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In 2012 I bought a flat in Manchester as an investment and I have rented out the flat for the last five years however I recently received a letter from the management company stating they were introducing a new annual charge of £126 to “Provide a notice and registration fee upon granting of a shorthold tenancy”.
In my lease under Tenant’s Covenants it states,
11.3 “Not to underlet the premises without prior written consent of the Landlord which shall not be unreasonably withheld and paying the Landlord’s reasonable administrative and legal costs in respect of the same, but such consent shall not be necessary in respect of any lettings on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a period not exceeding two years”.
I advised the management company that I was letting my flat on an AST and offered to provide a copy of the tenancy agreement as proof. The management company stated I had to pay the annual charge and quoted another clause in the lease as their “legal basis”. It states,
“At all times during the term to deliver to the landlord a notice of every assignment disposition or devolution of or charge on or transfer of title to the premises or any part thereof whether by way of mortgage or otherwise within one month after the execution of any deed or document or after the date of any probate letters of administration or other instrument or any order of court by which such assignment disposition devolution charge or transfer is effected or evidenced such notice to specify the name address and description of the person or persons to whom or in whose favour the assignment disposition devolution charge or transfer shall be made to take effect and also at the time of delivering every such notice to produce the deed document instrument or order by which such assignment disposition or devolution charge or transfer shall purport to be effected or evidenced as aforesaid for the purpose of having a memorandum thereof entered in the registers to be kept by the landlord for that purpose and to pay to the landlord a reasonable fee (not being less than £50.00 plus VAT) for each such registration”.
I sought legal advice from the Solicitor that did the conveyancing when I bought the flat and he advised that clause 11.5 refers to transfer of title (ie the sale of the property) and not subletting. Although I advised the management company of this they have now issued a threatening letter from their Solicitor to say I now have to pay £126 registration charge and £180 legal costs.
Are there any legal professionals that specialise in leases able to advise me on this?
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