Leaseholder loses flat in redecorating row

A leaseholder has called for a change in the law after his flat was seized in a row about redecorating his home.
 
Charles McCadden, who says he has been left with nothing, bought the £600,000 apartment in Brent, north west London, with inheritance money.
 
He redecorated the flat soon after moving in and fitted a new kitchen and bathroom. But he failed to consult the freeholder about his plans, which is a requirement of the lease.
 
As a result the freeholder, Dr Afshan Malik, who lives in a downstairs flat in the Victorian terrace building, took Mr McCadden to a first tier-tribunal for breach of covenant and refusal to pay maintenance costs.
 
The tribunal had visited the apartment but could not gain access; however, it was satisfied that a new kitchen, bathroom and central heating had been installed.
 
The court ruled the breaches to be serious and ordered Mr McCadden to pay Dr Malik £216.62 in outstanding charges and to reimburse her for the £300 tribunal fee.
 
Mr McCadden refused to pay the costs, so Dr Malik took him to Willesden County Court, which last month issued a forfeiture and possession order to transfer the lease into her name.
 
Mr McCadden, who suffers from chronic illness, says has been left feeling suicidal and has called for a change in the law.
 
He told The Times: “The whole episode has made me feel very anxious, stressed out and at times suicidal. I am living a nightmare.”
 
Sebastian O'Kelly, from the charity Leasehold Knowledge Partnership said: “Mr McCadden has been found to be an inconsiderate neighbour. But the loss of £600,00 asset is out of proportion to the dispute.”

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