchase query on tenant/leaseholder

15
Posted 4th Jul
Hi all,
I've just purchased a flat with a new 125 lease. The landlord of the building are a large housing association. The flat needs to be fully renovated and want to do a small open plan kitchen-lounge meaning to break down a bearing wall (obviously with landlord permission, plans and structural drawings).

Was reading through the HA website and they've written:
tenants can not make:
  • layout change (movement or addition of partition walls)
  • change of use of rooms (e.g. relocating kitchen/ bathroom to different room

My question is...am I a tenant? I would have thought a tenant is the person who lives in the flat once I rent it out, but could also mean me.
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The housing association is the Freeholder.

You are the Leaseholder.

In terms of the lease, you are also known as the tenant and, as such, are bound by its terms.

I really wouldn't be thinking about removing a load bearing wall in a block of flats even if the lease stated I could.

I doubt changing the layout will add anything to the rent you can charge so, from that perspective, is not a good use of funds.

Best to refurbish the flat as per the existing layout - will be quicker and cheaper.
15 Comments
Yes, you would be considered as the tenant.
The housing association is the Freeholder.

You are the Leaseholder.

In terms of the lease, you are also known as the tenant and, as such, are bound by its terms.

I really wouldn't be thinking about removing a load bearing wall in a block of flats even if the lease stated I could.

I doubt changing the layout will add anything to the rent you can charge so, from that perspective, is not a good use of funds.

Best to refurbish the flat as per the existing layout - will be quicker and cheaper.
You are the tenant, effectively you have paid them rent for the next 125 years..
To engage a structural surveyor, expect to pay at least £30
HappyShopper04/07/2020 14:26

The housing association is the Freeholder.You are the Leaseholder.In terms …The housing association is the Freeholder.You are the Leaseholder.In terms of the lease, you are also known as the tenant and, as such, are bound by its terms.I really wouldn't be thinking about removing a load bearing wall in a block of flats even if the lease stated I could.I doubt changing the layout will add anything to the rent you can charge so, from that perspective, is not a good use of funds.Best to refurbish the flat as per the existing layout - will be quicker and cheaper.


There's a bigger bounty at the end of it. But doesn't seem possible.
Are they givving you a quote for up coming work over the next 5 years.
I look into buying a housing association flat, repairs for next 5 years were £7500.
They could ask for £50 or £7500 when they wanted but no more for 5 years.

When some work was done 2 years ago we had scaffolding up for 11 months. I would love to tell you what they did but could not get a straight answer.
Any way, My neighbour who owned her flat was charged £20,000 for the works.
Its still at court as she did not get a quote or list of said work and refused to pay.
Yes you are the tenant
bigwheels04/07/2020 16:54

Are they givving you a quote for up coming work over the next 5 years.I …Are they givving you a quote for up coming work over the next 5 years.I look into buying a housing association flat, repairs for next 5 years were £7500.They could ask for £50 or £7500 when they wanted but no more for 5 years.When some work was done 2 years ago we had scaffolding up for 11 months. I would love to tell you what they did but could not get a straight answer.Any way, My neighbour who owned her flat was charged £20,000 for the works.Its still at court as she did not get a quote or list of said work and refused to pay.


Either there was a mistake or she ignored the consultation that they would have had regarding proposed work to be carried out
cliosport6504/07/2020 18:30

Either there was a mistake or she ignored the consultation that they would …Either there was a mistake or she ignored the consultation that they would have had regarding proposed work to be carried out


No paperwork except the day they were starting.Thats why it’s at court.
bigwheels04/07/2020 18:37

No paperwork except the day they were starting.Thats why it’s at court.



It shouldn't need to go to court for that, it's a closed case, there is a consultation period before any proposed work is to be carried out otherwise it isn't legal, no consultation equals not paying for the work to be done or work that has been carried out. Tell your friend to get a better solicitor or use the ombudsman
Edited by: "cliosport65" 4th Jul
cliosport6504/07/2020 18:41

It shouldn't need to go to court for that, it's a closed case, there is a …It shouldn't need to go to court for that, it's a closed case, there is a consultation period before any proposed work is to be carried out otherwise it isn't legal, no consultation equals not paying for the work to be done or work that has been carried out. Tell your friend to get a better solicitor or use the ombudsman


I live in the block and was not told what work was being done.
I watched what they were doing, but no paperwork plan or details were given to residents.
She has a great solicitor, hence why she has not paid.
They can’t even show the court records of work to be done, estimate or when said work was checked and signed off.
A joke.
It will save her best part of 20k.
bigwheels04/07/2020 18:47

I live in the block and was not told what work was being done.I watched …I live in the block and was not told what work was being done.I watched what they were doing, but no paperwork plan or details were given to residents.She has a great solicitor, hence why she has not paid.They can’t even show the court records of work to be done, estimate or when said work was checked and signed off.A joke.It will save her best part of 20k.


Fair enough, you have to stand up to them landlords and not let them get away with that.
As Britlad says; you signed a lease and are a leaseholder. Assuming a 'normal' lease is in place, you are paying some kind of rent, even if it is peppercorn to the landlord, and that is what governs the status of being a tenant. You are a tenant BUT the applicable conditions and limitations are contained in the lease document and not on a page on the website. The association may try to exercise the web site conditions by virtue of the very common practise of requiring a tenant to agree changes with the landlord but any refusal of permission would have to be reasonable.

In a block of flats, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms etc are often arranged in vertical lines to keep similar noise under control (ie you dont want your bedroom under someones living room. Nor do you want . Don't expect a landlord to agree easily, especially a HA.

Did you discuss making changes with your solicitor? If so, you have been badly advised on signing the lease.
cliosport6504/07/2020 18:41

It shouldn't need to go to court for that, it's a closed case, there is a …It shouldn't need to go to court for that, it's a closed case, there is a consultation period before any proposed work is to be carried out otherwise it isn't legal, no consultation equals not paying for the work to be done or work that has been carried out. Tell your friend to get a better solicitor or use the ombudsman


Spot on with your information! The legislation is Section 20 Consultation - details can be found on this link

More info can also be found in the Tenants Rights & Obligations, specifically if a Landlord:
  • proposes works on a building or any other premises that will cost you or any other tenant more than £250, or
  • proposes to enter into an agreement for works or services which will last for more than 12 months and will cost you or any other tenant more than £100 in any 12 month accounting period.
  • Your contribution will be limited to these amounts unless your landlord has properly consulted on the proposed works or agreement or the First-tier Tribunal has agreed that consultation is not required.
ccnp04/07/2020 20:26

As Britlad says; you signed a lease and are a leaseholder. Assuming a …As Britlad says; you signed a lease and are a leaseholder. Assuming a 'normal' lease is in place, you are paying some kind of rent, even if it is peppercorn to the landlord, and that is what governs the status of being a tenant. You are a tenant BUT the applicable conditions and limitations are contained in the lease document and not on a page on the website. The association may try to exercise the web site conditions by virtue of the very common practise of requiring a tenant to agree changes with the landlord but any refusal of permission would have to be reasonable. In a block of flats, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms etc are often arranged in vertical lines to keep similar noise under control (ie you dont want your bedroom under someones living room. Nor do you want . Don't expect a landlord to agree easily, especially a HA.Did you discuss making changes with your solicitor? If so, you have been badly advised on signing the lease.


Good information here. And much appreciated. Got this flat as a last minute purchase from auction...simply as a flip. And at the time wasn't thinking of the second bedroom. But looking at this option now as open plan and getting second bedroom would give me double profit than a 1bed. Take on board what you said about layout of floors on each flat. First lease investment ive done so learning curve.
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