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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3843
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I own my own property with no mortgage. I also own the

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I own my own property with no mortgage. I also own the freehold to the property and have done so for over 10 years. I have been sent a letter from the grgroup under the name of Alan Mattey demanding ground rent. I went on the land registry site last night and bought a copy of the freehold title deeds which are still in our family name. Why are they demanding money for the last 12 months?

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. If you are the freehold owner you should not have to pay any ground rent. I would recommend that you write back to them as follows:

- You deny any liability for any ground rent;

- Say you are the freehold owner of the property and they have not demonstrate any grounds on which they have any right title or interest in your property;

- Say it is a criminal offence to pursue someone for money they do not owe so as to cause harassment under S.40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970;

- Say if you receive any further correspondence from them you reserve all rights open to you, and will seek to hold them responsible for any legal costs you subsequently incur.

Have they given you any detail about how this so called ground rent has arisen?

I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When the estate was built 50 years ago the freehold for the entire estate was sold to a company dealing in such things. We are one of only a few residents who bought the freehold so the group freehold may have been sold on and the new owners have not checked the detail.The reason that I am worried is that the house is owned in both mine and my partners name. She died on 27th may last year, five days before the date claimed for ground rent (2nd july 2015 to 2nd july 2016) The freehold was in her name only. I have had the house transferred to me as it was specified in her will, but not yet transferred the freehold. I was in the process of transfer but made a mistake with the land registry (I included the TP1 but forgot the AP1 form) I am resubmitting the request and expect no issue as the land registry are awaiting the AP1 form. I was worried that they may have found some obscure way of taking possession since the true freeholder is now deceased.

Hi, Thank you. Did any of the other freeholders appoint this Alan Mattey group?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not that I know of. We paid ground rent to somebody in Oldham (where the house is) until we bought the freehold. The grgroup has come out of the blue. I've never heard of them before and have not paid any ground rent since buying the freehold 10 years ago,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry let me clarify. when I say that a few residents bought the freehold I meant that they bought the freehold to their own individual properties. not the estate.

Hi, Thank you. They wont have stolen the freehold, ultimately the freehold would belong to your partner's estate. You need to challenge them and ask to explain on what basis they have authority to collect a ground rent. It is not legal to go around demanding money from people without an explanation or proof as to how the debt concerned was incurred.

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