Freeholder charges “consent to let” once every year?

by Readers Question

9:14 AM, 10th December 2018
About 7 months ago

Freeholder charges “consent to let” once every year?

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Freeholder charges “consent to let” once every year?

I previously registered and paid a leaseholder flat’s management company and freeholder called Y and Y management for a “consent to let” last year where I stated the tenancy was for 60 months. They have now come back to charge for this again and intend to charge for this every single year.

I know most freeholders charge this per tenancy (which again is arguable depending on the actual charge, as the law says it must be reasonable), but can they charge for this every single year even for the same tenancy?

The lease says leaseholder requires freeholder’s written consent and ‘written consent of landlord which shall not be unreasonably withheld’, no charge or charge frequency was mentioned.

Many thanks

Mike



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:25 AM, 10th December 2018
About 7 months ago

Hi Mike,
From the Leasehold Advisory Service >>

"Schedule 11 Part 1 of the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 defines an administration charge.

From >> https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/summaries-rights-obligations-service-charges-england/

The provisions of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, in Section 153, require that

“A demand for the payment of a service charge must be accompanied by a summary of the rights and obligations of tenants of dwellings in relation to service charges”.
Right to withhold

“A tenant may withhold payment of a service charge which has been demanded from him if (the requirement to provide the summary) is not complied with in relation to the demand.” “Where a tenant withholds a service charge under this section, any provisions of the lease in relation to non-payment or

The lease may specifically refer to an administration charge being payable for the freeholder’s licence or consent. If not, the Landlord & Tenant Act 1927, section 19 allows the freeholder to “…require payment of a reasonable sum in respect of any legal or other expenses incurred in connection with such licence or consent..”

A variable administration charge, such as a fee for subletting, must be reasonable.

Any demand for an administration charge should be accompanied by a summary of leaseholders’ rights and obligations. There is a right to withhold payment if the summary is not provided."

Neil Patterson

9:32 AM, 10th December 2018
About 7 months ago

Now the wording you have given does not specify annual consent so you need to check the entire lease document to see if the fee might be considered unreasonable, but depending on the amount and from previous experience I would pay it and argue about it later as ultimately a Freeholder can apply for the lease to be revoked.

moneymanager

11:20 AM, 10th December 2018
About 7 months ago

A consent to let is just that, TO let, ergo a multi year fixed term, or aperiodic for that matter is not a series of letting events but just one. Consider that the reason for the fee (nominally if not for an commonly applied real purpose) is to ensure that various lease covenants are complied with and conveyed to the rental tenant, mostly it is just money for old rope of course.

Teresa Cooper

11:48 AM, 10th December 2018
About 7 months ago

I had this problem with 2 Freehold Managing Agents and on my solicitor checking my leases we found the freeholders agents had no right to be charging me anything. When I asked why I had to pay it one freehold agent said that if I didn't it would impact on the building insurance. How so, I said, I pay my portion of the building insurance in with my service charge to the management company? The other freehold agent said oops our mistake and even though I had been paying them for a few years and had to pay my solicitors fees to check my leases they refused to refund me. Needless to say I don't get any demands now. The cynic in me thinks that these notices are sent out and, like me, a lot of people just pay them because they think they should. Lesson learnt always check my paperwork.

ahloughlin@gmail.com

12:11 PM, 10th December 2018
About 7 months ago

Read the lease. Ours has a clause which permits AST of 6 or 12 MTH with no consent required. Freeholder agent tried to charge until I quoted the relevant clause. Just a scam for the unwary.

J C

16:07 PM, 10th December 2018
About 7 months ago

Freeholder should not be charging more than £40 for providing permission to sublet. I challenged my landlord and he gave in.

https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/sub-letting-fees-should-not-be-more-than-40-landlords-are-told-four-times-by-the-land-tribunal

Mike

21:54 PM, 10th December 2018
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by J C at 10/12/2018 - 16:07
This is brilliant information here, many thanks

All leaseholder should be united to fight for our rights as it's been too long for the freeholders exploiting us in this country.

Michael Barnes

14:30 PM, 12th December 2018
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by J C at 10/12/2018 - 16:07
£40 +VAT and probably an allowance for inflation.


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