A lady gets in touch from St Albans, where her 25-year-old builder son has just bought £117.000 leasehold flat, in a block of six.
He started work in breach of lease, removing the kitchen and bathroom, and a neighbour complained prompting the freeholder to intervene.
The initial demand was for £4,000. When the son went to speak to him he said £2,000 would be sufficient.
The son then offered £500, to which the reply was: “No chance, sonny.”
Gas central heating would involve some works over the common parts.
Here’s the mother’s email to LKP:
The flat needs extensive updating. He wants to replace the old kitchen and bathroom, put central heating in, put in a wooden floor (it is a ground floor flat) and remove a stud partition wall between the kitchen and living room to make it open plan. Everything will remain in the same place – ie: there is no change to layout of cooker, sink, toilet, bath and so on. He asked for consent to alter and the freeholder has said that’s fine but there will be an administration charge of £950, a premium payable for a Deed in the sum of £2,500, and the ground rent will be increased by a further £100 a year. The ground rent will then be doubled every 20 years. Added to this, to give consent for central heating there will be a further admin charge of £450. My son has also agreed to get a letter from a structural engineer saying all is fine (which he is happy to do) and realises he would need to pay an admin charge but these charges seem excessive. He is aged 25 and a first time buyer and these charges are just extortionate.
In a nutshell he is being charged around £4,000 to update the flat – which he can’t afford.
I am just wondering what we can do?