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How do you go about extending a flat?

(11 Posts)
LaurieFairyCake Tue 14-Jul-15 11:29:34

Say you buy a flat with a garden and you want to extend into it - do you have to get permission from the freeholder? Other residents?

The flat im looking at comes with a share of the freehold.

Anyone know if it's easy to do?

00100001 Tue 14-Jul-15 11:30:44

I would have though t it nearly impossible as you don't own the "building" just part of it

00100001 Tue 14-Jul-15 11:32:16

LaurieFairyCake Tue 14-Jul-15 11:33:13

Really? confused

It's an enormous Victorian villa where the ground floor flat owns the 100 foot garden - an extension/conservatory wouldn't look at all out of place.

prepperpig Tue 14-Jul-15 11:33:38

If you "buy a flat" you haven't bought the building, you have bought a long lease over the flat. If you also only own part of the freehold then you are likely to need to consent of other freeholders.

thesaurusgirl Tue 14-Jul-15 11:58:23

Yes, been there, done that. I own the upper flat in a 2-flat Victorian terrace conversion and wanted to add a loft bedroom and bathroom. Had 50% share of the freehold but still needed permission from the flat downstairs. She agreed but in compensation for the disruption to her I also had to redecorate the common parts after works (fair enough) and arrange to landscape the front yard (less fair, though a joint benefit to both of us). This added £10k to the bill. Swallowed my furniture budget.

If something isn't formally demised to your flat - part of a communal garden, an unexploited loft, a flat roof - you'll probably have to pay the other freeholder(s) for it.

My cousin bought a flat urgently needing a loft extension for their new baby and upon moving in, discovered they would have to pay an additional £30k between the two other freeholders for the right to extend into the roofspace even though the downstairs flats couldn't even access it!

JeffDjevdet Tue 14-Jul-15 15:14:05

Yes, the freeholder and then planning consent/building regs at which point neighbours could object if they wish.

thesaurusgirl Tue 14-Jul-15 16:48:45

Don't forget party wall survey costs. These really mount up in flats where there is more than one other adjoining flat, especially if they insist on their own surveyor (which you have to pay for).

LaurieFairyCake Tue 14-Jul-15 17:40:01

There are no flats adjoining to the extension at all.

This sounds expensive. And may explain why teeny, tiny flat with massive garden hasn't sold hmm

prepperpig Tue 14-Jul-15 18:57:22

I think the problem is that you don't know whether the other freeholders will agree to anything until you've purchased the property (and even then they might change their minds). You therefore need to buy the flat knowing that even if you are not able to extend you are still happy with it.

lalalonglegs Tue 14-Jul-15 19:44:44

Lots of people do build extensions and, if it is a freehold shared among a small number of leaseholders, people will probably be quite sympathetic. I've owned flats where works have been done completely free and another one where we charged a shared freeholder a ton of money because he was a shit. As whoever sorts out the freehold company's admin will need to reply to your solicitor's enquiries, it shouldn't be impossible to find out if they would be amenable to an extension or not before you buy it.

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