Planning and Legal Services

At North London Loft Rooms we are approached on a daily basis about developments in flats, maisonettes or properties within conservation areas about developing their homes to create more space. Often these people have friends and family who have already completed such alterations and have come to us having been recommended by them. They have often been told how simple it all was and how we completed the job with little disturbance to their lives and within the timeframe given.

The difficult conversation we then have to have with people in these positions is that the law doesn’t give them permitted development rights as their friends and family have had in their houses and bungalows.

The law has not yet extended to provide these rights to people living in shared occupancy buildings and for those in conservation areas or listed buildings those rights are also restricted.

This means that there are a number of hurdles to traverse before you can be in a position to obtain proper quotes to build you extension to your property.

For flats and maisonettes the two main elements of obstruction are permission to build from the local planning authority and from the freeholder(s).

Without these two issues being resolved you cannot change a thing, in general. It is also hard to say which is the first thing to deal with, because often they need to be dealt with in tandem. Therefore you need to check your lease and consult the possibilities of an extension within your home.

We can help you with both of these things FREE OF CHARGE by doing a site survey and having a look at your lease document.

If the extension seems possible we can give you a rough estimation of cost and seek to point out any concerns in your lease. The main issues arising from a lease are likelihood of permission being granted, how much it may cost you in payment and costs to the free holder and what alterations to the lease may be necessary.

If you then wish to proceed further we have a full package that will walk you through this process to conclusion and hopefully full planning permission for what you want for you conversion dreams.

Our planning service will attend and fully site survey your property including taking measurements for building regulation drawings that you will hopefully need later on, and this thereby reduces further costs later on. We will fully discuss the layout and potential for the property and do unlimited revisions of the plans with you until we get it right. We advise you along the way of possible pitfalls and likely oppositions from planning departments.

Our continuous liaison with planning departments means that we have built relationships and understanding of local authorities which can guide you to an easier successful application.

We then take you through the planning stages to refine your application, including pre-application, full application and appeal (where necessary) at no further cost other than payment of any council fees. (Fees vary with authorities so cannot be included in our fixed price).

We make sure that drawing on our experience, at each stage we provide all the necessary documents required and as much additional evidence that we can locate to strengthen your case for your extension.

Our Legal services at the same time can assist you in ensuring your negotiations with the freeholder(s) are smooth and as simple as possible. They will fully examine your lease and seek to ensure that it is altered appropriately and covers all elements of the conversion.

They will then create the lease addition for all parties to sign. You should be aware that you are likely to be liable for the freeholder(s) legal expense in this process as well but our partner team will do as much of the work as necessary.

Once the new lease is completed and duly signed and witnessed you will then have both elements to proceed towards building the conversion.

The final hurdle is the party wall act but this effects every conversion that has adjoining properties. We can walk you through this process and hopefully complete this with no further costs by providing all the information and consent letters for you and your neighbours. Where consent is not provided we have party wall surveyors on hand to assist you with the process and deal with all the elements required in the dissent process to create a party wall act award.

Our services are up front and transparent

For our full planning service we charge £1250 +vat which then provides a £300 +vat reduction on your building regulation drawings.

For our legal service we charge £650 +vat for a standard lease alteration with negotiation. We will advise you where the matter unusually becomes complex what additional costs will be incurred before proceeding. You will also usually be liable for any other freeholder(s) legal expenses.

For party wall act services the standard charge for one neighbour is £795 +vat, with reductions for additional neighbours where required. You will also usually be liable for any other concerned parties surveyors fees if they wish to instruct them.

As can be seen the expenses can mount up but we try to use our experience and expertise to limit as much of these costs where possible. It should also be remembered that in most circumstances we find that the costs incurred are usually covered within the additional value the property reaches at conclusion of the conversion.

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