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Converting the loft space when not demised to the flat

A client of ours recently was considering converting the loft space which was not demised to her in her top floor flat (which she owned a share of the freehold) into an extra bedroom.

In general when flats are sold it is only the interior that is included in the lease and not the loft space.  The space in the loft belongs to the freeholders collectively.  We therefore  advised our client that she would need to purchase this space from the other freeholders.

Our client would need to discuss this with her co-freeholders and ask them to agree in principle to sell the loft space to her.  She would then need to instruct a surveyor who would calculate the appropriate market price.  Once this was agreed, it would then be necessary for a new lease to be granted with the extra space.

Our client would also need to make an application under the lease for consent to carry out the conversion work and this is done by getting a “licence for alterations”.

Our client was informed that she would have to pay the costs for all the freeholders both in relation to the acquision of the loft space and the licence for alterations.  These costs can sometimes be quite substantial.