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worriedlandlord
04-03-2010, 12:53 PM
I have just recently purchased a 1st floor flat (freehold) through an auction. My solicitor made me aware of a clause on the property which has caused me some concern.

Under Restrictions and Stipulations to be observed and performed by the Purchasers its states the following clause:

" Not to use the the upperflat save as a single private dwelling house and not to take in lodgers"

Her view was that because the property had been rented out previously that this may not be enforceable, however I am not sure if we have fully understood this clause.

The flat is part of an old Victorian property which consists of a house, a groundfloor flat and my flat a two bedroom first floor. This is a freehold property.

Any advice would be most helpful.

jeffrey
04-03-2010, 12:57 PM
See http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=26387, considering this very point.

worriedlandlord
04-03-2010, 21:24 PM
Jeffery, many thanks for your response, however can such clause restrict a freehold property from rented out?

Lawcruncher
04-03-2010, 23:54 PM
Whether freehold or leasehold the words mean the same.

Let's take it in two halves.

Not to use the the upperflat save as a single private dwelling house

You can only use the property for residential purposes and only in such way that no one would say it was two or more dwellings. You can certainly let it on a single tenancy.

not to take in lodgers

That means exactly what it says. Anyone who lives in the flat, whether or not a tenant, cannot take in paying guests.

Preston
05-03-2010, 00:25 AM
" Not to use the the upperflat save as a single private dwelling house and not to take in lodgers"

Her view was that because the property had been rented out previously that this may not be enforceable, however I am not sure if we have fully understood this clause.



Subletting the whole of the premises (to, for example, an assured shorthold tenant) who then occupies the flat as a single private dwelling house would not, it seems to me, be in breach of the requirement quoted above.

It would, however, be necessary to consider this clause in the context of the whole agreement and of the letting arrangement which you propose to be sure that you will not be in breach of the agreement. For example, if there are clauses prohibiting sub letting or the running of a business from the premises, you may or may not have an issue depending upon the detail of the arrangements you put in place. The link referred to by Jeffrey touches briefly on these issues.