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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I have just received a letter of ground rent and building insurance

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I have just received a letter of ground rent and building insurance owed. I am the long lease holder demand is from freeholder. Amount of ground rent owing is £400 and insurance £1200. He is suggesting forfeiture of lease.

What is your query and do you dispute these charges?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ii have owned the flat for 8/9 years and have heard nothing before From freeholder. Will he be able to forfeit lease? Can I pay the ground rent and dispute the insurance charge? Should the demand be in a standard format or does a letter suffice?
Thank you.

You need to check your lease to see what it says about payment of ground rent and insurance premiums.

Under the Limitation Act 1980, you are only obliged to pay such charges (ground rent, insurance premium) for the last 6 years as the normal contract limitation period is 6 years (12 years if your lease was made as a Deed).

Yes, the freeholder may take steps to forfeit the lease on non payment of ground rent.

Hope this clarifies.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So is the lease forfeit or does he have to go through the courts?
If you are living in the property, it has to go through the courts.

see here for more information on forfeiture

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'm not. I rent it out. Also 6 years mean only £300 in ground rent arrears can accrue and it is £50 a year so it cannot get to the £350 the amount needed to proceed with forfeiture?
Noted. The ground rent demand must be in a specified format.

However, if the service charge includes the insurance premiums, then the amount may go beyond the minimum amount for forfeiture.

If the freeholder takes steps to forfeit your lease, I would strongly advise you to appoint a solicitor as this is an online forum for guidance purposes only and not designed to replace a traditional law firm. However, there will be cost implications to fight the forfeiture and you may be better off paying the sums demanded.

All your queries have been answered. Please leave feedback.

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