I am the leaseholder of a first floor flat of a converted house in London. The leaseholder living in the flat below also owns the freehold.
They are very difficult to communicate with and they are asking to see inside my flat. Do they have the right to access my apartment without my permission? They have said if I do not grant them access they will go to a solicitor. On a separate note, if I want to convert the loft space above my flat, do I need the freeholders permission?
I have obviously not had sight for your flat but applying very general broad brush principles, most leases grant landlords right of access for the purpose of viewing and examining the state of repair of the flats and/or to see if the lease covenants are being complied with.
In terms of permission to convert the loft space above your flat – a couple of things would first need to be bottomed out, namely:
- Firstly, is the loft space currently within your demise under the lease terms? If not, the area in question belongs to the landlord / if retained in the freehold demise and cannot be incorporated into your flat demise without the consent of the landlord, which it is not obliged to provide.
- Secondly, if the loft space is currently without your demise under your lease, the lease would need to be checked as concerns the alterations provisions and more particularly, whether consent is needed for alterations works of this nature.
If alterations are undertake without landlord’s consent, you would be in breach of lease terms, the ultimately sanctions/consequence being, forfeiture of the lease to bring it to an end.
It is vital that the lease is read and understood here.
Yashmin Mistry, Managing Partner, JPC