Annual consent to sublet not specified in agreement?

by Readers Question

14:14 PM, 8th February 2018
About 8 months ago

Annual consent to sublet not specified in agreement?

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Annual consent to sublet not specified in agreement?

When I bought my flat in an apartment block I applied for consent to rent it out. For a fee of £200 the freeholder granted that consent. However 3 years later the freeholder’s agent now tells me that this consent has to be renewed (and paid for) annually.

In my lease agreement there is no mention that the consent payment is required to be paid annually. I have paid the new sum requested, but I regard this as exploitation. I have asked various letting agencies and they only know of one freeholder who does this; for the rest a one-off payment for consent is sufficient.

Does anyone have a suggested remedy?

David



Comments

Neil Patterson

14:16 PM, 8th February 2018
About 8 months ago

Hi David,

Unfortunately this is a lot more common than you think.

What exactly does the lease say can I ask?

Ian Narbeth

17:54 PM, 8th February 2018
About 8 months ago

It depends on what the lease says.

If there is a new subletting then a new fee may be payable. Normally leases restrict specific lettings if they restrict at all and it would be unusual to find reference to annual renewal of consent. The agent is probably making that up.

It is not unreasonable to want notice of subletting so that the freeholder knows who is living in the building.

money manager

10:08 AM, 9th February 2018
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 08/02/2018 - 17:54
"knows who's living in the building", you are too generous Ian. We recently had to persuade, twice, the landlord's agent (one and the same in reality" that we did actually own a car park which we found had a defective lease, freeholders just want as quiet and as profitable life as possible.

Gunga Din

14:33 PM, 10th February 2018
About 8 months ago

My GF's agent demanded £72 per 6 months for renewal of permission to sublet and was impervious to suggestions that the tenancy was the same one. Of course no provision for this in the lease, but near the end there was a general catch-all clause allowing the agent to impose basically whatever "reasonable" periodic charges they felt like.

When she sold the flat, the agent was routinely asked for a statement that there were no outstanding debts etc. The charge was about £50, but about £300 for an expedited statement. Of course the non-expedited would have taken many weeks. They are a law unto themselves.

I wonder what proportion of new leasehold flat owners actually realise what they're in for.

The other interesting one was charging the ground floor occupants for maintenance of the lift.


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