Is the fee to register my tenant with the freeholder legal?

Is the fee to register my tenant with the freeholder legal?

0:05 AM, 5th May 2023, About 12 months ago 12

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Hello, I have received an invoice of £75 to register the name of my tenant with the freeholder. Part of the process requires that I submit the AST to the freeholder.
I have queried this payment on three levels:-

1) The name of my tenant if personal information as defined in GDPR. The freeholder has not established any legal basis for requesting and then processing this personal information (except that it is a requirement of the lease).
RESPONSE – refer me to the lease where they require the information.

2) The AST can be deemed “commercially confidential”. What is their legal basis to require this document? It is not stated in the lease.
RESPONSE – refer me to the lease where it talks about assigning payment of the annual fee to the landlord. But that is my cost not the tenants.

3) The fee of £75 is excessive. The lease (drafted in 2012) states that a fee of £30+vat is reasonable. If this is inflation adjusted then the fee today should be no greater than £44.64 (inc vat)
RESPONSE – The freeholder deems the £75 to be reasonable and this has been agreed at tribunal in “Freehold Managers (Nominees) Ltd. V. ” (it does truncate to case came).

This looks like a legal structure to create an admin process that the freeholder can then profit from? I cannot see any legitimate purpose (within GDPR or DPA) for the freeholder of a block of flats to have my tenant’s name. If there is no legitimate reason to have the tenant’s name, the process to register this name is surely voided.

Any views?

Are these charges legal?

I know it is small – but it adds up from the industry.

Thank you,


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Judith Wordsworth

11:01 AM, 5th May 2023, About 12 months ago

1. Yes it is legal
2. Your lease confirms this. If you bought the property as a BTL then you would have known this.
3. As for reasonable, your lease gives the fee. Is it silent on index linked? Look up the case, could ask the freeholder for the full citation
4. Your freeholder is your landlord in essence; your tenant is a sub-let.
5. As for £75 to process the admin won't see much profit, if any. But the fee is tax deductible as an allowable expense.


11:13 AM, 5th May 2023, About 12 months ago

If your lease makes no mention of the requirement to provide your freeholder/agent with details of tenants, then it cannot be demanded.

If your lease is specific about the fee for 'subletting', that is the fee you must pay.


12:47 PM, 5th May 2023, About 12 months ago

Thanks - but thinking about this. I could create a contract and let's assume you sign it - that says you must provide me the name of your firstborn if you want to buy a packet of crisps from me. That does not make it legal for me to demand and store the name of your firstborn? There needs to be a purpose to requiring personal information. That purpose needs to be legitimate and documented - but there is flexibility.
Or conversely, under GDPR - having obtained the name of your firstborn (because of the contract), then GDPR would require that I immediately delete that data unless there is a clear and documented purpose in me storing that specific personal data.
So we get back to - what is the purpose for the free holder having this data? Is "it being in the contract" a sufficient reason.


13:09 PM, 5th May 2023, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Geoff at 05/05/2023 - 12:47
A contract is legally binding, but could be found to have been unreasonable by a court. Most ASTs are not that unreasonable. High sub-letting fees have been found to be unreasonable by the FTT, hence the ruling about £50+VAT. However, I don't think the whole Data Protection Act 2018 [GDPR] thing has been tested, and could be an issue if someone demands personally identifiable data without reason. A landlord could be found liable for disclosing data about a tenant without permission.

It would be helpful for a Data Protection Act 'expert' to rule on this.


15:49 PM, 5th May 2023, About 12 months ago

I have had a well known Freeholder try to charge me £120 with a licence for a year for a tenant where, I would have to pay each time a tenant changes or after the end of the annual licence. They also asked for a copy of the AST and details of the type of tenants.
Having read the lease, without going through the wording for the purpose of this comment, I would like to inform you that I don't give any details of the tenant but, send a copy of the AST which again I don't think is necessary but only comply as the management company keep threatening to take me to court and had in effect engaged a solicitor at one point. I asked the solicitor to show me where, it is stated in the lease that I had to give details of the tenant and they could not so, I have never provided this information.
The other leaseholders in the complex all pay the £120 and also provide the details of their tenants as, they find it too difficult to keep fighting the management company as, the management company had intimidating ways which most leaseholders are not able to cope with.
Anyway, just to let you know due to an Upper Lands Tribunal Decision, the maximum that a leaseholder can be charged is £40 plus vat for the purpose of subletting a property to a tenant and, this would apply each time a tenant changes and not each time an annual licence expires.
I could not find a link to the case however some details are on the Landlord Zone. See link below:


15:52 PM, 5th May 2023, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 05/05/2023 - 13:09
It is useful to have a clause that states words to the effect that details of the tenant may be disclosed for the purpose of renting.

believe the above would suffice in respect of GDPR


18:11 PM, 6th May 2023, About 12 months ago

The Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that a lease must be followed word for word exactly. That applies to both parties. No throwing in extra meanings.
If wording not make sense then application to the Court to vary the terms.
Otherwise as one person with limited means then GDPR wouldn’t be the hill I’d die on.
Do exactly what the lease says neither more nor less.


11:35 AM, 7th May 2023, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Kizzie at 06/05/2023 - 18:11Do you by any chance have a link to the case? I would be interested in reading it.


12:14 PM, 8th May 2023, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Kizzie at 07/05/2023 - 13:51
I think the link may have been removed as it I get a message saying cannot find the page. If you know the name of the case, that would be great otherwise not to worry. Thanks anyway.

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