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September 22, 2018 at 2:35 pm #618
Hello, considering removing the wall between kitchen and living room to make an open plan living space, however very interested to know if anyone has done this yet within Rainbow Quay?
If so, any chance you could send me some pics or even allow me to come take a look? Would be much appreciated thank you.
February 9, 2019 at 11:04 pm #1571
Hello Henry, I am in the process of having my application processed. Unfortunately I have not yet got to the end of the paperwork needed but fingers crossed I will get there!
February 10, 2019 at 10:23 pm #1572
Hi Henry- I have the same question, thanks for asking! I'm flat 3, 101 Did you do it in the end or see any photos?
Linda- is it a long process? Thanks.
February 17, 2019 at 7:35 pm #1573
Paperwork still ongoing,so in my opinion yes.
Surveyor to confirm walls are non-loadbearing and that includes to the ceiling. Building contractor for current regs approval. Freeholder surveyor to survey, confirm findings and confirm all findings listed are carried out and a qualified person to carry out an assessment of communal areas prior to starting. Architect to draw plans and provide insurance of parties involved.
March 3, 2019 at 3:55 pm #1574
Hi Linda – can I contact you about this please? I’m starting the process now. Thank you!
March 7, 2019 at 5:53 am #1575
Yes text me
July 1, 2019 at 10:20 pm #1576
Hi Henry, Linda
Just wondering if you either of you had any updates on the process and whether you were successful? Would it be possible to give you a quick call (or even to have a look) to speak about the process in more detail?
I spoke to an architect and they told us we didn't need to use them and instead should just ask the freeholder for the structural plans to see if it was load bearing or not. Subject to them existing anything else was just inflated costs or processes in their opinion.
August 2, 2019 at 2:22 pm #1577
EDITED AND UPDATED ON 15 AUGUST
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!
August 12, 2019 at 5:16 pm #1578
Would it be possible for me to give you a call regarding the process please?
August 14, 2019 at 6:33 am #1579
I am taking down one wall and “moving” another. My surveyor's report, written at the start of Feb cost £500 and HJP costs were £705. Building regs, solicitor's costs to instruct the freeholder's solicitor to issue a license will bring my total closer to 2k I expect.
I am still to complete the paperwork trail but nearly there.
20th August update
solicitor’s costs from the freeholder to issue the license is £1161.60 and may be more depending on adjustments. If I appoint a solicitor to read through the license draft that’s another 1k.
I forgot to mention the need for pre and post works plans which and architect has to draw up and provide insurance for; kerching again.
Not sure why I needed my own surveyor to stick a hole in the ceiling for the freeholder to send another surveyor? I would have hoped the freeholder would have had some construction details to refer to.
Quite a paper trail.
Just read Henry’s update too and not looking forward to the additional billing from RQRC and Habitare. This is costing more than my kitchen!
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