PLEASE NOTE: This article was published on the date listed below and may now contain information that has since been updated or changed. We have retained this article as it may still contain helpful comments. However, we advise you to make an appointment to see us for the most up to date information on this topic.

August 2003

Cross Leases

Structural Alterations - Consents

Cross-lease ownership is a common form of property ownership but is more restrictive than freehold ownership. Too often cross-lease owners forget or ignore the provisions contained in the cross-lease – frequently to their detriment and cost.

As an example, with structural alterations, the cross-lease will contain a clause such as:

“The Lessee shall not make any structural alterations to the building without the prior written consent of the Lessors”.

The requirements are clear – no structural alterations without prior written consent. However it is quite common for cross-lease owners to undertake construction work on their flat without consent – treating the property as if it were freehold.

Those with cross-leases must recognise the restrictions on their freedom to make structural alterations in comparison to a freehold property. The strict rules set out in the cross-lease must be followed to avoid problems (and potential Court proceedings) with other cross-lease owners of the property.