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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25961
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Are there any laws safeguarding the interests of leaseholders

Customer Question

Are there any laws safeguarding the interests of leaseholders who own holiday homes where the freeholder runs the site and letting but at very expensive rates but frequently lets property at uneconomic rates and leaves electric heating on when not in use etc etc.
Richard Ragg
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Are you able to kindly clarify thetype of property you refer to please - are these houses, flats or park homes or something else please?
Is the freeholder renting out your home on your behalf?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Joshua, They are holiday designated lodges and the freeholder manages the the site as a holiday park including the handling of the letting and cleaning and linen on change over days. Richard

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
many thanks for the above. From what I understand, you hold a long lease for the lodge - is this correct?what is the basis of the freehold is right to manage the site as a holiday park? Are these rights contained within the lease itself or is there a separate contract with the freeholder that gives the freeholder the right to manage?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Joshua, Yes, originally a 999years lease.

We (my wife and I) have signed an agreement 'to appoint Hengar Manor full authority and power to bind the owner for the purposes of soliciting, arranging, making and managing holiday lettings of the holiday home.'

Hengar agreed to collect all monies received and deduct any letting expenses and agency fee commission.

Hengar's duties under this agreement were (a)' to use their reasonable endeavours to ensure that the holiday home is let at such tariff rates or rates generally as Hengar may consider prudent'.

We have now given notice that from 01/04/ 2016 we do not want them to manage our lodge, this has been accepted. Richard

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for the above information. Based on what you say the lease itself does not contain a requirement that the company you refer to manages your property. Rather you have entered into an agency contract with the company to market and manage the property for you which contract can be terminated subject to the minimum termination notice required under the contract. From what you say you have given written notice and that notice has been accepted so following termination of the contract you will gain control of the property yourself.As to the conduct of the lettings to date, the terms of the agreement give the agent full discretion to let the property on your behalf but the agreement does not override the common law principles of agency law which are that the company must act in your best interests at all times and owes you a duty of care in respect of its conduct. Accordingly it should not be letting out the property at less than market value and would need to be able to justify any rates under market value that it let the property out - e.g. better to rent it for something than have a void period. However if you believe that they have been letting the property for less than they could have obtained you may have a claim for loss available against them.Similarly in respect of utilities, the agent cannot be responsible for conduct of the tenants they let to directly in respect of heating but should ensure that the heating is turned down when the property is not occupied on check out of the tenants if they are fully managing the property. If they are negligent in this respect you may have a claim available against them for loss in respect of additional utility monies their negligence costs you.If you believe you have evidence of negligence in this respect, your first step is likely to be to contact them asking for an explanation respect of your concerns. If you are not satisfied with their explanation, you can consider quantifying your claim in terms of the losses you consider you have suffered and collate evidence to support the basis of your claims and then advising that you consider them to be negligent under common law agency law (as discussed above) and consider that their negligence has caused losses of £? and you look forward to their proposals for settlement failing which you will consider a claim in the County Court.if this is necessary, the simplest way to issue proceedings is by using the courts online issuing service:https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcomeI hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Have I been able to help you with all your questions on the above?
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though