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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My Mother owns a leasehold retirement flat. A rental agreement

Customer Question

My Mother owns a leasehold retirement flat. A rental agreement was created between my mother and her sister in 2010. The rental agreement is a 50 year long lease at full market rate. Neither parties know why such a rental agreement was drawn up over a standard AST and neither party understood tenancy agreements in the UK so took what the solicitor produced.
For 1 year my aunty has been unable to pay rent as she ran out of money and unable to claim housing benefit due to the fact a 50 year lease is in place in her name even though it is a rental agreement at full market rate.
Therefore both parties have agreed to end the 50 year lease on the basis of non payment of rent which breaches the contract and that my aunty can remain in possession of the flat on agreement to surrendering the lease she also signs a standard assured short hold tenancy agreement.
This is being signed in the next few days.
The land registry currently holds details of the 50 year lease. Once the AST is in place what changes should be made to the land registry?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property 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. May I ask if a Deed of surrender for your aunts lease has been prepared please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua,

No this has not been done! I felt something like this might be needed but no idea. So the situation is she will surrender the old lease completely, however, my mother has allowed her to stay in the property on condition of signing the AST. My aunty is not showing any opposition to any of this, so will be happy to sign what is required.

Thanks

Michael

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua,

Just to add, I did use a solicitor to execute this, and the grounds in her letter for terminating the old lease was the following:


As a result of the above breach my client wishes to terminate the lease under section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925. This section provides that if a tenant breaches a condition of the lease, for example by failing to pay rent, then the Landlord can end the lease requesting the tenant to forfeit the lease. Accordingly, we notify you that from receipt of this letter the lease dated 20th April 2015 Is hereby terminated.




The letter further points out to my aunty she can stay on condition she agrees to the new AST...



Michael


Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. You are right that this is a very odd decision to have made by the solicitor on the face of it though of course I am not privy to the instructions he might have received at the time. It would certainly be most unusual to grant such a lease.

In any event if your aunt is willing to cooperate then a Deed of Surrender would need to be prepared and executed and this would then need to be registered at H M Land Registry. At the same time ideally your aunt would sign an assured shorthold tenancy agreement.

You will need a solicitor to prepared the deed of surrender and application for registration. Typically they would charge in the order of £450-550 + VAT to do this. Alternatively if you prefer I can prepare a draft Deed of Surrender and application form you can use to register the deed yourself for £170 and provide instructions on how to register the same.

The AST you can prepare yourself if you wish or again can ask a solicitor to assist you. I can provide you with a standard AST agreement for your aunt for around £60 you can use though as above you can prepare this agreement yourself relatively safely.

If you would like any further assistance with any of the above please let me know.
I 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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua,

Ok thank you. So briefly if you are able to produce the Deed of Surrender would you fill in as much of the application form as you can or will this be relatively easy for us to do. Also are the instructions for registration relatively easy for me to follow? In terms of submission of a Deed of Surrender, even though I am assisting here, this would normally be something my Aunty would be required to do or instruct a solicitor to do as opposed to my mother initiating it?

One last bit I have already produced the AST which my aunty and my mother signed on Thursday. Is it reasonable to have the deed of surrender signed shortly after (in this case perhaps 1 week) and likewise submitted to the land registry afterwards.

Thanks

Michael

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
If you would like me to prepare the deed of surrender I can prepare the document for you which will just need to be signed and witnessed (I will provide instructions). I can prepare the applicationg form for you as well so that again it just needs to be signed and then registered. You will need to provide ID to the Land Registry when registering but again I can explain what is required.Regarding the AST the one signed will not be legally enforceable because your mother does not own the present lease to the property - your aunt does so she cannot rent from your mother under an AST as she already has a lease to the property. The AST will need to be signed either on the same day or after the deed of surrender is signed. It would be sensible to destroy the existing AST before the Deed of Surrender is signed and then sign a new AST at the same time as the deed of surrender dated on the same day.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua,

My gut feeling felt that was the case, but I understood from the solicitor who drew up the letter that it was assumed the old lease was surrendered due to the breach in the contract and on my aunty agreeing to the new lease. This makes sense. Hence, why I came for the second opinion!

So how do we go about doing this. Do we do it via this website or contact you directly?

Thanks

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
The solicitor isn't entirely wrong in that your mother has grounds for forfeiting the lease under s146 LPA but just writing a letter does not forfeit the lease. A s146 notice must be served and a court order obtained. From what I understand all that has happened is a letter or perhaps notice has been served under s146 but nothing more so the lease will still exist. You could go down the route of forfeiture but if your aunt is willing to cooperate this is a slegehammer approach because it would be far simpler (and cheaper) to just deal with the lease using a deed of surrender if your aunt is willing to cooperate.If you would like to proceed I will need to create something called an "Additional Services Offer" which should come up on your screen in a few moments. Once the offer appears, you need to click the button to say you accept it. Please note that although I am based in England the site is US owned so I have to denominate in US dollars so the amount may not be exactly £170 depending on exchange rates. We will then be able to exchange contact details in order that you can give me the information I need to prepared the draft. I will aim to prepare the draft over the weekend if you have all the information to hand.
Joshua and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks. My email address should be visible - if not you may need to refresh the page. If you could drop me an email at that address I will ask you for the information I need to prepare the draft and then proceed to draft it. I look forward to hearing from you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua,

OK good I will drop you an email now.

Many Thanks

Michael

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Look forward to hearing from you.