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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I own a flat in a larger block and pay ground rent to Leasehold

Customer Question

I own a flat in a larger block and pay ground rent to Leasehold Managers PLC. The property was purchased from Cabot Homes some years back with a 999 year lease. The developer subsequently sold the freehold to Freehold Managers PLC some years ago and this is who I pay £150 per year ground rent to.
Freehold Managers are now stating that I need to notify them of every time the property is let and pay them a fee. They have requested payment on two previous occasions and each time I have written to them and they have written back agreeing a fee is not payable. They have now written again and requested a fee, and despite my protest are saying it must be paid. Reading the lease I do not believe it is necessary to notify them when the property is let, or to pay them a fee. They cite the section of the lease below as proof that it does.
Your opinion please.
"Within one month of any assignment transfer mortgage or change of the premises or grant of probate or letters of administration order of court or other matter disposing of or affecting the Premises or devolution of or transfer of title to the same to give or procure to be given to the Lessor and the secretary of the Company notice in writing of such disposition or devolution or transfer of title with full particulars thereof AND at the same time to produce or cause to be produced to them a certified copy of the document effecting or (as the case may be) evidencing such disposition or other matter AND to pay or cause to be paid at the same time to the Lessor and the Company such reasonable fee as appropriate at the time of registration but being not less than fifty pounds in each case together with Value Added Tax thereon in respect of any such notice"
Thanks, ***** *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

I am afraid I have to agree with them.

The wording which catches you is "or other matter disposing of or affecting the Premises" which would cover any subletting of the property by yourself.

You may negotiate with them a reasonable fee for such notifications but as you see, it is a minimum of 50 pounds plus 20% VAT.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can you please elaborate as to what else the wording "or other matter disposing of or affecting the Premises" would allow the Lessor to charge a fee for. It strikes me that they could pick and choose when a fee is payable.


 


Also what would be a fair fee?


 


Regards, richard

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Subletting would be caught by the wording or a licence to someone permitting them to occupy the premises or taking a lodger.

Reasonable fee should be in the region of £50 plus VAT.

Hope this clarifies

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