Freehold Managers Unreasonable Fees for Subletting Consent

Freehold Managers Unreasonable Fees for Subletting Consent

10:09 AM, 2nd December 2013, About 10 years ago 89

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Hello everyone, especially the legal people amongst you.

I am in DESPERATE need of legal advice!

I am sure this has been discussed in one form or another before but I would like to make it very personal and specific to me if that is OK.

I have been in a virtual argument with my landlord for quite some time now. Freehold Managers Unreasonable Fees for Subletting Consent

I own an apartment which I let out (sub-let effectively) and MY landlord is insisting on money for :-

Subletting registration – £78

Sub letting consent – £48 (I think that’s the cost)

The registration is expected each and every time a new tenant moves in!

My argument is that this is totally unreasonable, unfair and extortionate!

Then they are trying to charge me £78 each and every time they send a letter. Now surely this is extortionate for something that cost pence to produce and a couple of pounds to administer.

Be damned if I know why I have both these company names on the letter heads / invoices.

I think there is a huge principal at point here and more so because of their bully tactics and lack of customer service.
In addition to this It seems that there is no legal way to challenge anything they choose to charge and that just cannot be right or fair!

PLEASE can someone help?

By the way I did go down the route of quoting a certain case where the judge stated that a fair and reasonable cost would be x,y,z. They chose to ignore that.

Time is short and costs are spiraling – please can we do something about these faceless, remorseless morons!? It literally makes me sick to my stomach.


John Sweet

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Joe Bloggs

15:54 PM, 2nd December 2013, About 10 years ago

the clause:
'not at any time during the term:
under-let the whole or any part of the demised premises save that an under-letting of the whole of the demised premises is permitted in the case of an AST agreement (or any other form of agreement which does not create any rights of tenancy for the tenant) with the prior written consent of the Manager or its agents (such consent not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed).'
the lease defines 'the Manager' as 'Peverel om' however they no longer are the managing agents following RTM.

James Feehily

11:12 AM, 9th December 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob walsh" at "02/12/2013 - 10:41":


Thanks for your comments. How do you deal with unreasonable fees for Notice to Underlet form and signed Deed of Covenant?

5:53 AM, 11th December 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi, John! In your difficult and unfair situation I would consider hiring a lawyer that will make everything clear for you and a landlord. Moreover, sub-letting fees should not be more than £40!!! Anyone involved in a dispute with a landlord could offer this sort of sum and be in with a fair chance that that would be the end of it. Don’t let them intimidate you with bully tactics. The law is on your side on this occasion. You should protest and take them to an LVT citing the decisions mentioned above (sub-letting fees should not be more than £40). Look once more at your lease! The vast majority of leaseholders have never read their lease. They should. If they do they will discover to their very pleasant surprise that most leases are written up in easily understood language. A challenge is not as some may think based on some vague interpretation of the wording. Something will either be allowed or it won’t. So for anyone who has been the subject of subletting charges, before the charge for subletting is challenged, the first question is does the lease allow for a sublet permission/registration fee? If the lease does not provide for it, that is the end of the matter.

James Feehily

12:23 PM, 11th December 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "02/12/2013 - 10:17":


Thanks for your comments. I am also being asked to have the tenant complete a Underletting Deed of Covenant and charged for this each time? Lease states being not less that £40 plus each time? Can i use the same argument as the underletting fee?


Fed Up Landlord

13:02 PM, 11th December 2013, About 10 years ago

Mike these are administration charges and can be challenged at LVT. Each side pays its own legal costs. Only when the Tribunal decides that either of the protagonists has acted in a vexatious and frivolous manner can they award costs and it is limited to £500. Its not rocket science at the LVT and you can represent yourself. It is designed to be that way although on complicated stuff you would need representation. But this is pretty straightforward. Send them the letter telling them that the LVTs decision in similar cases is £40 and if they argue its off to LVT. You can even ask for a paper hearing rather than attending in person although I prefer personal attendance as the Freeholder then has to pay for a solicitor and that makes a £200 underletting fee uneconomic when they have to pay for a solicitor for a morning at £250 an hour.

James Feehily

13:15 PM, 11th December 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Nock" at "11/12/2013 - 13:02":

Cheers-many thanks.

James Feehily

10:27 AM, 28th December 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Nock" at "11/12/2013 - 13:02":


I wrote to the Leaseholder. They have come back quoting the Lease (which I have a copy of ). In the Lease what they call a Notice to Underlet should be a reasonable registration fee (not being £30 plus VAT). They are charging £150. The Deed of Covenant is in the Lease at not less than £40 plus VAT (they are charging £120).

They argue that underletting fee is not an admin charge for the purposes of Schedule 11 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 and that a LTV does not have the power to decide what is reasonable. They now say they are willing to go to Court and will ask for costs against me as they say a LTV has no power to decide this particular point. I have no issue with paying a reasonable fee.

Grateful for any advice or a recommendation for a lawyer to talk to.


Fed Up Landlord

12:01 PM, 28th December 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mike Keeley" at "28/12/2013 - 10:27":

Mike I really do think they are either thick, stupid, or just trying it on. Extract from legislation below:

Administration charges

Part 1
Reasonableness of administration charges

Meaning of “administration charge”
1(1)In this Part of this Schedule “administration charge” means an amount payable by a tenant of a dwelling as part of or in addition to the rent which is payable, directly or indirectly—

(a)for or in connection with the grant of approvals under his lease, or applications for such approvals.

As far as I can see, and also from what has been included on this post, its an administration charge. It looks like one, it talks like one, it is one. Tell them it is and that you are applying to First Tier Tribunal ( the Old LVT) for a decision as to reasonableness. And if they have not included a summary of rights and responsibilities it is not payable. If they have not then don't tell them. It will be a nice surprise at the LVT. Check the wording of the summary. It should make reference to First Tier rather than LVT. If not- again it is a notice that does not comply with the statutory instrument changing the name and the notice is invalid. If they try and take you to debt collection or County Court etc then the Judge will hold it off until the LVT decides. There is another post on here about debt collection letters and there is a sample letter I have posted that in 100% of cases I deal with when debt collectors try and recover tenants unpaid utilities they go away.

There are other more knowledgeable people on here like Annette at Grangemouth who I am sure will either confirm or deny what I have said.

Do not be bullied.


Annette Stone

23:01 PM, 28th December 2013, About 10 years ago

Gary - thanks for the shout! You are absolutely right in the advice you have given Mike but this is not the same query as the original poster of this thread and Mike is mixing up the Leaseholder which is what he is and the freeholder who is making these demands. It is very important that someone who understands leases reads this one and that Mike also advises whether it is the freeholder making these demands or the managing agent How old are the leases, is it the original freeholder making the demands or has the new freeholder bought the freehold recently and is now seeking to make additional charges. Absolutely every case is different which is why First Tier Tribunals are binding only on a particular case and Case Law is only obtained at the Lands Tribunal. As far as the actual charges are concerned I assume the leases are relatively new and therefore charges close to the amounts stated would be fair rather than the amounts demanded.
I realise that this advice may not be as specific as Mike would like but without all the information it is hard to give any other than general advice

James Feehily

11:01 AM, 29th December 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Annette Stone" at "28/12/2013 - 23:01":


Many thanks. Would you be able to recommend someone who could take a look at the lease? It is the Freeholder (actually their agent) who are making the demands which have been in place for quite some time. I am not sure if it has changed hands as the agent will not enter into any discussion. When I challenge the amount, I am told that 'reasonable' is a legal term and they will not discuss the matter further.


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