Tenant moved to South Africa and a management company started subletting without permission?

Tenant moved to South Africa and a management company started subletting without permission?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

10:24 AM, 30th May 2017, About 7 years ago 8

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I bought a one bedroom flat with the freehold in a terraced housed converted into 2 one bedroom flats. The top flat is leasehold but I was not the seller.

The leaseholder is my tenant and she is in South Africa. A management company sublet her flat which is above me and has no soundproofing. I am now severely disabled with 7 incurable diseases and have lived with the noises, fighting, knocking on my door for help etc.

They have broken various parts of the lease numerous times and the management company have take a year to process an eviction of the present people.

Is it possible for me to take action against my tenant for forfeiting her lease.

Many thanks


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Neil Patterson

10:34 AM, 30th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Hi John,

I am very sorry to hear of your situation and health.

Just to clarify and apologies if I have got it wrong; the person that owns the lease on the other flat has moved abroad and rented the property and you own the Freehold.

In which case you need to study the terms and conditions of the lease to see if it has a clause pertaining to renting the property and or seeking permission to rent the property.

If any clause forbids renting or requires permission you would then need to seek legal advice and consider action against the owner for breaking the terms of the lease. Worst case for the leaseholder if they do not comply with the lease conditions is that they could possible forfeit their lease if it went to court.

There may also be conditions regarding soundproofing floors eg carpets instead of hard flooring.

Without any further details it would be difficult to say though and you may also want to check the Leasehold Advisory Service >> http://www.lease-advice.org/

Jay James

10:55 AM, 30th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Hi John

To be clear:
- who owns the freehold of the problem flat?
- does the management company manage the freehold for you OR do they manage the letting of the flat above for the leaseholder who is in south africa?

terry sullivan

13:07 PM, 30th May 2017, About 7 years ago

are you freeholder of both flats?

if so i assume you are receiving ground rent?

any service charges?

the property is not an HMO?


13:45 PM, 30th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "terry sullivan" at "30/05/2017 - 13:07":

I am the freeholder of both flats but the lease was made in 1971 when the house was converted and that lease allowed for a peppercorn rent and shared repair costs there was never any service charge they share the cost of any repairs needed 50/50 and for redecoration every 3 years. The same lease has a strong restrictions on the leasee which they have broken many times but as they are not my tenants the management company should deal with them.I have enough evidence of over 20 breaches including the management company who took out a window and changed it's size without permission. Could i go for forfiture of lease. I just want to live the time i have left in relative peace in my home.


20:38 PM, 30th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jay James" at "30/05/2017 - 10:55":

Hi Jay thanks for your interest the house id a terraced house converted into 2 one bedroom flats when i bought the groundfloor flat with the freehold someone lived in the flat upstairs and they owned the lease for that flat. The freehold that i have is for my flat and the building but the lady in south africa is my tennant. When there is a breach of the lease i.e noise, damage to the building then i tell the management company about the breach and keep a record of the incident.The people who live there now have been the most disruptive and the management company have taken a year to get to this point whej they will be evicted


0:33 AM, 1st June 2017, About 7 years ago

Thanks Neil for your help i had read one of your rsponses to another case i am not sure of the name of the person but it may be murisio or close to that in which you said that all tenents have to have a licence from the freeholder before subletting but i will check. The problem for me is that i have 7 incurable disease and one is Parkinsons D isease which i have been fighting for 10 years but it leaves me with a very short term memory so i am always checking myself and another disease Myasthenia Gravis which weakens my muscles as i use them so i tend to do any work on my computer late at night when my pain lessend after night time drugd taken early but i intend to find a solicitor who has experience of this work


11:34 AM, 3rd June 2017, About 7 years ago

Forfeiture of a lease is very very difficult to get and in any case your leaseholder (who you refer to as tenant, I'm clarifying for other readers who may think you mean the residents who are in fact sub-tenants) is not to blame. Have you tried contacting the environmental health department at your council?


13:03 PM, 3rd June 2017, About 7 years ago

Thank you Puzzler for your advice. May i clarify a few points because it is unusual for the freehplder to live in one flat when the other flat has a lease sold to her by the previous owner who had the lease for the flat. The confusion over the word tenant is because on her lease she is referred to as the tenant and i the freeholder. The leaseholder started to sublet through a management company whilst she ived in south africa..I have 7 diseases of which 4 will get worse each year.& with no sound proofing i hear everything. The lease has been broken more than 30 times including several times by the managemnt company. I just want some peace. On Wednesday the sheriffs evicted the present sub tenants and the management company sent in builders i thought to cover up damage but a neighbour helped me to get upstairs to see the terrible condition and to take photos.I have also joined Landlords Law for a month to see if they can help Thank you for caring

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