Couple of Questions relating to Freeholder asking for sublet fees

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    Thanks Nigel - that is very interesting. My original lease did have a doubling ground rent clause and when this came to light years after buying the property, let's just say I was not best pleased. When you buy from a reputable major Housebuilder and have no prior knowledge that this sort of thing goes on (and the solicitor doesn't flag anything being out of place) it does come as a bit of a shock.

    Fortunately following a major public outcry on this very issue the Housebuilder, last year, offered to change the ground rent terms via a deed of variation to one increasing by inflation instead - I took them up on this - it is the lesser of two evils - but at least it will mean the property is saleable and mortgageable. I gather the house-builder offered this to everyone who bought new from them but not for second owners who inherited the doubling terms.
    - - - -

    On challenging the agent on the amount of sublet fee demanded, sadly, my lease does specify "not less than £100 + VAT" for registering it so I don't think that will work - or at the least. it will lead to a lot of time spent writing back and forth at best - so I will probably pay their fee to register the fact the property is sublet.

    I am still deciding on whether I need to pay for the fact the AST has also been renewed in that time - I don't believe my lease specifies this, but I am not a legal expert and I again don't want to get into a big back and forth argument with them.


      If you are the original lessee party to the Lease ( i.e first leaseholder of the flat) , you have the right to state the clauses under "Disposal" applies to the property title . That is your agreement made with the Lessor ( builder/developer .) .

      The AST agreements does not give the rental tenant any right to stay beyond the term of the agreement and does not affect the property title and does not apply.

      The meaning of underletting is a "sublet at below market rate" ( Concise Oxford Dictionary).

      You can argue the AST is not an underletting agreement.

      ( Show me an oxford dictionary that states AST at market rate means underletting at below market rate ! )

      Like you , I am not a legal expert .


        Thanks Gordon999 - some food for thought there !


          To update the forum as this may provide some useful reading for others in my position.

          I decided to inform the freeholder's agent of the tenancy details and when it was renewed in the past.

          They subsequently sent me a bill for admin of £130 - which I have paid - and they have now registered the status of the property and sent me a document showing I have consent to rent it out.

          Now, I know I don't really need one of these consent documents - my lease doesn't ask for consent to be granted, but it does (although even this is unclear as it is under the heading 'disposals') ask for registration and that this requires a fee of 'not less than' £100 + VAT.

          So, for peace of mind I have registered (and paid for the privilege) but at least I can move on now from this issue.


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