Are consent to let licence fees unreasonable?

by Readers Question

9:41 AM, 8th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Are consent to let licence fees unreasonable?

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Are consent to let licence fees unreasonable?

Hi fellow Leaseholders Are consent to let licence fees unreasonable

I have tried negotiating the cost down for consent to let my property requested by Freehold Managers PLC without success. They are demanding £210 for a one off licence, however if there is a change of tenant a further £120 is payable each time, alternatively they are demanding £400 for a five year licence and an additional £60 if there is a change of tenant.

After reading previous articles similar to my situation I have offered £60 for the consent to let, however Freehold Managers PLC have declined my offer and have placed the issue in dispute and claim I am in breach of lease.

My lease does not state the amounts which should be paid for consent, but states the following “not to underlet the demised premises without the written consent of the Lessor such consent not to be unreasonably withheld in the case of a respectable and responsible person and to pay to the Lessor or its solicitors all costs charges and expenses incurred by the Lessor in respect of any application by the Lessee for the consent of Licence required by these presents and the preparation and services of any deed or document necessary thereto whether or not the matters for application is made shall proceed.”

Do I pay up or is there an alternative?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Keith in Loughton.



Comments

Mark Alexander

9:46 AM, 8th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Keith

I'm battling a similar case with Danesdale land at the moment on a property I own jointly with a business partner. They are threatening forfeiture of lease and claiming that consent to let was never grated. They have sent a without prejudice letter stating that will accept £2,000 for a 10 year licence (or £3,000 if the flat is a 2 bed) plus either £200 or £300 per tenancy on top of that respectively.

I will not be bullied and will take this all the way through the legal system if necessary.

The following is an extract of a letter that I have sent to them ............

Your client has been aware that we have been renting this property since we first acquired it back in August 2000. We recall seeking and obtaining consent to let at that time but have been unable to trace paper confirmation of that. However, your clients and their management company have been sending their ground rent and service charge notices to my home address for all this time so that is strong evidence that they are aware of the position. Further, we have maintained the property to an excellent standard and to our knowledge your client has never had cause to complain about the conduct of our tenants.

Your without prejudice offer is unacceptable on the basis that the proposed charges are unreasonable.

We are prepared to offer your clients the “reasonable” fee of £40+ VAT for permission to sub-let based on the case of HOLDING AND MANAGEMENT (SOLITAIRE) LIMITED vs CHERRY LILIAN NORTON as heard in the Upper Chamber (Lands Tribunal) of January 2012.

A copy of that ruling is attached together with our cheque for £48 inclusive of VAT in full and final settlement of this matter.
.

Mark Lynham

11:45 AM, 8th June 2015
About 3 years ago

i wil be following this to see how you get on Mark as this is a constant pain and wish it would get sorted out once and for all without threats of legal action form all these companies.... as a side issue im amazed at how many times some companies change their names.. i used to deal with Peverel who then became Solitiare, it then went to OM Property and now i get letters from Marlborough and First Port from the same address...

Alan Loughlin

13:22 PM, 8th June 2015
About 3 years ago

check your lease, we had this demand as well, when we checked with the solicitor there is an exemption for AST's of up to 12 months, nothing to pay. it is a scam.

Mark Alexander

13:26 PM, 8th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Alan Loughlin" at "08/06/2015 - 13:22":

Which freehold management company are you referring to please Alan?

Of course, the lease and the freehold management company are two separate things anyway. I'm just asking out of general interest.
.

Alan Loughlin

14:38 PM, 8th June 2015
About 3 years ago

E & M but the lease is a standard lease and no lease company can vary this, it is written in stone for the length of the lease. I complained to E & M and got 200 quid compo for the error.

Keith Field

20:06 PM, 8th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Thanks for your replies I will attempt to use "HOLDING AND MANAGEMENT (SOLITAIRE) LIMITED vs CHERRY LILIAN NORTON as heard in the Upper Chamber (Lands Tribunal) of January 2012" as per Marks reply.

If they decline a reduction in consent fees what is the best line of action?

Mark Alexander

22:39 PM, 8th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Keith Field" at "08/06/2015 - 20:06":

In my case I will be off to Court with my barrister.

One of the benefits of being a member of Litigation Warranty 😀

See >>> https://www.litigationwarranty.co.uk/
.

Malcolm Norquoy

4:07 AM, 12th June 2015
About 3 years ago

I too will be keeping a very close eye on this.

The managing agent for one of my BTL properties, Eyre and Johnson, are trying to enforce an amount of GBP210 for a period NOT EXCEEDING 12 months on behalf of the freeholder New Era Investments! And have me sign a document accordingly. Basically that would mean paying this fee every 12 months.

I will be contacting them to firstly ask why a charge is necessary (the lease is silent on charges but does state permission to sub-let is required) and if a charge is necessary why this amount for this period of time.

Will take it from there. Be good to continue to share notes with everyone.

Mark Lynham

9:02 AM, 12th June 2015
About 3 years ago

one of my landlords has been disputing a £210 'license' with a management company and they have written to his lender stating he is going against the terms of his lease. he has queried it with the lender stating the management company knows he is renting it out as they have been sending service charge and ground rent notices to his main residence for the last 10 years and have never asked for thei 'license' before..... i think he is prepared to go to court over it...
Also have another landlord who just wont get into correspondence with a managment company that are after a big 'sublet' fee.. she has no mortgage so will be interested in seeing where that ends up....

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