EK Licence to Alter have carried out a number LTA applications to this Mansion Block in London, so our familiarity will assist as the application progresses.
We are acting for the landlord (freeholder) of this sought-after mansion block in central London in respect of an application from a leaseholder to carry out substantial alterations to their flat.
EK Licence to Alter have carried out a number LTA applications to this building, so our familiarity will assist as the application progresses.
The leaseholder wishes to change the layout of the flat, including widening doorways and removing a chimney breast within the demise.
Crucial to the consent will be integrity of the building following removal of the chimney breast which is structural. We will bring in a structural engineer for their input. We have counted 5 flats above the flat in question, all of which could be affected by the removal of the chimney, and therefore full schedules of condition will be required to each of the flats – cost fully covered by the leaseholder requesting consent.
Furthermore, a chimney expert will be required (to be arranged by the leaseholder) to ascertain how the chimney can be removed without affecting the flues serving other flats. We will take receipt of this report and include its findings in our report to the landlord.
Legal advice will be sought by the landlord in respect of the footprint of the chimney. Who owns that space? Does the space the chimney leaves increase the internal area of the demise and would a premium be applicable, to the landlord’s benefit? This is to be ascertained.
There are even implications of increasing the size of the flat, and potentially impacting on the service charges paid by this flat. It is likely that the footprint of the chimney will be de minimis and the service charge unaffected.
Finally, the lease contains an absolute prohibition on hard flooring in the living areas, so if the landlord was to allow hard flooring subject to necessary acoustic specifications and testing, they should proceed with caution, not least because of Duval.
What this case study demonstrates is the number of stakeholders/professionals involved, the lease implications of structural and non structural work, and how vital it is to protect the integrity of the building and other leaseholders’ flats.
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