Consent to let charge silent in lease?

by Readers Question

13:47 PM, 10th April 2019
About A year ago

Consent to let charge silent in lease?

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Consent to let charge silent in lease?

I am planning to rent out my flat for a shorthold tenancy agreement. On my lease it says that I need to get written consent of the landlord for subletting. I had enquired with the landlord (this being the freeholder). They have asked for payment for £150 (£125 plus VAT). This consent consists of a fee which is applicable of £50 plus VAT in addition a Notice fee is applied of £75 plus VAT.

I find this fee not reasonable because of the following:

1) In the lease it doesn’t state that they can charge me for the consent to let. However, they have said that Please be advised in the circumstances the contract (the Lease) is silent, the law specifies that the landlords costs are payable for any consents given. The landlord cannot charge a fine, but he can charge a reasonable sum in respect of the expense incurred in granting the consent under Section 144 Law of Property Act 1925 – “This Act does not preclude the right to require the payment of a reasonable sum in respect of any legal or other expense incurred in relation to such consent”.

2) They have also mentioned that a consent will need to be applied for upon each new tenancy agreement where a further fee is applied (which is £150 again).

Could you please share opinion on this. Also could I challenge the freeholder on the fee they have suggested that I need to pay for the consent to let?

Mick


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Comments

Neil Patterson

13:55 PM, 10th April 2019
About A year ago

Hi Mick,

From the Leasehold Advisory Service >> https://www.lease-advice.org/faq/i-want-to-sublet-my-property-can-my-landlord-charge-a-fee-for-granting-permission/

"If your lease requires you to obtain consent to sublet the property, your landlord may be able to charge a reasonable administration charge.

Any administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of leaseholders’ rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not payable."

"What can I do if I disagree with an administration charge?

You have two courses of remedy, depending on whether the charge is variable or fixed in the lease:

where the charge is variable, you may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for a determination of reasonableness. A variable administrative charge is one where the amount of the charge is not specified in the lease or calculated according to a formula specified in the lease.
where the charge is fixed by the lease or a formula in the lease, you may apply to the Tribunal to vary the lease, on the grounds that the amount specified is unreasonable or that the formula is unreasonable. If the Tribunal is satisfied, it may make an order to vary the terms of the lease, to substitute a reasonable amount or to amend the formula, either as requested by you or as the Tribunal finds appropriate.

An application cannot be made to the Tribunal where the charge has been agreed or admitted by the leaseholder, has been or is to be referred to arbitration pursuant to a post-dispute arbitration agreement, or has already been determined by a court or Tribunal."

Ian Narbeth

17:54 PM, 12th April 2019
About A year ago

Mick
As the fee also covers the registration fee I think you should pay it. It is not high compared to many I have seen. An application to the Tribunal will cost you far more with no guarantee of success. Consider it the price of business.


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