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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7660
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I am the owner of a property that was converted into three

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I am the owner of a property that was converted into three flats in 1985. We purchased flat 3, many years ago along with the leasehold of the whole building and the land surrounding. In the time that we have owned the property we have not claimed any ground rent and yet we have to pay an insurance for the whole building. my questions are

1. Do I need to set up a management company in order to claim ground rent
2. Can the ground rent be backdated?
3. Can we start to charge maintenance fees to cover the cost of the annual buildings insurance and also to start a sink fund for future works to be carried out.



Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

Using your numbering:-
1. There is no legal requirement on you to set up a management company. Freeholders in their personal capacity are just as legally entitled to enforce the lease obligations as a management company
2. You will be able to claim for previous ground rent owing for up to 6 years. This is due to the Limitation Act, which means that breaches of contract (as this effectively is) which are older than 6 years are time barred (ie expired) from being claimed.
3. You can do what the lease says you can do. The lease will specify the things as freeholder you are permitted to do. You need to check the lease with regards XXXXX XXXXX service charge responsibilities, it will usually say that you are entitled to charge for administration costs in discharging your rights/responsibilities under the Lease. If it says you can then you can charge it. If it does not say that you can then you won’t be able to charge administrative fees. The situation is the same with a sinking fund, you can only do this if your lease states you can.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kind regards,

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