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Michael Holly
Michael Holly, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6969
Experience:  I have 20 years of experience as a solicitor in litigation and other areas
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Recently I received a letter with below request:We

Resolved Question:

Recently I received a letter with below request:
We understand that you have been paying the ground rent due under your flat lease to xxx managing agent, xxx Limited, who
collect the rent on xxx behalf.
It has come to our attention that when the Property was first purchased the amount of ground
rent payable was left out of the flat lease. This means that your lease could be considered to be
defective, which could cause delay and inconvenience to you as or when you sell or re-mortgage the Property. It is, therefore, important that the omission be corrected as soon as possible and we are writing to you to arrange for this to take place because it is in all the parties' interest that your flat lease is corrected.Do I need to agree to this correction request I am obliged to pay the rent if no sum has been specified.
I must note that I bought the flat in 2013 out of probation and wasn’t informed about the rent sum from the seller. I simply paid the rent demand assuming it was correct.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
just to clarify the above questions, am I obliged to pay the rent if no sum has been specified in the lease and what about the past rents I paid. Were the demands unjustified? Is there any economic benefit that I am giving up by agreeing to this change.Also, I bought the flat with mortgage and didnt had any issue with the mortgage provider. I attach
the lease agreement herein.
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 1 year ago.
Is the letter from the same people you are currently paying ground rent to?How much are you paying?Who advised you to pay it and to whom?I could not open your lease ( perhaps my computer) does it refer at all to payment of ground rent?My feeling is someone dropped the ball here and did not include ground rent in your lease ( and possibly other flats in the block)Michael
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for picking this up. Let me copy paste the letter from the solicitor.We act for BOW Trading Limited ('Barratt').
Barratt was landlord of the Property when the lease was first granted to your predecessor
purchased on 14 December 2007. We are aware that you have subsequently purchased this
lease.
Barratt sold the Elektron development to your current landlord who is Fairhold Properties No. 8
Limited ('Fairhold') on 10 June 2009. We understand that you have been paying the ground rent
due under your flat lease to Fairhold's managing agent, Estates and Management Limited, who
collect the rent on Fairhold's behalf.
We write on behalf of Barratt and with the consent of Fairhold.
It has come to our attention that when the Property was first purchased the amount of ground
rent payable was left out of the flat lease. This means that your lease could be considered to be
defective, which could cause delay and inconvenience to you as or when you sell or re-mortgage
the Property. It is, therefore, important that the omission be corrected as soon as possible and
we are writing to you to arrange for this to take place because it is in all the parties' interest that
your flat lease is corrected.
Signing the Deed
We enclose a document called a deed of rectification (Deed) which will correct the omission in
your flat lease. Please arrange for the Deed to be signed and returned to this firm in the enclosed
pre-paid envelope.--------------------------------I am paying £250 per year. But note, the lease is for 999 years, and the ground rent doubles every 25 years. I've actually caluclated how much value would be paid in 999 years (£549,755,813,888,000.00 ) its unbelievable sum.The request to pay came from the freholer's management company, so I paid, but now I realise, maybe I should not have paid at the first place.There is mentioning of rent beeing payable under the lease, but no sum is specified.The lease is quite large file, I am uploading only few pages I believe relevant.Yes, I think you are assumption is correct, somone forgot to include the sum of rent beeing payable.
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 1 year ago.
I apologise for the response in replying, I was unexpectedly away this last weekend.What I can see from what you have provided is that Barratt dropped the ball. Ground rent was specified but not the amount. Fairhold have bought the leases and it has been noticed you have no obligation to pay ground rent as the term in the lease fails because no sum is specified. It is the lease that is the contract so actually you have no contractual obligation to pay ground rent at all.You can tell how desperate they all are by the fact that they have enclosed a SAE.Ground rent is often historically what is called a peppercorn rent a nominal sum , frequently £1.00 a year. It is only in recent times that ground rent has slowly crept up and become any sort of factor at all. You will not have any problem selling your property and it is not defective. This is nonsense designed to get you to agree. Your situation is simple , you have no obligation to pay any ground rent whatsoever, the cock up is someone else's problem.Michael
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Michael, as this is a flat in a buildung with 50 flats, I assume the same apply for the other flats. Is there any chance they declare this as a mistake and take me to court? Also, I was told even a pepercorn rent has to be declared, I think the word is "nominal rent" As there is no nominal value, does that make the lease defective?
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 1 year ago.
A peppercorn or nominal rent has to be stated in the lease to be recoverable.I do not believe they can do anything the ground rent bestows no value or benefit on you.I would wait to see what happens next but I see no reason why you should voluntarily assume a legal obligation to pay something you do not have to.Michael
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** I should not pay any ground rent going forward, but what about the allready paid ground rent? Can I request refund? And if they dont pay, do I need to go to court?
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 1 year ago.
Yes you can request it is repaid as you had no legal obligation to pay it.Whether it is worth pursuing through the court depends on the amount involvedMichael
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you Michael! Lets see what happens.