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Advice needed on London loft conversion - do I need to buy loft from freeholder?


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hi All,

 

I'm looking for advice with regards to my 2 bed flat in London that I am currently living in, as have heard conflicting points of view.

The flat is in an old Victorian block, and there is shared access to the loft. In reality no one else has access to it other than myself via my flat.

 

The loft is quite large and I would like to covert it into a third bedroom and add a balcony and small outside space. I consulted my conveyancing solicitor and he advised I would need to purchase the loft from free holder before converting. However, my next door neighbour has already done his and told me he simply applied to do it via the land registry (?!) and insists not necessary to buy the loft.

 

Does anyone have any knowledge on this area and can shed some light?

 

One particular concern is; if I don't buy the loft from freeholder and then renovate, is there then a risk I will not realise the added value of the loft conversion when I come to sell on the flat further down the line?

 

Many thanks in advance everyone.

 

Mark

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Hi Mark,

 

I can imagine situations that would mean your neighbor would be allowed but this would be very unusual, normally you'd have to get consent from your freeholder and they would normally charge you something of the enhanced value ( once your flat is extended )  and for changing the lease to incorporate the loft, you'd also need to get planning, I'd check to see if your neighbor got planning you'll be able to see it on your local councils website, if he has then you'll be able to gauge how difficult you getting planning should be.  

 

Maybe try and do a consent with the freeholder subject to planning ?

 

Your right if you don't do it belt and braces this could come back to bite when you try and sell in the future.

 

Good luck 

 

Michael 

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ok thanks Michael for the response - much appreciated.

 

I will follow your advice and go the belt and braces route.

 

Re my neighbor - now I think about it more, he only renovated the inside and put a few skylights in, with no real exterior impact, so planning not required - but also since he is older and not intending to ever sell I don't think he is concerned about eventual re-sale value.

 

thanks again Michael - will approach freeholder then and see what I can negotiate

 

cheers
M

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