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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9676
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I own a 60% of my studio flat together with a private

Resolved Question:

I own a 60% of my studio flat together with a private Housing Association. In recent months several of these studios have been bought up and are being rented out as hotel rooms per night. Under the terms of the lease, this type of sublet is not allowed. Although the HA has been advised and the owners of said flats have been asked to desist, it still continues. If the HA does not stop this in the immediate future, as an interim measure are we as owners entitled to ask the HA to re-apportion a greater share of the service charge to those flats who are renting out like this as clearly the constant daily arrival of tourists with luggage is having an adverse effect on the communal parts. We spent over £100k last October to have our cyclical maintenance carried out and the new carpets and paintwork already look very worn. However, we residents feel we should not be having to pay as much to support those absent owners who are clearly running there flats as a hotel/b&b business and we should not be paying to keep a block of flats good looking enough for them to attract customers. With thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

There is something else that you can do. If you get the title deeds of the properties from the land registry which will just cost you £3 each from this link https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/ , you can find out who the mortgage lender is and you can write to the mortgage lender advising them exactly what’s happening because what’s happening is a breach of their mortgage conditions and hence, the lender will take action for you. If you didn’t want to be quite so forthright, you could tell the culprits that if they don’t stop doing this, you will be writing to their mortgage lenders and advising them that the properties are being sublet.

The housing association would only be allowed portion the service charge in different proportions if the lease says that it can. I have seen leases which allow the management company or freeholder to apportion the service charge in any proportions they think fit but those provisions in the league are extremely unusual.

A better route would be to stop it altogether it seems that could be done as I have outlined.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It doesn’t cost you anything but helps me greatly.

We can still exchange emails. Best wishes. FES.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for this. I believe the lease apportions equal costs to each flat, so the better alternative would be via mortgage lenders as you state. I believe the Housing Association is aware of each flat's mortgage lender so they can probably do this on behalf of the residents if necessary. If not, we will use the land registry as a last resort. Thanks again for the advice.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

The only thing with the housing association doing it is that you are then reliant on them actually pulling their finger out and doing it. They have always been aware that was an option so they didn’t need you to tell them. They just haven’t done it.

Please don’t forget to rate positive. Best wishes.

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