Live In A Flat? Beware Of Replacing Your Windows!

Now that temperatures are on a downward spiral many of the people living in flats that they either own or rent will be considering replacing their existing windows. But in order to do this they must have the relevant permissions, otherwise they run the risk of paying more than double the cost of replacement windows and having to deal with the hard work involved in getting the approval they should have sought in the first place.

Leaded Detail Finish on Aluminium Windows

It is the responsibility of a flat owner to get planning permission from their local authority and written confirmation from the relevant freeholder and/or the Management Company. Tenants must get planning permission, landlord approval and permission from the Management Company.

Planning permission has to be obtained for a window replacement as flats do not enjoy Permitted Development Rights so that councils can have full control over the types, materials and window designs being replaced. This also enables them to ensure that any future window installations are completely in-keeping with the appearance of the windows they’re replacing.

We would urge anyone living in a flat to never proceed with a window installation without planning permission as a council can issue a Planning Enforcement Notice and force you to have them taken out and replaced at your own cost. You could try and request retrospective planning permission, but this won’t necessarily be accepted and in any case, will cost you further money to try and organise.

Failure to get permission from the Management Company can also lead to problems, particularly if you ever want to sell a flat with windows fitted without their permission. They could choose to block the sale until the windows are back in a condition they deem acceptable.

Those living in a flat within a Conservation Area also need to be aware that their local authority may have served an Article 4 notice on the relevant building which means that they cannot replace windows without obtaining double planning permission. The first is for making sure the window material and finish satisfies Article 4 and the other relates to the replacement window design itself.

The most logical thing to do when you’re buying or renting a flat is to choose one that already has energy efficient windows fitted so that you benefit from their numerous qualities and avoid the potential cost and pitfalls of replacing them yourself.

For more insightful information about replacing windows in a flat, contact us to speak to a Hazlemere Windows’ consultant.


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