Home Forums General Discussion Has anyone removed the wall between kitchen and living room? Re: Re: Has anyone removed the wall between kitchen and living room?



Hi David, sorry for the delayed reply. The process is long winded and highly inefficient – because of the freeholder. This is the process as far as I know –

1) Get your own structural surveyor to report that the load bearing wall is not structural (circa £300-400)
2) Send this report to freeholder's surveyor (called HJP)
3) HJP them require a large amount of documents including floorplans (old and new), Buildings approval confirmation from the council (can be done online and costs £240), various details about your builder and their insurance etc
4) After HJP have all the docs they need, they then come round to your flat to 'check' that the other structural report was correct. This will cost you £400-500 and you have no choice. You must also agree to replace any new flooring with more expensive sound proofing underneath the new flooring as a requirement (not sure if this is legally required but they wont progress without you agreeing to it).
5) Then HJP send their report and all the documents to Secure Reversions (the freeholder) so they can issue a 'license to alter'.
6) Sampson Coward (the freeholders solicitors) will now be engaged, and send you a bill for £1200 + VAT to draw up the paperwork for the license to alter. This must be paid upfront
7) After that has been completed, The Rainbow Quay Residents Company will charge around £450 for their solicitors to look over and approve the paperwork, then Habitaire will require £150 to sign the documents
6) Then you can actually complete the 6 hour job of knocking down a non-load bearing wall – so simple

The weak link in the chain is HJP and Secure Reversions. From experience, HJP need to be hassled aggressively to get anywhere and they are incredibly inexperienced (I knew more about the process than they did).

Secure Reversions on the other hand are laughable. After completing steps 1-5, I have then called and left messages to the freeholder, sent countless emails to all of the different people in the company and for months have not heard anything back.

Total costs –

£350 for First report
£240 for Council buildings control
£550 for HJP 
£1400 for Sampson Coward
£450 for RQRC
£150 for Habitaire

= over £3140 in admin costs to knock down a non-load bearing wall 🙂

If anyone else thinks these charges are not 'reasonable' (as defined by Schedule 11 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002), then please get in touch so we can act on it.

Any questions let me know, cheers!