Are consent to let licence fees unreasonable?

Are consent to let licence fees unreasonable?

9:41 AM, 8th June 2015, About 7 years ago 28

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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

by lucy holmes

17:36 PM, 13th April 2017, About 5 years ago

Well I wouldn't be so upset about it but the Solicitor when I purchase the flat never pointed this out (would have never bought it!) and the Management Company misadvised me. I stupidly didn't read the lease properly and never had intention to deceive! Will never buy a leasehold again.

I just think their charges are so excessive and seems to be pure greed, especially when they know what circumstances I am in. Felt so bullied and pressured by their correspondence.

We live and learn.

by H B

19:48 PM, 13th April 2017, About 5 years ago

Your lease clearly has provisions for fees for subletting, but they must be reasonable and cost-driven. The wording was:

"all costs charges and expenses incurred by the Lessor in respect of any application by the Lessee for the consent of Licence "

What are those costs? The fact that they are charging for a 5 year licence regardless of whether you let the property or not, suggests that this is not purely cost-driven.

Does this relate purely to solicitor's fees? I will bet it does not. You could argue that they must demonstrate exactly how the costs and expenses arise because this is all that you have agreed to pay. You will pay only for costs that arise only in relation to this.

But I expect that Mark has already been down this route without success.

Leases are poorly regulated in the UK and have attracted a lot of crooks with an eye on a quick buck. They know the power they have over you - forfeiture of lease is a big stick.

by Doreen Marr

1:12 AM, 14th April 2017, About 5 years ago

We picked up the same problem with Miller Himes and e & m .
We were made aware of the issue via Flambayer... can't remember exact name or if that's how it's spelt) ( away from home now) . They wrote to us at our home address (they had picked up correspondence address was different to property address and that's how they picked up the problem) re the subletting lease, which we were totally unaware of.

Immediately upon receipt of their letter, I went back to the conveyance and checked the solicitors advising information and my response to their advice etc.

It was clear in one of my emails that I picked up on the lease and the other e & m lease, which at the time I did not fully understand what was going on as we were new to property, but because of my clear wording quering the difference between the two leases, and asking why was there two leases etc., query the difference between each and what did they mean.

The solicitors chose to ignore my query, so gave no answers on these points, or flippantly passed them over in the initial paperwork.
However, a few years after purchase it cropped up when the leaseholders asked who was living in the property etc etc, this was the alert.

I called the solicitors and pointed them to my email, which had gone unanswered. I also pointed out, that they knew the mortgage was a buy to let mortgage and it was clear we would be renting the property, but the solicitors did not follow through this area so had not negotiated with Miller Homes or Flambayor via E & M

The tiop solicitor took responsibility , and negotiationed with Flambayor a reduced lifetime global licence fee of £370 , followed by a set fixed tenancy renewal fee of £75, not the £120 +++ and no further fees other than ground rent due for renewal negotiations every 10 years, and this is linked and restricted to cost of living etc , so that's not an issue. The solicitor agreed to pay for the Global licence and two lots of tenancy fees X 2 properties ( we had purchased two identical new properties).

Seriously, if these issues had been highlighted to us in the initial conveyancing contract we may have tried to negotiate our own deal, or we.may have rprobably backed out of the deal, as we really don't like leasehold properties. Millers Homes, did not make it clear at the early negotiating stage that the properties would be leasehold, had they done that we may have walked away even at this early stage, but it was more than a year after the purchase went through, when E & M wrote to us.

Hope this helps

by lucy holmes

17:32 PM, 13th May 2017, About 5 years ago

hi mark you get anywhere with your solicitors regarding claiming?

Can anyone direct me to an example complaint letter to my solicitors as i don't know where to start:(

by Ian Young

16:48 PM, 25th May 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "12/04/2017 - 14:58":

Mark

Is there no opportunity for you to mitigate by extending your lease, and in the new lease obtain amendments to the subletting clause. If this is possible the fact that the current subletting clause is onerous should reduce the value of the property and thereby reduce the premium for extension. All of these costs could then form the extent of your claim so you could potentially have a new cleaner lease at no cost?

by Mark Alexander

18:13 PM, 25th May 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Young" at "25/05/2017 - 16:48":

That is actually a brilliant suggestion Ian. I only wish you had posted that comment a few months ago as we have now settled - arrrggghhhh!!!
.

by Ian Young

13:08 PM, 26th May 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "25/05/2017 - 18:13":

Mark

Sorry only just joined this forum. Happy to help though if the problem recurs for others.
Ian

by Mark Alexander

13:14 PM, 26th May 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Young" at "26/05/2017 - 13:08":

Thanks Ian and welcome to Property118
.


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