Freeholder wants to charge for consent to let property

by Readers Question

8:52 AM, 25th May 2017
About A year ago

Freeholder wants to charge for consent to let property

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Freeholder wants to charge for consent to let property

We own a 2 bedroomed leasehold flat which we have had for ten years with very few issues over the years. However the freeholder has appointed a company to take over the leasehold management of the development and are chasing us to obtain consent for any subletting of the property – until we get actual consent from the leaseholder we are supposedly in breach of the lease. They want to charge us £130 for gaining consent for every new tenancy, and £65 for every extension to a tenancy agreement. Plus they want details of every tenancy throughout our 10 year ownership and to charge £45 for every retrospective tenancy.

They state that there is a clause in the lease that requires us to request consent to sublet/let the property which obviously we were not aware of.

Whilst we look into the small print in our original lease has anyone had experience of leaseholders requiring consent to be given before being able to let out the property and charging fees to get the consent? And/or would they have the right to charge retrospectively?

We own a number of flats and are now concerned we are going to have additional costs to factor in if this is a feature in all our leases!

Mark



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:23 AM, 25th May 2017
About A year ago

Hi Mark,

Unfortunately we have experience of an almost identical situation and it ended up costing a lot of money.

You first of all need to check the exact terms and conditions of your lease to confirm if this is correct and or take legal advice, because worst case it is possible you could forfeit your lease in court.

Puzzler

11:41 AM, 25th May 2017
About A year ago

There has already been a thread on a very similar issue, please do a search on it so we don't all have to respond again.- if you still have a question after that, please ask it

Paul Green

14:57 PM, 25th May 2017
About A year ago

Yes I have to pay similar costs, although if you let the original AST roll over to a periodic tenancy, I'm pretty sure they can't charge you for those. If the lease states you need consent, then I would settle immediately, as you could lose your flat . Via a breach of the leasehold. As far as your other flats go, you can check the leases and deal with them one at a time after you've sorted this one and your bank account has recovered. My management company sent me letters, but no threats, I paid up for the 1 AST I had , but they never wanted the last 10 years. Still at £45 a year that's only £450 for past tenants. A pea on a mountain as opposed to losing your investment (flat) entirely.. pay and be on the right side of the law. Don't fight them legal fees will be extortionate and you will lose everything...peace of mind is better and you'll have a.consent certificate to prove it.

Susan Bradley

17:20 PM, 25th May 2017
About A year ago

After owning my flat for 16 years I have had the exact same letter. My lease says there is only a £20 registration fee at the start of the tenancy. When I queried it they said I would only have to pay what it said in the lease and did not have to keep renewing the tenancy every year. Check your lease they are trying it on!

Colin Dartnell

19:46 PM, 25th May 2017
About A year ago

Not much point in commenting until you know what the lease says.

The only question, did the freeholder know from day one (ten years ago) that you were letting the flat out, if so, and he did not stop you then I would have thought you could take it that he had given consent. I don't see how they can claim retrospective charges now.


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